Plenty of sci-fi action, a sweet but struggling romance, and a cliffhanger ending will have readers clamoring for Volume 3.

RENEGADE

From the Mila 2.0 series , Vol. 2

Driza (Mila 2.0, 2013) delivers the second volume of a trilogy focused on a seemingly ordinary teen girl who is really an android on the run.

This installment opens with Mila taking refuge in the arms of adorable Hunter on the sunny shores of Virginia Beach. But with so many enemies in pursuit, she can’t afford to relax for long. Mila convinces unsuspecting Hunter to help her find her biological father, and the two set out on a hair-raising adventure that leads them from clue to clue until they finally find the man who can inform her of her rather creepy human origins. All the while, they struggle to stay in front of the organizations hunting her down. Overwhelmed by negative emotions, including the pain of betrayal and rejection as well as constant fear and justifiable rage, Mila initially jumps at the chance to get rid of her human emotions in an “upgrade,” but can she live with the results? Her narration is punctuated by feedback from her robotic components, always rendered in a recognizably space-age–y sans-serif typeface. Fans will enjoy learning the secrets of Mila’s past and root for her as she struggles to understand herself and to shape her future.

Plenty of sci-fi action, a sweet but struggling romance, and a cliffhanger ending will have readers clamoring for Volume 3. (Science fiction. 12 & up)

Pub Date: May 13, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-06-209039-3

Page Count: 448

Publisher: Katherine Tegen/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: March 31, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2014

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Engrossing, contemplative, and as heart-wrenching as the title promises.

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THEY BOTH DIE AT THE END

What would you do with one day left to live?

In an alternate present, a company named Death-Cast calls Deckers—people who will die within the coming day—to inform them of their impending deaths, though not how they will happen. The End Day call comes for two teenagers living in New York City: Puerto Rican Mateo and bisexual Cuban-American foster kid Rufus. Rufus needs company after a violent act puts cops on his tail and lands his friends in jail; Mateo wants someone to push him past his comfort zone after a lifetime of playing it safe. The two meet through Last Friend, an app that connects lonely Deckers (one of many ways in which Death-Cast influences social media). Mateo and Rufus set out to seize the day together in their final hours, during which their deepening friendship blossoms into something more. Present-tense chapters, short and time-stamped, primarily feature the protagonists’ distinctive first-person narrations. Fleeting third-person chapters give windows into the lives of other characters they encounter, underscoring how even a tiny action can change the course of someone else’s life. It’s another standout from Silvera (History Is All You Left Me, 2017, etc.), who here grapples gracefully with heavy questions about death and the meaning of a life well-lived.

Engrossing, contemplative, and as heart-wrenching as the title promises. (Speculative fiction. 13-adult).

Pub Date: Sept. 5, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-06-245779-0

Page Count: 384

Publisher: HarperTeen

Review Posted Online: June 5, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2017

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This grittily provocative debut explores the horrors of self-harm and the healing power of artistic expression.

GIRL IN PIECES

After surviving a suicide attempt, a fragile teen isn't sure she can endure without cutting herself.

Seventeen-year-old Charlie Davis, a white girl living on the margins, thinks she has little reason to live: her father drowned himself; her bereft and abusive mother kicked her out; her best friend, Ellis, is nearly brain dead after cutting too deeply; and she's gone through unspeakable experiences living on the street. After spending time in treatment with other young women like her—who cut, burn, poke, and otherwise hurt themselves—Charlie is released and takes a bus from the Twin Cities to Tucson to be closer to Mikey, a boy she "like-likes" but who had pined for Ellis instead. But things don't go as planned in the Arizona desert, because sweet Mikey just wants to be friends. Feeling rejected, Charlie, an artist, is drawn into a destructive new relationship with her sexy older co-worker, a "semifamous" local musician who's obviously a junkie alcoholic. Through intense, diarylike chapters chronicling Charlie's journey, the author captures the brutal and heartbreaking way "girls who write their pain on their bodies" scar and mar themselves, either succumbing or surviving. Like most issue books, this is not an easy read, but it's poignant and transcendent as Charlie breaks more and more before piecing herself back together.

This grittily provocative debut explores the horrors of self-harm and the healing power of artistic expression. (author’s note) (Fiction. 14 & up)

Pub Date: Aug. 30, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-101-93471-5

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: May 4, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2016

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