Another successful blend of sarcasm, pathos and magick.

DARKNESS FALLS

From the Immortal Beloved series , Vol. 2

This follow-up to Immortal Beloved (2010) amps up the romance as ex-bad-girl immortal Nastasya continues her rehabilitation.

Nastasya's breezy, slangy and just a little bit vulnerable narration quickly brings new and returning readers up to speed. After 400 years as a superficial and destructive party girl, Nastasya has found her way to River's Edge, where immortals like her heal from their past misdeeds and traumas and learn to do Tähti magic, a more wholesome and less destructive kind than the Terävä Nastasya practiced with her friends. More trusting and committed to healing than before, Nastasya is still haunted by the fear that she is irreparably full of darkness. She is also haunted by Reyn, a fellow resident at River's Edge, whom she once kissed before realizing the nature of their shared past. Though readers will easily see through both Nastasya's fears and her insistence that she finds Reyn merely annoying, her pained internal monologue still invites compassion. Innocencio, Nastasya's cruel, capricious and manipulative former best friend, reappears in this volume, and his behavior toward Nastasya quite openly and chillingly mirrors real-world domestic violence. The action builds to a high-stakes climax, but there are plenty of loose ends to resolve and plenty of room for Nastasya to keep growing and learning in another volume.

Another successful blend of sarcasm, pathos and magick. (Paranormal romance. 12 & up)

Pub Date: Jan. 2, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-316-03593-4

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Sept. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2011

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Engrossing, contemplative, and as heart-wrenching as the title promises.

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THEY BOTH DIE AT THE END

What would you do with one day left to live?

In an alternate present, a company named Death-Cast calls Deckers—people who will die within the coming day—to inform them of their impending deaths, though not how they will happen. The End Day call comes for two teenagers living in New York City: Puerto Rican Mateo and bisexual Cuban-American foster kid Rufus. Rufus needs company after a violent act puts cops on his tail and lands his friends in jail; Mateo wants someone to push him past his comfort zone after a lifetime of playing it safe. The two meet through Last Friend, an app that connects lonely Deckers (one of many ways in which Death-Cast influences social media). Mateo and Rufus set out to seize the day together in their final hours, during which their deepening friendship blossoms into something more. Present-tense chapters, short and time-stamped, primarily feature the protagonists’ distinctive first-person narrations. Fleeting third-person chapters give windows into the lives of other characters they encounter, underscoring how even a tiny action can change the course of someone else’s life. It’s another standout from Silvera (History Is All You Left Me, 2017, etc.), who here grapples gracefully with heavy questions about death and the meaning of a life well-lived.

Engrossing, contemplative, and as heart-wrenching as the title promises. (Speculative fiction. 13-adult).

Pub Date: Sept. 5, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-06-245779-0

Page Count: 384

Publisher: HarperTeen

Review Posted Online: June 5, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2017

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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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