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THE DARK PLACE

An ultimately hopeful story that shows love—in all its powerful forms—can conquer the demons of the past.

A high school senior vows to solve her older brother’s cold case while warding off the growing darkness of an unseen world.

Seventeen-year-old Hylee Williams never wanted to leave Kansas. But after she literally vanished and reappeared in front of her parents and best friend during a cookout, Hylee was sent to live with her paternal grandmother in the cookie-cutter suburbs of Missouri. Hylee’s new life is less than desirable. She’s the new kid at school, her parents barely keep in touch—and she’s being pulled into another dimension, always arriving at a sinister version of her childhood home, where she’s forced to relive the night when her then-15-year-old brother, Bubba, went missing. Bubba’s body was never found, but nine years later, Hylee believes he is still alive. When Hylee meets a charmingly awkward boy called Eilam Roads at a house party, the attraction is undeniable; both feel as though they’ve met—and loved—each other before. As the frequency and duration of Hylee’s time-traveling episodes increase, she leans on Eilam to help control her ability, which may be linked to Bubba’s disappearance. Lewis’ genre-bending second novel offers equal parts star-crossed romance and spine-tingling science fiction horror. The method for time traveling is too easily explained, but the narrative is richly layered, and Hylee and Eilam’s relationship is depicted with tenderness. Main characters are Black.

An ultimately hopeful story that shows love—in all its powerful forms—can conquer the demons of the past. (Horror. 13-18)

Pub Date: Aug. 8, 2023

ISBN: 9781368077736

Page Count: 368

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Review Posted Online: May 24, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2023

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INDIVISIBLE

An ode to the children of migrants who have been taken away.

A Mexican American boy takes on heavy responsibilities when his family is torn apart.

Mateo’s life is turned upside down the day U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents show up unsuccessfully seeking his Pa at his New York City bodega. The Garcias live in fear until the day both parents are picked up; his Pa is taken to jail and his Ma to a detention center. The adults around Mateo offer support to him and his 7-year-old sister, Sophie, however, he knows he is now responsible for caring for her and the bodega as well as trying to survive junior year—that is, if he wants to fulfill his dream to enter the drama program at the Tisch School of the Arts and become an actor. Mateo’s relationships with his friends Kimmie and Adam (a potential love interest) also suffer repercussions as he keeps his situation a secret. Kimmie is half Korean (her other half is unspecified) and Adam is Italian American; Mateo feels disconnected from them, less American, and with worries they can’t understand. He talks himself out of choosing a safer course of action, a decision that deepens the story. Mateo’s self-awareness and inner monologue at times make him seem older than 16, and, with significant turmoil in the main plot, some side elements feel underdeveloped. Aleman’s narrative joins the ranks of heart-wrenching stories of migrant families who have been separated.

An ode to the children of migrants who have been taken away. (Fiction. 14-18)

Pub Date: May 4, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-7595-5605-8

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Feb. 22, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2021

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THE SUMMER OF BROKEN RULES

Summery fun and games with feeling.

A summer trip helps break 18-year-old Meredith Fox out of a haze of mourning.

Her cousin’s wedding means a return to Martha’s Vineyard, a well-loved destination but one filled with bittersweet memories. It’s been a year and a half since the sudden loss of Meredith’s sister, Claire, and the grief remains strong. Meredith, though, resolves to take this time to celebrate family and bridge the rifts resulting from ghosting friends. She didn’t plan on a meet-cute/embarrassing encounter with the groom’s stepbrother, Wit. Nor did she expect a wedding-week game of Assassin, a water-gun–fueled family tradition. What starts off as a pact of sharing strategic information with Wit grows into something more as the flirting and feelings develop. Only one person can win, though, and any alliance has an expiration date. To win and honor Claire, who was a master of the game, Meredith must keep her eye on the prize. Taking place over the course of a week, the narrative is tight with well-paced reveals that disrupt predictability and keep the plot moving. Early details are picked back up, and many elements come satisfyingly full circle. The short time frame also heightens the tension of this summer romance: What will happen when they leave the bubble of the Vineyard? The mix of budding romance, competitive hijinks, a close-knit circle, as well as dealing with loss make for a satisfying read. The main cast is White.

Summery fun and games with feeling. (family tree) (Romance. 14-18)

Pub Date: May 4, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-72821-029-2

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Review Posted Online: March 30, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2021

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