Fans of Paige’s Oz series hoping for a similar experience will not be disappointed.

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STEALING SNOW

In this series opener, a magical kingdom is cursed with perpetual winter, and its only hope for redemption is…a teenage mental patient.

Locked in Whittaker Psychiatric Institute since the age of 5, Snow Yardley’s lonely life is bearable only because of her friend and fellow inmate Bale, with whom she shares her first kiss. When Bale mysteriously vanishes from the asylum, Snow’s quest to save him leads her into Algid, a fairyland besieged by the father she never knew, the power-hungry King Lazar. According to an oracle’s prophecy, Snow’s return will either break her father’s wintry curse or provide him with enough power to subdue Algid forevermore. Leaving her dystopian Oz for this contemporary retelling of “The Snow Queen,” Paige (Yellow Brick War, 2016, etc.) gifts readers with a blonde, white heroine intent on saving herself and whose rebelliousness and hotheadedness feel all too real. The early chapters set in Whittaker are beautifully textured, but the transition into the magical realm is muddled, setting a tone for the worldbuilding that feels rushed. While the Snow-Bale romantic relationship is genuinely rendered, budding tension between Snow and Kai, an Algid engineer she encounters, seems perfunctory. The most intriguing aspect of Algid is that magic is controlled by emotion, enabling the author to address the fact that wielding power has real consequences.

Fans of Paige’s Oz series hoping for a similar experience will not be disappointed. (Fantasy. 14 & up)

Pub Date: Sept. 27, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-68119-076-1

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Review Posted Online: June 1, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2016

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This story is necessary. This story is important.

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THE HATE U GIVE

Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter is a black girl and an expert at navigating the two worlds she exists in: one at Garden Heights, her black neighborhood, and the other at Williamson Prep, her suburban, mostly white high school.

Walking the line between the two becomes immensely harder when Starr is present at the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend, Khalil, by a white police officer. Khalil was unarmed. Khalil’s death becomes national news, where he’s called a thug and possible drug dealer and gangbanger. His death becomes justified in the eyes of many, including one of Starr’s best friends at school. The police’s lackadaisical attitude sparks anger and then protests in the community, turning it into a war zone. Questions remain about what happened in the moments leading to Khalil’s death, and the only witness is Starr, who must now decide what to say or do, if anything. Thomas cuts to the heart of the matter for Starr and for so many like her, laying bare the systemic racism that undergirds her world, and she does so honestly and inescapably, balancing heartbreak and humor. With smooth but powerful prose delivered in Starr’s natural, emphatic voice, finely nuanced characters, and intricate and realistic relationship dynamics, this novel will have readers rooting for Starr and opening their hearts to her friends and family.

This story is necessary. This story is important. (Fiction. 14-adult)

Pub Date: Feb. 28, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-06-249853-3

Page Count: 464

Publisher: Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Dec. 6, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2016

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Grimly plainly worked hard, but, as the title indicates, the result serves his own artistic vision more than Mary Shelley’s.

GRIS GRIMLY'S FRANKENSTEIN

A slightly abridged graphic version of the classic that will drive off all but the artist’s most inveterate fans.

Admirers of the original should be warned away by veteran horror artist Bernie Wrightson’s introductory comments about Grimly’s “wonderfully sly stylization” and the “twinkle” in his artistic eye. Most general readers will founder on the ensuing floods of tiny faux handwritten script that fill the opening 10 pages of stage-setting correspondence (other lengthy letters throughout are presented in similarly hard-to-read typefaces). The few who reach Victor Frankenstein’s narrative will find it—lightly pruned and, in places, translated into sequences of largely wordless panels—in blocks of varied length interspersed amid sheaves of cramped illustrations with, overall, a sickly, greenish-yellow cast. The latter feature spidery, often skeletal figures that barrel over rough landscapes in rococo, steampunk-style vehicles when not assuming melodramatic poses. Though the rarely seen monster is a properly hard-to-resolve jumble of massive rage and lank hair, Dr. Frankenstein looks like a decayed Lyle Lovett with high cheekbones and an errant, outsized quiff. His doomed bride, Elizabeth, sports a white lock à la Elsa Lanchester, and decorative grotesqueries range from arrangements of bones and skull-faced flowers to bunnies and clownish caricatures.

Grimly plainly worked hard, but, as the title indicates, the result serves his own artistic vision more than Mary Shelley’s. (Graphic classic. 14 & up)

Pub Date: Aug. 27, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-06-186297-7

Page Count: 208

Publisher: Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: July 3, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2013

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