Smart fantasy with heart and enough bad puns to last a lifetime.

COVENANT'S END

From the Widdershins Adventures series , Vol. 4

Widdershins is back, in her last and most dangerous adventure.

After the events of Lost Covenant (2013), Shins, along with psychic hitchhiker and personal god Olgun, is finally ready to return to Davillon and face the pain and grief she ran from. As usual, she finds herself in the middle of trouble, danger and quip-filled adventures. Davillon has become a hotbed of unrest. Dark rumors and shadowy evils stalk the streets; the bodies of everyone Shins has loved and lost have been exhumed and left in her various safe houses, and Lisette Suvagne, who has dogged Widdershins since the first volume, has taken over the Finder’s Guild term, allied herself with members of the Gloaming Court, and is leading the attack on the city, on the church and on Shins. What’s a thief with a heart of gold to do? As has been true of the series thus far, things get darker with each adventure. Shins must face her own mortality and face up to the fallout (political, interpersonal and paranormal) from her own previous actions and decisions, a fitting finale for a series that has concerned itself with the growth of its protagonist. The prose is purple, the stakes are high, and the ending is exactly right.

Smart fantasy with heart and enough bad puns to last a lifetime. (Fantasy. 13 & up)

Pub Date: Feb. 3, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-61614-986-4

Page Count: 250

Publisher: Pyr/Prometheus Books

Review Posted Online: Nov. 11, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2014

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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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Engrossing, contemplative, and as heart-wrenching as the title promises.

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THEY BOTH DIE AT THE END

What would you do with one day left to live?

In an alternate present, a company named Death-Cast calls Deckers—people who will die within the coming day—to inform them of their impending deaths, though not how they will happen. The End Day call comes for two teenagers living in New York City: Puerto Rican Mateo and bisexual Cuban-American foster kid Rufus. Rufus needs company after a violent act puts cops on his tail and lands his friends in jail; Mateo wants someone to push him past his comfort zone after a lifetime of playing it safe. The two meet through Last Friend, an app that connects lonely Deckers (one of many ways in which Death-Cast influences social media). Mateo and Rufus set out to seize the day together in their final hours, during which their deepening friendship blossoms into something more. Present-tense chapters, short and time-stamped, primarily feature the protagonists’ distinctive first-person narrations. Fleeting third-person chapters give windows into the lives of other characters they encounter, underscoring how even a tiny action can change the course of someone else’s life. It’s another standout from Silvera (History Is All You Left Me, 2017, etc.), who here grapples gracefully with heavy questions about death and the meaning of a life well-lived.

Engrossing, contemplative, and as heart-wrenching as the title promises. (Speculative fiction. 13-adult).

Pub Date: Sept. 5, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-06-245779-0

Page Count: 384

Publisher: HarperTeen

Review Posted Online: June 5, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2017

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