REPOSSESSED

Seventeen-year-old slacker Shaun steps off the curb and is smacked by a cement-mixer truck. Just before he goes under, a curiously sneaky “archangel” named Kiriel steps into Shaun’s body. Thus begins Kiriel’s near doe-eyed exploration of all the weird, whacked-out wonders of teenage boyhood, all of which eventually coalesce into the pursuit of friendly, feisty Lane Henneberger, the girl he knows will give her virginity to him. The infusion of Kiriel’s inquisitively dogged personality into Shaun’s teenaged body humorously amplifies all of Shaun’s usual boy instincts: Lust, hunger and love all spring to the center, most affecting when Kiriel’s educated near-Shakespearean words spout forth from Shaun’s usually blunt and blasé lips. Life, of course, gets better for Shaun, complete with a girlfriend, help for his troubled brother and better grades. Jenkins’s writing, for all of her dabbling in the supernatural world, remains lean, mean and to-the-point. Though the replacement of a real boy with a do-gooder, lackadaisical demon makes this effort feel less directly urgent, less real than Beating Heart (2006), Kiriel’s own search for meaning and direction from his own realm in this new life packs an intriguingly deep wallop. (Fiction. YA)

Pub Date: June 1, 2007

ISBN: 978-0-06-083568-2

Page Count: 224

Publisher: HarperTeen

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2007

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Don’t look over sea or under stone, this is the fantasy novel for all once and future fans of suspense-filled storytelling.

LEGENDBORN

From the Legendborn series , Vol. 1

Sixteen-year-old Black whiz kid Bree Matthews battles grief and demonic forces on her college campus.

After her mother dies in an accident, Bree begins a residential program for enterprising teens at her mother’s alma mater and, soon after her arrival, witnesses a magical attack that triggers hidden memories about the evening her mother was killed. Haunted by the fact that their final conversation was an argument, Bree begins a redemptive quest to uncover the connection between her mother’s death and the university’s secret society, the Order of the Round Table, joining their ranks as an initiate and unwittingly stumbling into a centuries-old supernatural war. While competing in the tournament that determines entry to the society, Bree discovers the truth about her heretofore unknown magical abilities, unwinding a complex history that showcases the horrors chattel slavery in the American South perpetuates on the descendants of all involved. Push through clunky expositions and choppy transitions that interrupt the cohesion of the text to discover solid character development that brings forward contemporary, thoughtful engagement with the representation, or lack thereof, of race in canonical Arthurian lore and mythologies. Representation of actualized, strong queer characters is organic, not forced, and so are textual conversations around emotional wellness and intergenerational trauma. Well-crafted allusions to established legends and other literary works are delightful easter eggs.

Don’t look over sea or under stone, this is the fantasy novel for all once and future fans of suspense-filled storytelling. (author's note) (Fantasy. 14-18)

Pub Date: Sept. 15, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5344-4160-6

Page Count: 512

Publisher: McElderry

Review Posted Online: June 30, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2020

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TWILIGHT

From the Twilight series , Vol. 1

Sun-loving Bella meets her demon lover in a vampire tale strongly reminiscent of Robin McKinley’s Sunshine. When Bella moves to rainy Forks, Wash., to live with her father, she just wants to fit in without drawing any attention. Unfortunately, she’s drawn the eye of aloof, gorgeous and wealthy classmate Edward. His behavior toward Bella wavers wildly between apparent distaste and seductive flirtation. Bella learns Edward’s appalling (and appealing) secret: He and his family are vampires. Though Edward nobly warns Bella away, she ignores the human boys who court her and chooses her vampiric suitor. An all-vampire baseball game in a late-night thunderstorm—an amusing gothic take on American family togetherness that balances some of the tale’s romantic excesses—draws Bella and her loved ones into terrible danger. This is far from perfect: Edward’s portrayal as monstrous tragic hero is overly Byronic, and Bella’s appeal is based on magic rather than character. Nonetheless, the portrayal of dangerous lovers hits the spot; fans of dark romance will find it hard to resist. (Fantasy. YA)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2005

ISBN: 0-316-16017-2

Page Count: 512

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2005

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