Will send readers through a twisty labyrinth to a satisfying conclusion.

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FORGET THIS EVER HAPPENED

Claire’s summer becomes a mind-bending, life-changing mystery.

It’s 1993, and Claire is trapped in small-town Indianola, Texas, spending the summer caring for her ailing Grammy. Homesick and missing her new boyfriend, Claire is eager to leave harsh, critical Grammy’s sweltering house and get to know her new friends better: charismatic Julie, whom Claire just can’t stop thinking about, and the perky, old-fashioned, and sometimes unnerving Audrey. When a strange monster appears—a small, alligatorlike creature covered in fur that speaks to Claire and turns out to be just the first of many monsters that inhabit the town—and her memory starts slipping, Claire realizes Indianola has hidden, dangerous secrets woven in its history. Alternating between Claire’s and Julie’s perspectives, the mystery is slow to unveil itself, intermingling elements of supernatural horror and an idyllic, rural summer to ratchet up the tension. Likewise, Julie’s insider view as a local who works for her family’s monster exterminator business gives the mystery an extra twist. As Claire delves deeper into Indianola’s past, new family secrets emerge and change everything. The slow-burn lesbian romance, convoluted family mysteries, and the paranormal aspects of memory loss and the nature of reality will hook readers. Claire and Audrey are cued as white; Julie and her family are Latinx.

Will send readers through a twisty labyrinth to a satisfying conclusion. (Paranormal mystery. 12-adult)

Pub Date: Oct. 6, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-8234-4608-7

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: June 15, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2020

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A gripping revenge story with enough twists to avoid becoming formulaic.

LORE

To get revenge for her family’s murder seven years ago, Lore must reenter a deadly contest from her past.

Leaving the conflict of gods and their hunters behind, Lore thought she had forged a new life. However, the Agon has begun again and brought with it an injured Athena, who promises her revenge on the one who ordered her family killed—in exchange for an oath binding their fates together. Lore must hunt down the god once known as Aristos Kadmou, with the catch that she only has eight days. Also, failure means the deaths of both Lore and Athena. Depictions of graphic violence and discussions of sexual assault are frequent, creating a tale as violent and unforgiving as its source material, albeit narrated through a feminist lens. Much like the heroes of ancient epics, Lore is a morally ambiguous but ultimately likable character, struggling to eliminate the monsters of her world while not falling into the brutality of her youth. She is contrasted with the idealistic Castor, her childhood friend and love interest, with whom she has plenty of chemistry. Bracken builds a rich world around a skeleton of ancient Greek mythology that is perfect to read on a dull weekend and sure to delight readers. Most main characters are cued as White; there are two men of color, both gay.

A gripping revenge story with enough twists to avoid becoming formulaic. (cast of characters) (Fantasy. 16-adult)

Pub Date: Jan. 5, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-4847-7820-3

Page Count: 480

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Review Posted Online: Oct. 27, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2020

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Cracking page-turner with a multiethnic band of misfits with differing sexual orientations who satisfyingly, believably jell...

SIX OF CROWS

Adolescent criminals seek the haul of a lifetime in a fantasyland at the beginning of its industrial age.

The dangerous city of Ketterdam is governed by the Merchant Council, but in reality, large sectors of the city are given over to gangs who run the gambling dens and brothels. The underworld's rising star is 17-year-old Kaz Brekker, known as Dirtyhands for his brutal amorality. Kaz walks with chronic pain from an old injury, but that doesn't stop him from utterly destroying any rivals. When a councilman offers him an unimaginable reward to rescue a kidnapped foreign chemist—30 million kruge!—Kaz knows just the team he needs to assemble. There's Inej, an itinerant acrobat captured by slavers and sold to a brothel, now a spy for Kaz; the Grisha Nina, with the magical ability to calm and heal; Matthias the zealot, hunter of Grishas and caught in a hopeless spiral of love and vengeance with Nina; Wylan, the privileged boy with an engineer's skills; and Jesper, a sharpshooter who keeps flirting with Wylan. Bardugo broadens the universe she created in the Grisha Trilogy, sending her protagonists around countries that resemble post-Renaissance northern Europe, where technology develops in concert with the magic that's both coveted and despised. It’s a highly successful venture, leaving enough open questions to cause readers to eagerly await Volume 2.

Cracking page-turner with a multiethnic band of misfits with differing sexual orientations who satisfyingly, believably jell into a family . (Fantasy. 14 & up)

Pub Date: Sept. 29, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-62779-212-7

Page Count: 480

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: June 29, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2015

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