A post-apocalyptic teen novel that’s far from just another post-apocalyptic teen novel. (Post-apocalyptic adventure. 13...

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THE YOUNG WORLD

A twisted Neverland where you don’t get older, you just die. 

As if traffic and congestion weren’t enough to cope with in Manhattan, the rapid-fire, incurable Sickness has begun eliminating New Yorkers. Strangely, the only unaffected residents are teenagers. Stranger still, once the surviving teens reach their 18th birthdays, fever, coughs, delirium and death swiftly follow. A short life means there’s no reason for civilized order, so New York devolves into Mad Max–like chaos. Union Square and Washington Square are no longer overpriced zip codes, they’re pocket territories for tribes of gun-toting teens as likely to trade a pig for people as they are to resort to cannibalism. When the brainiac of one of these tribes theorizes that he can cure the Sickness, a cluster of five dives headfirst into the task of either saving civilization or prematurely ending their already doomed lives. Inclusion of New York landmarks lends an authenticity that makes the chaos frighteningly plausible. Through the dual narration of Jefferson, the focal tribe leader, and Donna, his crush, veteran screenwriter and director Weitz presents a veritable dichotomy of literary and commercial; Jefferson’s chapters are intellectually elevated, while Donna often sounds like an elongated Facebook post. The action perseveres, the sex, blood and violence dominate, and race and class clashes continue headlong into the sequel. 

A post-apocalyptic teen novel that’s far from just another post-apocalyptic teen novel. (Post-apocalyptic adventure. 13 & up)

Pub Date: July 29, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-316-22629-5

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: April 9, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2014

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Busy, busy, busy…with portents of doom.

CHAIN OF GOLD

From the Last Hours series , Vol. 1

Clare’s (Ghosts of the Shadow Market, 2019, etc.) latest is set in the Shadowhunter world in the 20th century’s first decade (with frequent flashbacks to the previous one).

Teenage offspring of the Herondales, Carstairs, Fairchilds, and other angel-descended Nephilim continue their families’ demon-fighting ways amid a round of elegant London balls, soirees, salons, picnics, and romantic intrigues. James Herondale, 17-year-old son of Will and Tessa, finds himself and his “perfectly lethal dimple” hung up between two stunning new arrivals: Cordelia Carstairs, red-haired Persian/British wielder of a fabled magic sword, and Grace Blackthorn, an emotionally damaged but (literally, as the author unsubtly telegraphs) spellbinding friend from childhood. Meanwhile, a sudden outbreak of demonic attacks that leave more and more Shadowhunters felled by a mysterious slow poison plunges James and a cohort of allies into frantic searches for both a cause and an antidote. Ichor-splashed encounters with ravening boojums and even one of hell’s own princes ensue—all leading to final hints of a devastating scheme to destroy the Nephilim in which James himself is slated to play a central role. Characters have a range of skin tones, but ethnic diversity adds no texture to the portrayals; there is a lesbian cousin who wears traditionally male clothing and two young gay men (one tortured, the other less so).

Busy, busy, busy…with portents of doom. (Fantasy. 14-18)

Pub Date: March 3, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4814-3187-3

Page Count: 624

Publisher: McElderry

Review Posted Online: Jan. 23, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2020

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A lackluster take on a well-worn trope.

THE TWIN

After a family tragedy, 16-year-old Ivy Mason hopes to reconnect with her aloof identical twin sister, Iris—but Iris has other plans.

When Ivy’s parents divorced 10 years ago, Ivy stayed with her father while Iris went to live with their mother. When their mother dies after falling off a bridge while jogging, Iris comes to live with Ivy and their father. Narrator Ivy is reeling (she even goes to therapy), but Iris seems strangely detached, only coming to life when Ivy introduces her to her best friends, Haley and Sophie, and her quarterback boyfriend, Ty. However, Ivy isn’t thrilled when Iris wants to change her class schedule to match hers, and it’s not long before Iris befriends Ivy’s besties and even makes plans with them that don’t include Ivy. Iris even joins the swim team where Ivy is a star swimmer. As Iris’ strange behavior escalates, Ivy starts to suspect that their mother’s death might not have been an accident. Is Iris up to no good, or is Ivy just paranoid? In the end, readers may not care. There are few surprises to be found in a narrative populated by paper-thin characters stuck fast in a derivative plot. Even a jarring final twist can’t save this one. Most characters seem to be white, but there is some diversity in secondary characters.

A lackluster take on a well-worn trope. (Thriller. 13-18)

Pub Date: March 3, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-593-12496-3

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: Jan. 23, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2020

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