Good thrills and intrigue.

UNTIL I DIE

From the Die for Me series , Vol. 2

Another human-undead romance produces some good entertainment in this second of a trilogy involving “revenants” in Paris.

These undead creatures have become mostly immortal by sacrificing their own lives to save others. Human Kate and revenant Vincent fell in love in the first book; here they fight the numa, similar but evil undead who plot to kill revenants. Alas, it actually looks like it’s fairly easy to kill revenants, despite their “immortality,” a bit of a flaw in the book’s premise. Kate lives with her French grandparents but spends much time training for combat with the revenants, who have accepted her. She knows that she will age and die as Vincent stays young, and the two seek different ways to overcome that difficulty. Worse, it seems that a spy has infiltrated the revenant community. Plum handles the intrigue and builds tension, ending with a major cliffhanger that should compel readers to the final book in the trilogy. The suspense takes precedence over the romance as Kate follows clues, first to find more information on revenants and then to uncover the spy in their midst. Several of the characters stand out as interesting individuals, enhancing the entertainment value in the story, along with a few good action scenes.

Good thrills and intrigue. (Paranormal romance. 12 & up)

Pub Date: May 8, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-06-200404-8

Page Count: 368

Publisher: HarperTeen

Review Posted Online: March 14, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 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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Part cautionary tale, part juicy love story, this will appeal to action and adventure fans who aren't yet sick of the genre.

SHATTER ME

A dystopic thriller joins the crowded shelves but doesn't distinguish itself.

Juliette was torn from her home and thrown into an asylum by The Reestablishment, a militaristic regime in control since an environmental catastrophe left society in ruins. Juliette’s journal holds her tortured thoughts in an attempt to repress memories of the horrific act that landed her in a cell. Mysteriously, Juliette’s touch kills. After months of isolation, her captors suddenly give her a cellmate—Adam, a drop-dead gorgeous guy. Adam, it turns out, is immune to her deadly touch. Unfortunately, he’s a soldier under orders from Warner, a power-hungry 19-year-old. But Adam belongs to a resistance movement; he helps Juliette escape to their stronghold, where she finds that she’s not the only one with superhuman abilities. The ending falls flat as the plot devolves into comic-book territory. Fast-paced action scenes convey imminent danger vividly, but there’s little sense of a broader world here. Overreliance on metaphor to express Juliette’s jaw-dropping surprise wears thin: “My mouth is sitting on my kneecaps. My eyebrows are dangling from the ceiling.” For all of her independence and superpowers, Juliette never moves beyond her role as a pawn in someone else’s schemes.

Part cautionary tale, part juicy love story, this will appeal to action and adventure fans who aren't yet sick of the genre. (Science fiction. 12 & up)

Pub Date: Nov. 15, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-06-208548-1

Page Count: 352

Publisher: HarperTeen

Review Posted Online: April 5, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2011

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