A predictable teenage murder mystery—with exceptional teenage characters.


A teenage girl’s death leaves her best friend with bittersweet memories and dangerous questions.

2014 is a terrible year for Marly, who has just discovered the body of her best friend, Rae, in a ramshackle cabin in the woods (“If not for her grayish-blue complexion and Goth-purple lips, Rae could’ve been sleeping”). Three years earlier, when they were in their early teens, they had found that cabin and dubbed it their “sanctuary,” a place to escape their troubled home lives. They swore a blood oath to be best friends and keep the cabin for them alone, but boys and adolescent insecurities slowly drove them apart. Constantine alternates between the two timelines throughout the novel. In the past, Marly and Rae’s deep friendship falters thanks to Rae’s partying, some snarky friends, and, most importantly, a hot jock named Duffy. Marly can hardly believe Duffy’s interest in her, even as a real relationship develops, because she feels a competition brewing with her lively, beautiful bestie. Meanwhile, in the present storyline, the teenage drama becomes deadly serious as it becomes clear that Rae’s death was not a suicide. With each new revelation about Rae’s secrets, Marly realizes that everyone’s a suspect. The mystery at the core of Constantine’s YA novel will hold few surprises for fans of the genre, who will probably guess the guilty party early on. What does surprise, however, is the fascinating codependency between the two girls. Rae and Marly wound each other deeply and repeatedly with barbed comebacks and secrets before reconciling, always dancing around their mutual infatuation. The novel treads through the usual suspects of shocking teenage crises: pregnancy, self-harm, love triangles, and treacherous adults. But Rae and Marly’s tender, twisted love for each other gives the story real drama.

A predictable teenage murder mystery—with exceptional teenage characters.

Pub Date: July 7, 2020

ISBN: 979-8-66-414076-7

Page Count: 260

Publisher: Self

Review Posted Online: Oct. 14, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2020

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A suspenseful tale filled with Ojibwe knowledge, hockey, and the politics of status.

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • New York Times Bestseller

  • IndieBound Bestseller


Testing the strength of family bonds is never easy—and lies make it even harder.

Daunis is trying to balance her two communities: The Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, teen is constantly adapting, whether she is with her Anishinaabe father’s side of the family, the Firekeepers, or the Fontaines, her White mother’s wealthy relatives. She has grand plans for her future, as she wants to become a doctor, but has decided to defer her plans to go away for college because her maternal grandmother is recovering from a stroke. Daunis spends her free time playing hockey with her Firekeeper half brother, Levi, but tragedy strikes, and she discovers someone is selling a dangerous new form of meth—and the bodies are piling up. While trying to figure out who is behind this, Daunis pulls away from her family, covering up where she has been and what she has been doing. While dealing with tough topics like rape, drugs, racism, and death, this book balances the darkness with Ojibwe cultural texture and well-crafted characters. Daunis is a three-dimensional, realistically imperfect girl trying her best to handle everything happening around her. The first-person narration reveals her internal monologue, allowing readers to learn what’s going on in her head as she encounters anti-Indian bias and deals with grief.

A suspenseful tale filled with Ojibwe knowledge, hockey, and the politics of status. (Thriller. 14-18)

Pub Date: March 16, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-250-76656-4

Page Count: 496

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: Dec. 10, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2021

Did you like this book?

How can such a hefty tome be un-put-down-able excitement from beginning to end? (glossary) (Fantasy. 14 & up)


From the Six of Crows series , Vol. 2

This hefty sequel to Six of Crows (2015) brings high-tension conclusions to the many intertwined intrigues of Ketterdam.

It's time for revenge—has been ever since old-before-his-time crook Kaz and his friends were double-crossed by the merchant princes of Ketterdam, an early-industrial Amsterdam-like fantasy city filled to the brim with crime and corruption. Disabled, infuriated, and perpetually scheming Kaz, the light-skinned teen mastermind, coordinates the efforts to rescue Inej. Though Kaz is loath to admit weakness, Inej is his, for he can't bear any harm come to the knife-wielding, brown-skinned Suli acrobat. Their team is rounded out by Wylan, a light-skinned chemist and musician whose merchant father tried to have him murdered and who can't read due to a print disability; Wylan's brown-skinned biracial boyfriend, Jesper, a flirtatious gambler with ADHD; Nina, the pale brunette Grisha witch and recovering addict from Russia-like Ravka; Matthias, Nina's national enemy and great love, a big, white, blond drüskelle warrior from the cold northern lands; and Kuwei, the rescued Shu boy everyone wants to kidnap. Can these kids rescue everyone who needs rescuing in Ketterdam's vile political swamp? This is dark and violent—one notable scene features a parade of teens armed with revolvers, rifles, pistols, explosives, and flash bombs—but gut-wrenchingly genuine. Astonishingly, Bardugo keeps all these balls in the air over the 500-plus pages of narrative.

How can such a hefty tome be un-put-down-able excitement from beginning to end? (glossary) (Fantasy. 14 & up)

Pub Date: Sept. 27, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-62779-213-4

Page Count: 560

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: Aug. 2, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2016

Did you like this book?