Readers are in for a fast-paced ride, poised for a sequel, as the twins embrace their father’s call, in the words of Walt...

THE RULE OF ONE

From the Rule of One series , Vol. 1

In a dystopian United States where families are permitted only one child, twin teens Ava and Mira break the law simply by existing.

The red-haired, green-eyed sisters function as one person in their hometown of Dallas, fooling the country’s high-tech identification system by alternating who goes aboveground each day. When the tyrannical governor’s grandson discovers their secret, the girls are forced to flee. Following their father’s cryptic instructions over the course of a week, the sisters cross the treacherous desert in search of safety—and discover the seeds of a rebellion along the way. A dystopic future well-trod in many ways but inventive in others, Ava and Mira’s world is an all-too-believable mix of advanced technology and environmental collapse. Only one substantial character’s ethnicity is identified—Lucia, a Mexican immigrant who briefly crosses the twins’ path. In their debut, Saunders and Saunders, themselves twins, lend an authentic voice to the girls’ first-person narration, which flows nearly indistinguishably between alternating chapters. As they leave their old life behind, Ava and Mira grapple with existing as two separate people for the first time. Both tense and liberating, this shift in their identities only increases the stakes as the girls figure out their roles in the rising rebellion.

Readers are in for a fast-paced ride, poised for a sequel, as the twins embrace their father’s call, in the words of Walt Whitman, to “resist much, obey little.” (Science fiction. 13-18)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5039-5316-1

Page Count: 268

Publisher: Skyscape

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2018

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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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Grimly plainly worked hard, but, as the title indicates, the result serves his own artistic vision more than Mary Shelley’s.

GRIS GRIMLY'S FRANKENSTEIN

A slightly abridged graphic version of the classic that will drive off all but the artist’s most inveterate fans.

Admirers of the original should be warned away by veteran horror artist Bernie Wrightson’s introductory comments about Grimly’s “wonderfully sly stylization” and the “twinkle” in his artistic eye. Most general readers will founder on the ensuing floods of tiny faux handwritten script that fill the opening 10 pages of stage-setting correspondence (other lengthy letters throughout are presented in similarly hard-to-read typefaces). The few who reach Victor Frankenstein’s narrative will find it—lightly pruned and, in places, translated into sequences of largely wordless panels—in blocks of varied length interspersed amid sheaves of cramped illustrations with, overall, a sickly, greenish-yellow cast. The latter feature spidery, often skeletal figures that barrel over rough landscapes in rococo, steampunk-style vehicles when not assuming melodramatic poses. Though the rarely seen monster is a properly hard-to-resolve jumble of massive rage and lank hair, Dr. Frankenstein looks like a decayed Lyle Lovett with high cheekbones and an errant, outsized quiff. His doomed bride, Elizabeth, sports a white lock à la Elsa Lanchester, and decorative grotesqueries range from arrangements of bones and skull-faced flowers to bunnies and clownish caricatures.

Grimly plainly worked hard, but, as the title indicates, the result serves his own artistic vision more than Mary Shelley’s. (Graphic classic. 14 & up)

Pub Date: Aug. 27, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-06-186297-7

Page Count: 208

Publisher: Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: July 3, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2013

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