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From the Lithia Trilogy series , Vol. 2

Thoroughly entertaining.

Vegan vampires, Shakespearean actors, food–co-op aficionados and serious runners face off against old-school bloodsuckers and rapacious, forest-devouring builders in this follow-up to Out of Breath (2011) set in—where else?—Lithia (Ashland in disguise), Ore. 

When not serving road warriors at Lithia Runners, Kat’s dating fellow vegan environmentalist Alex and only occasionally obsessing over actor Roman. He loves her but refuses to abandon his carnivorous ways—a deal breaker, since, like Alex, he’s a vampire. Sending Roman away, Kat enrolls in college, where she’s talked into auditioning for a role in the Bard’s Measure for Measure. Aware someone’s tracking her, Kat’s on edge. Running keeps her sane, though the woods are full of spirits—not just vampires, but ghosts. One appears to have something to tell her. Her post-alcoholic, ne’er-do-well father’s arrival and gainful employment cheers her. Good luck piles on: landing the role of Isabella then a staggering inheritance. Before she can enjoy any of it, Kat’s in big trouble, targeted by enemies—supernatural and all too human—and in danger of losing everything. Spunky Kat is good company; Alex and Roman are better defined this time around, but "most vivid character" honors go to the setting, whose tall evergreens and babbling brooks, shadowed by brooding mountains, enhance the sturdy plot.

Thoroughly entertaining. (Paranormal romance. 12 & up)

Pub Date: Nov. 15, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-61822-017-2

Page Count: 268

Publisher: Ashland Creek Press

Review Posted Online: Sept. 25, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2012

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Ghanaian teenager Gloria Bampo has hit a rough patch. She failed most of her school exams, her long-unemployed father has lost himself to religion and her mother is ravaged by a mysterious sickness. Her one consolation, her older sister Effie, has discovered boys and all but disappeared. Gloria is offered a job in a distant city with Christine, a doctor who needs househelp. Her father is quick to assent, with one condition: In lieu of payment, Christine must take responsibility for Gloria's future and adopt her as a sister. Gloria adjusts easily, studies hard and explores her newfound freedom. But when the temptations of her new life—brand-name clothes and handsome doctors—prove hard to resist, a misunderstanding cuts a rift between Gloria and Christine. Each must confront class stereotypes and re-examine the meaning of family. Badoe's sharp and engaging prose unfolds the story with spryness, deftly navigating readers through heady social issues. But she wastes readers' goodwill at the end with a conclusion both haphazard and overly moralistic, jarringly out of place in this otherwise thoughtful and well-excuted novel. (Ghanaian glossary) (Fiction. YA)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-88899-996-2

Page Count: 208

Publisher: Groundwood

Review Posted Online: Aug. 2, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2010

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When 14-year-old Ty witnesses a brutal murder involving neighborhood thugs, he and his mom are put into a witness-protection program in a small town far away from their East London home. Now named Joe, Ty enters a new school a year behind and finds himself haunted by his past and torn between two girls: Ellie, a physically disabled teen who trains able-bodied runners, and her sister, Ashley. Despite lots of Briticisms and the occasional longwinded spells of narration, David pens a mostly fast-moving page-turner. Her characterizations feel mostly fully fleshed, and their dialogue rings true. The staunchly un-Americanized text results in some odd, culturally specific references that could confuse some readers unfamiliar with the milieu: Kissing Ashley makes Ty's body sizzle like sausages in a pan, for instance. The contemplative pages within the blood-spattered cover may disappoint readers more drawn to gore than to the self-reflection the experience renders in Ty. However, if teens can move past these speed bumps, they’ll find a complex, engaging read about a boy starting a new life by escaping his past. (Thriller. 12 & up)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-1-84580-131-9

Page Count: 358

Publisher: Frances Lincoln

Review Posted Online: July 29, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2010

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