Vivid descriptions of the unusual landscape of Santorini will fascinate readers looking for a good travelogue, and the...

MY BEST FRIEND, MAYBE

Two former best friends raised by families with markedly different values take a trip to Greece in this poignant story that is centered around themes of sexuality, acceptance and belonging.

High school junior Colette has grown weary of following the rules dictated to her by her conservative, religious family and longs for more physical involvement with her boyfriend and a chance to break out of her nice-girl role. And though she has other friends, she has felt adrift since Sadie, her closest childhood friend, mysteriously dropped her years earlier. When Sadie extends the unexpected and perplexing invitation to join her family on the Greek island of Santorini, Colette feels compelled to go both out of loyalty and to shake up her own life. Emotionally rich characters make this an engaging drama that is as much about people finding places within their families as it is about the damage done by rigid adults to vulnerable kids. A romance that develops between Colette and one of Sadie’s older brothers is sweetly believable, though the eventual reveal of the overcomplicated reasoning behind Sadie’s selection of Colette to come on the trip is less so.

Vivid descriptions of the unusual landscape of Santorini will fascinate readers looking for a good travelogue, and the perceptive and heartfelt relationship dynamics will only add to the appeal. (Fiction. 14-18)

Pub Date: June 3, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-59990-970-7

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Review Posted Online: April 9, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2014

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

GIRL IN PIECES

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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Black is building a complex mythology; now is a great time to tune in.

THE CRUEL PRINCE

From the Folk of the Air series , Vol. 1

Black is back with another dark tale of Faerie, this one set in Faerie and launching a new trilogy.

Jude—broken, rebuilt, fueled by anger and a sense of powerlessness—has never recovered from watching her adoptive Faerie father murder her parents. Human Jude (whose brown hair curls and whose skin color is never described) both hates and loves Madoc, whose murderous nature is true to his Faerie self and who in his way loves her. Brought up among the Gentry, Jude has never felt at ease, but after a decade, Faerie has become her home despite the constant peril. Black’s latest looks at nature and nurture and spins a tale of court intrigue, bloodshed, and a truly messed-up relationship that might be the saving of Jude and the titular prince, who, like Jude, has been shaped by the cruelties of others. Fierce and observant Jude is utterly unaware of the currents that swirl around her. She fights, plots, even murders enemies, but she must also navigate her relationship with her complex family (human, Faerie, and mixed). This is a heady blend of Faerie lore, high fantasy, and high school drama, dripping with description that brings the dangerous but tempting world of Faerie to life.

Black is building a complex mythology; now is a great time to tune in. (Fantasy. 14-adult)

Pub Date: Jan. 2, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-316-31027-7

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Sept. 26, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2017

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