A first in interspecies love stories? (Romance. 14-18)

HOT PTERODACTYL BOYFRIEND

Never say never.

He’s hot. He’s in a band. Every girl wants him. He has claws, wings, and a beak. He can also fly. When Pyke, the school’s first interspecies transfer student, walks through the doors of Vista View High, student-body chair Shiels, who normally has it all together, goes bonkers (a mild understatement). Pyke’s appearance invigorates everyone. He can catch a spiraling football pass like no one else. He can turn a school dance party into a whirling, orgiastic riot. He can turn Shiels’ nose the same tone of purple as his skin with some bump-and-grind dance moves. He can also make her question everything she has ever stood for. Cumyn’s latest (Tilt, 2011, etc.) is certainly good fun, full of fresh new devices (to say the least). However, not only is it hard to swallow, it’s also long-winded. Clocking in at over 400 pages, the plot twists and turns and expands over and over until it completely tries the most patient readers, whose willingness to suspend their disbelief for a story this ridiculous might lapse after the first 250 or so pages. That said, the book is full of hilarious one-liners, straight-on characterizations, some hot sexual tension, and a doofus, headstrong heroine who is all a-flutter and dead set on protecting her prehistoric honey. That makes up for a lot.

A first in interspecies love stories? (Romance. 14-18)

Pub Date: March 22, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4814-3980-0

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Atheneum

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2016

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Riveting, brutal and beautifully told.

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WE WERE LIARS

A devastating tale of greed and secrets springs from the summer that tore Cady’s life apart.

Cady Sinclair’s family uses its inherited wealth to ensure that each successive generation is blond, beautiful and powerful. Reunited each summer by the family patriarch on his private island, his three adult daughters and various grandchildren lead charmed, fairy-tale lives (an idea reinforced by the periodic inclusions of Cady’s reworkings of fairy tales to tell the Sinclair family story). But this is no sanitized, modern Disney fairy tale; this is Cinderella with her stepsisters’ slashed heels in bloody glass slippers. Cady’s fairy-tale retellings are dark, as is the personal tragedy that has led to her examination of the skeletons in the Sinclair castle’s closets; its rent turns out to be extracted in personal sacrifices. Brilliantly, Lockhart resists simply crucifying the Sinclairs, which might make the family’s foreshadowed tragedy predictable or even satisfying. Instead, she humanizes them (and their painful contradictions) by including nostalgic images that showcase the love shared among Cady, her two cousins closest in age, and Gat, the Heathcliff-esque figure she has always loved. Though increasingly disenchanted with the Sinclair legacy of self-absorption, the four believe family redemption is possible—if they have the courage to act. Their sincere hopes and foolish naïveté make the teens’ desperate, grand gesture all that much more tragic.

Riveting, brutal and beautifully told. (Fiction. 14 & up)

Pub Date: May 13, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-385-74126-2

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: March 17, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2014

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A suspenseful tale filled with Ojibwe knowledge, hockey, and the politics of status.

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FIREKEEPER'S DAUGHTER

Testing the strength of family bonds is never easy—and lies make it even harder.

Daunis is trying to balance her two communities: The Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, teen is constantly adapting, whether she is with her Anishinaabe father’s side of the family, the Firekeepers, or the Fontaines, her White mother’s wealthy relatives. She has grand plans for her future, as she wants to become a doctor, but has decided to defer her plans to go away for college because her maternal grandmother is recovering from a stroke. Daunis spends her free time playing hockey with her Firekeeper half brother, Levi, but tragedy strikes, and she discovers someone is selling a dangerous new form of meth—and the bodies are piling up. While trying to figure out who is behind this, Daunis pulls away from her family, covering up where she has been and what she has been doing. While dealing with tough topics like rape, drugs, racism, and death, this book balances the darkness with Ojibwe cultural texture and well-crafted characters. Daunis is a three-dimensional, realistically imperfect girl trying her best to handle everything happening around her. The first-person narration reveals her internal monologue, allowing readers to learn what’s going on in her head as she encounters anti-Indian bias and deals with grief.

A suspenseful tale filled with Ojibwe knowledge, hockey, and the politics of status. (Thriller. 14-18)

Pub Date: March 16, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-250-76656-4

Page Count: 496

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: Dec. 10, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2021

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