Surrisi's debut novel is a delightful cozy mystery, snugly mixing intrigue and humor, with an unpredictable and satisfying...

THE MAYPOP KIDNAPPING

From the Quinnie Boyd Mystery series , Vol. 1

When Ms. Stillford does not show up on the first day of school, 13-year-old Quinnie Boyd is convinced her beloved tutor has been kidnapped.

Quinnie, clever and endowed with a vivid imagination, is initially unable to convince her mother, the sheriff of the small coastal village of Maiden Rock, Maine (as well as its postmistress and real estate agent; it's that small a town), to mount a search. Missing her best friend, Zoe, who is in Scotland for the year, but aided by her maybe-crush, Ben, and by the new girl, skinny-jeans–clad Mariella from New York City, Quinnie mucks through the marsh, sneaks into houses, spies on visiting tattooed rockers, and jumps to conclusions—with the best intentions but often humorous results. Much of the book's humor derives from the quirky, colorful Maiden Rockers, particularly the two elderly nuns who drive too fast, can't figure out recycling, live in the convent with hordes of cats, and have a puzzling need for bat guano. Quinnie is a memorable protagonist with an engaging voice, confused about her feelings for Ben and her anger at the mother she loves even as she barrels full tilt and against her mother's instructions into her amateur sleuthing.

Surrisi's debut novel is a delightful cozy mystery, snugly mixing intrigue and humor, with an unpredictable and satisfying resolution. (Mystery. 10-14)

Pub Date: March 1, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4677-5789-8

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Carolrhoda

Review Posted Online: Dec. 8, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2015

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Light on gore and corpses; otherwise a full-bore, uncomplicated shriekfest.

VACANCY

Does anyone who volunteers to spend a night in a derelict haunted hotel on a dare deserve what they get?

“The hotel is hungry. And we aren’t leaving here until it’s fed.” In what reads like a determined effort to check off every trope of the genre, Alexander sends new arrival Jasmine, along with two friends and several dozen other classmates, to the long-abandoned Carlisle Hotel for the annual seventh grade Dare—touching off a night of terror presided over by the leering, autocratic Grand Dame and complete with sudden gusts and blackouts, spectral visions, evil reflections in mirrors, skeletons, a giant spider, gravity reversals, tides of oily black sludge sucking screaming middle schoolers down the drain, and so much more. (No gore, though, aside from a few perfunctory drops of blood from one small scratch.) The author saves a twist for the end, and as inducement to read alone or aloud in the dark by flashlight, both his language and the typography crank up the melodrama: “He walks toward us, past the mirror, and I see it— / a pale white face in the reflection, / a gaunt, skeletal grimace, / with sharpened teeth / and hollow black eyes, staring at him / with its mouth / wide / open / in a scream….” Jasmine presents White; her closest friends are Rohan, whose name cues him as South Asian, and Mira, who has dark skin.

Light on gore and corpses; otherwise a full-bore, uncomplicated shriekfest. (Horror. 10-13)

Pub Date: Nov. 2, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-338-70215-6

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Sept. 15, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2021

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A thrilling conclusion to a beautifully crafted, heart-stopping trilogy.

THRIVE

From the Overthrow series , Vol. 3

This is the moment teens Seth, Anaya, and Petra have both been anticipating and dreading ever since aliens called cryptogens began attempting to colonize the Earth: the chance to defend their planet.

In an earlier volume, Seth, Anaya, and Petra began growing physical characteristics that made them realize they were half alien. Seth has wings, Petra has a tail, and Anaya has fur. They also have the power of telepathy, which Anaya uses to converse with Terra, a cryptogen rebel looking for human allies who could help stop the invasion of Earth. Terra plans to use a virus stored in the three teens’ bodies to disarm the flyers, which are the winged aliens that are both masterminding the invasion and enslaving the other species of cryptogens known as swimmers and runners. But Terra and her allies can’t pull any of this off without the help of Anaya, Seth, and Petra. Although the trio is anxious about their abilities, they don’t have much of a choice—the entire human race is depending on them for salvation. Like its predecessors, this trilogy closer is fast-paced and well structured. Despite its post-apocalyptic setting, the story is fundamentally character driven, and it is incredibly satisfying to watch each protagonist overcome their inner battles within the context of the larger human-alien war. Main characters read as White.

A thrilling conclusion to a beautifully crafted, heart-stopping trilogy. (Science fiction. 11-14)

Pub Date: May 4, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-984894-80-9

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: Feb. 9, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2021

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