The conclusion to the series will draw a sigh—of relief.

SPEED OF LIGHT

From the Meridian series , Vol. 3

The third time lacks all charm.

Following a prologue that recaps the first two Meridian novels, this disappointing finale picks up soon after the wounding of Nocti Ms. Asura and the destruction of her pseudo–foster-care home. Chapters alternate between Meridian, who now dreams of growing old with Tens and prepares to assist her elderly, dying friend, Faye, and fellow Fenestra Juliet. Juliet must work through her anger and mistrust and desperately wants to find the remains of her dead parents. While danger from the Nocti seems imminent to the characters, especially when Juliet agrees to exchange information about those who work for the Light for the location of her parents, readers must wait…and wait…and wait for any action. Bogged down by the characters’ day-to-day minutiae, the story crawls at a snail’s pace until Meridian and her ring of friends tackle the Nocti at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Even then, the battle is tedious, predictable and ultimately disappointing. The introduction of Juliet’s possible dyslexia and the arrival of a new female Protector from Iran and possible issues of sexuality are broached but never explored.

The conclusion to the series will draw a sigh—of relief. (Supernatural. 13 & up)

Pub Date: Nov. 13, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-385-74114-9

Page Count: 544

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: Sept. 15, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2012

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There’s not much plot here, but readers will relish the opportunity to climb inside Autumn’s head.

IF HE HAD BEEN WITH ME

The finely drawn characters capture readers’ attention in this debut.

Autumn and Phineas, nicknamed Finny, were born a week apart; their mothers are still best friends. Growing up, Autumn and Finny were like peas in a pod despite their differences: Autumn is “quirky and odd,” while Finny is “sweet and shy and everyone like[s] him.” But in eighth grade, Autumn and Finny stop being friends due to an unexpected kiss. They drift apart and find new friends, but their friendship keeps asserting itself at parties, shared holiday gatherings and random encounters. In the summer after graduation, Autumn and Finny reconnect and are finally ready to be more than friends. But on August 8, everything changes, and Autumn has to rely on all her strength to move on. Autumn’s coming-of-age is sensitively chronicled, with a wide range of experiences and events shaping her character. Even secondary characters are well-rounded, with their own histories and motivations.

There’s not much plot here, but readers will relish the opportunity to climb inside Autumn’s head.   (Fiction. 14 & up)

Pub Date: April 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-4022-7782-5

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Review Posted Online: Feb. 13, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2013

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This grittily provocative debut explores the horrors of self-harm and the healing power of artistic expression.

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GIRL IN PIECES

After surviving a suicide attempt, a fragile teen isn't sure she can endure without cutting herself.

Seventeen-year-old Charlie Davis, a white girl living on the margins, thinks she has little reason to live: her father drowned himself; her bereft and abusive mother kicked her out; her best friend, Ellis, is nearly brain dead after cutting too deeply; and she's gone through unspeakable experiences living on the street. After spending time in treatment with other young women like her—who cut, burn, poke, and otherwise hurt themselves—Charlie is released and takes a bus from the Twin Cities to Tucson to be closer to Mikey, a boy she "like-likes" but who had pined for Ellis instead. But things don't go as planned in the Arizona desert, because sweet Mikey just wants to be friends. Feeling rejected, Charlie, an artist, is drawn into a destructive new relationship with her sexy older co-worker, a "semifamous" local musician who's obviously a junkie alcoholic. Through intense, diarylike chapters chronicling Charlie's journey, the author captures the brutal and heartbreaking way "girls who write their pain on their bodies" scar and mar themselves, either succumbing or surviving. Like most issue books, this is not an easy read, but it's poignant and transcendent as Charlie breaks more and more before piecing herself back together.

This grittily provocative debut explores the horrors of self-harm and the healing power of artistic expression. (author’s note) (Fiction. 14 & up)

Pub Date: Aug. 30, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-101-93471-5

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: May 4, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2016

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