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From the Lithia Trilogy series , Vol. 3

One (OK, three) of a kind for readers who prefer their fantasy tinted green, with fangs that sink into grains, not veins.

The trilogy that introduced vegan vampires (don’t call them “sapsuckers”), passionately environmentalist thespians and the southern Oregon town they call home (well, actually they call it Lithia) comes to an end here, and not a moment too soon.

Life is sweet for Kat, proud owner of a mountainside, now a stagehand playing real-life Juliet to Roman’s (real-life and onstage) Romeo, with Alex a potential suitor if things don’t work out. Unfortunately, their powerful vampire progenitor, Victor, remains faithful to the (undead) paleo diet. Her mother’s serpentine pendant protects Kat for now, but Roman warns her, Victor will find a way around it. The earthquake he sets off at her landlord’s wedding proves he means business. Has Victor found a way to awaken Mount Lithia, the dormant volcano looming over the town? Repetitive recapping of the first two books, plus Kat’s soliloquies on animal rights and environmentalism, go on a tad longer than necessary, and like Roman’s ponderous warnings, they lack humor. Never mind—the real protagonist, Lithia, hasn’t lost a bit of its quirky, high-altitude allure; rain gear–clad theatergoers throng the streets sampling the Bard’s offerings, while local runners lace up their shoes for Cloudline—a race to the mountain’s not-quite-dormant summit.

One (OK, three) of a kind for readers who prefer their fantasy tinted green, with fangs that sink into grains, not veins. (Paranormal romance. 12 & up)

Pub Date: Oct. 31, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-61822-026-4

Page Count: 244

Publisher: Ashland Creek Press

Review Posted Online: Aug. 19, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2014

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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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