A page-turning psychological thriller in which mental illness is tragic.


In a special school on a small Massachusetts island, a boy struggles to find his place in time.

Bo attends the Berkshire Academy for Children with Exceptional Needs. Narrating in the present tense, he explains the school’s mission: training kids to master their supernatural powers and to hide them from the broader world. But something horrendous has happened: Bo, who time travels, took his girlfriend, Sofía, back to 1692 and accidentally left her there. As a brown-skinned Latina (Bo’s white, which goes unspecified) who turns invisible, Sofía could face execution in the Puritan colony, which is enduring the Salem witch trials. Bo works doggedly to travel back in time and save her, but the timestream fights him, and someone may be controlling his mind. A trickle of textual clues and several first-person chapters from Bo’s sister, Phoebe, reveal that delusions, dissociation, and psychosis are at work. Bo has severe mental illness, as do his classmates. His palpable torment, confusion, and belief in his powers build to a terrifying crescendo in a vivid conflagration scene. Bo sees a choice: the 21st century, where he’s sick, or somewhere outside time with Sofía, where he has powers. At the end, the text steals Bo’s voice and centrality by giving the closing narration to Phoebe—flipping Bo’s story, suddenly and frustratingly, into a disabled-sibling tale.

A page-turning psychological thriller in which mental illness is tragic. (Fiction. 14 & up)

Pub Date: July 19, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-59514-715-8

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Razorbill/Penguin

Review Posted Online: April 2, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2016

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Riveting, brutal and beautifully told.

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A devastating tale of greed and secrets springs from the summer that tore Cady’s life apart.

Cady Sinclair’s family uses its inherited wealth to ensure that each successive generation is blond, beautiful and powerful. Reunited each summer by the family patriarch on his private island, his three adult daughters and various grandchildren lead charmed, fairy-tale lives (an idea reinforced by the periodic inclusions of Cady’s reworkings of fairy tales to tell the Sinclair family story). But this is no sanitized, modern Disney fairy tale; this is Cinderella with her stepsisters’ slashed heels in bloody glass slippers. Cady’s fairy-tale retellings are dark, as is the personal tragedy that has led to her examination of the skeletons in the Sinclair castle’s closets; its rent turns out to be extracted in personal sacrifices. Brilliantly, Lockhart resists simply crucifying the Sinclairs, which might make the family’s foreshadowed tragedy predictable or even satisfying. Instead, she humanizes them (and their painful contradictions) by including nostalgic images that showcase the love shared among Cady, her two cousins closest in age, and Gat, the Heathcliff-esque figure she has always loved. Though increasingly disenchanted with the Sinclair legacy of self-absorption, the four believe family redemption is possible—if they have the courage to act. Their sincere hopes and foolish naïveté make the teens’ desperate, grand gesture all that much more tragic.

Riveting, brutal and beautifully told. (Fiction. 14 & up)

Pub Date: May 13, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-385-74126-2

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: March 17, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2014

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


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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