From the Twixt series , Vol. 1

An uneven but eventually engaging story of first love, family drama and supernatural violence.

“Meet cute” is more like meet violent when Joy Malone gets dragged into supernatural politics and ends up saving the world in this teen paranormal series starter.

Her mom has abandoned the family, her brother is off at college, and she has quit the gymnastics team—all Joy has left is school and her best friend, Monica. When Joy goes to dance her angst away at a nightclub with Monica, she sees the inhuman Indelible Ink and his sister, Invisible Inq—and nobody else does. Her magical Sight makes her a danger to the Scribe siblings, but when Ink attempts to blind her, he accidentally marks her as his own. Taken for Ink’s lehman—a human lover or slave—Joy stumbles into a realm with unwritten rules and an odd courtship with Ink. Initially built on lies, their relationship blossoms, with Joy teaching Ink that there is more to life than duty and Ink showing Joy both magic and love. Their sensual (but not graphic) romance and otherworldly adventures transform Joy from a bland protagonist and a burden into a believable if bewildered heroine. Metcalf does not formally label Ink and his ilk as faeries, but her rich physical descriptions create a complex fey world that coexists uneasily with the industrialized human one.

An uneven but eventually engaging story of first love, family drama and supernatural violence. (Paranormal romance. 12 & up)

Pub Date: July 30, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-373-21073-2

Page Count: 382

Publisher: Harlequin Teen

Review Posted Online: May 21, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2013



From the Heartstopper series

Short and sweet.

When Charlie returns home from in-patient anorexia treatment in a psychiatric ward, he and his older sister, Tori, navigate a difficult Christmas with their family in this Heartstopper novella.

Tori thought her parents might learn to open up after Charlie started treatment, but they—especially Mum—still avoid discussing anything serious. Now that Charlie is home from the hospital, all Tori wants is to spend time with him, but the pressure of the holiday increases family tensions and threatens to drive Charlie away. Set during unexplored moments of Volume 4 of the Heartstopper graphic-novel series, this three-chapter novella zooms in on Christmas Day. Each chapter moves the story forward from a different perspective, shifting from Tori to Charlie to their 7-year-old brother, Oliver. Nick, Charlie’s boyfriend, makes an appearance as a source of comfort, but the conflict focuses on Charlie and his family. As Tori tries to support Charlie, she wrestles with guilt and loneliness. Meanwhile, Charlie and his mum, who both want a normal holiday, keep clashing. Although the story handles heavy themes of mental illness, Oseman balances the fraught emotions with tender moments and a hopeful but honest outlook on recovery that emphasizes the value of therapy. There will be greater emotional impact for those familiar with the original stories, but as a bonus entry, this novella has high appeal for devoted fans. Occasional illustrations add to the charm.

Short and sweet. (resources) (Fiction. 14-18)

Pub Date: Sept. 5, 2023

ISBN: 9781338885132

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: July 13, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2023


There’s not much plot here, but readers will relish the opportunity to climb inside Autumn’s head.

The finely drawn characters capture readers’ attention in this debut.

Autumn and Phineas, nicknamed Finny, were born a week apart; their mothers are still best friends. Growing up, Autumn and Finny were like peas in a pod despite their differences: Autumn is “quirky and odd,” while Finny is “sweet and shy and everyone like[s] him.” But in eighth grade, Autumn and Finny stop being friends due to an unexpected kiss. They drift apart and find new friends, but their friendship keeps asserting itself at parties, shared holiday gatherings and random encounters. In the summer after graduation, Autumn and Finny reconnect and are finally ready to be more than friends. But on August 8, everything changes, and Autumn has to rely on all her strength to move on. Autumn’s coming-of-age is sensitively chronicled, with a wide range of experiences and events shaping her character. Even secondary characters are well-rounded, with their own histories and motivations.

There’s not much plot here, but readers will relish the opportunity to climb inside Autumn’s head.   (Fiction. 14 & up)

Pub Date: April 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-4022-7782-5

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Review Posted Online: Feb. 12, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2013

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