A suspenseful and seriously fun thriller.

THE LIGHTHOUSE

Parker offers an eerie supernatural mystery featuring a young woman struggling with grief, finding love, and encountering paranormal phenomena.

There’s something supernatural in the town of Seabrook, and 18-year-old Amy is soon to discover it. She’d desperate for sleep and solace after the death of her mother, but she accompanies her father on a visit to the oceanside town of Seabrook; he’s a detective for the state police who’s investigating a mysterious disappearance in the community. After a rash mistake with some medication nearly costs Amy her life, she finds her circumstances intertwined with those of handsome Ryan, who’s dealing with the loss of his own mother and baby sister. He’s also supporting his father in the aftermath of a stroke, undertaking the financial and emotional burden of running the family’s ranch. He and Amy form an immediate bond, finding love in the shadow of the town’s mysterious lighthouse. But the closer they become, the more intense the supernatural experiences that surround them, including lapses in time and seemingly impossible coincidences. Then Amy receives a startling message from her late mother, and soon, she finds herself unraveling a mystery about Ryan’s identity. This smart, suspenseful, and briskly paced work will keep readers guessing. Avid fans of supernatural mysteries may predict a few of the twists, but the cleverly crafted plot is sure to deliver some surprises nonetheless. Parker doesn’t solely focus on the mystery, however; he also offers plenty of heart, including messages about the enduring power of family and how love can conquer one’s fear of the unknown. There are plenty of spooky chills along the way, but Parker’s work is never gory or excessively violent, making it appropriate for teen audiences. The result is a haunting but hopeful work of supernatural fiction that comes to a satisfying conclusion.

A suspenseful and seriously fun thriller.

Pub Date: Oct. 26, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-9951495-0-2

Page Count: 368

Publisher: Beacon Press Limited

Review Posted Online: Sept. 16, 2021

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A love letter to fans who will forgive (and even revel in) its excesses and indulgences.

MIDNIGHT SUN

From the Twilight series , Vol. 5

A long-awaited Twilight (2005) companion novel told from vampire Edward’s point of view.

Edward Cullen, a 104-year-old vampire (and eternal 17-year-old), finds his world turned upside down when new girl Bella Swan’s addictive scent drives a primal hunger, launching the classic story of vampire-meets-girl, vampire-wants-to-eat-girl, vampire-falls-in-love-with-girl. Edward’s broody inner monologue allows readers to follow every beat of his falling in love. The glacial pace and already familiar plot points mean that instead of surprise twists, characterization reigns. Meyer doesn’t shy away from making Edward far less sympathetic than Bella’s view of him (and his mind reading confirms that Bella’s view of him isn’t universal). Bella benefits from being seen without the curtain of self-deprecation from the original book, as Edward analyzes her every action for clues to her personality. The deeper, richer characterization of the leads comes at the expense of the secondary cast, who (with a few exceptions) alternate primarily along gender lines, between dimwitted buffoons and jealous mean girls. Once the vampiric threat from James’ storyline kicks off, vampire maneuvering and strategizing show off the interplay of the Cullens’ powers in a fresh way. After the action of the climax starts in earnest, though, it leans more into summary and monologue to get to the well-known ending. Aside from the Quileutes and the occasional background character, the cast defaults to White.

A love letter to fans who will forgive (and even revel in) its excesses and indulgences. (Paranormal romance. 12-adult)

Pub Date: Aug. 4, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-316-70704-6

Page Count: 672

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Aug. 8, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2020

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An eerie thriller reminiscent of summer horror movies that will keep readers on edge.

THE LAKE

Two teens with a dark secret return to their old summer camp.

Childhood friends Esme and Kayla can’t wait to return to Camp Pine Lake as counselors-in-training, ready to try everything they couldn’t do when they were younger: find cute boys, stay up late, and sneak out after hours. Even Andy, their straight-laced supervisor, can’t dampen their excitement, especially after they meet the crushworthy Olly and Jake. An intuitive 17-year-old, Esme is ready to jump in and teach her cute little campers. But when a threatening message appears, Esme and Kayla realize the secret they’ve kept hidden for nearly a decade is no longer safe. Paranoia and fear soon cause Esme and Kayla to revisit their ominous secret and realize that nobody in the camp can be trusted. The slow buildup of suspense and the use of classic horror elements contrast with lighthearted camp activities, bonding with new friends, and budding romance. Similarly, Esme’s first-person point of view allows for increased tension and action as well as offering insight into her emotional and mental well-being. Discussions of adulthood, trauma, and recovery are subtle and realistic, but acts of sexism and machismo aren’t fully analyzed. While the strong buildup of action comes late, it leads to a shockingly satisfying finale. Major characters are White.

An eerie thriller reminiscent of summer horror movies that will keep readers on edge. (Thriller. 12-16)

Pub Date: March 2, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-593-12497-0

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: Dec. 10, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2021

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