Stephen King’s Firestarter meets Walter Dean Myers’ Monster.
Seventeen-year-old African-American Angela Davis will be released from Brunesfield Correctional Facility in just three months. All she has to do is avoid fights, steer clear of the guards, do her chores…and act as a mentor to Brunesfield’s newest evil inmate: 10-year-old Jessica Ward. Angela has seen the little girl’s eyes turn completely black, and she’s felt the air stiffen and crackle with something ominous when Jessica’s angry. So when she’s told she must befriend the little white girl, Angela is horrified, especially when dead animals and bodies begin turning up. While trying to survive the terror at Brunesfield, Angela must also tend to emotional scars left behind by her absent father and cruel mother, and she constantly thinks about reuniting with her little brother, Charlie. Rollins reminds readers that, though they are incarcerated for crimes that range from petty to violent, the girls at Brunesfield have emotional depth despite their tough exteriors. And because many of the characters are minority women, which is both necessary and refreshing in the current teen horror/thriller market, the author also lends a voice to an underrepresented demographic. With its subtle yet timely commentary on police brutality, interracial dating, and LGBT rights, the novel addresses contemporary issues without didacticism.
A wildly fulfilling and frightening read. (Horror. 13 & up)