A standout, atmospheric horror tale derailed by its abrupt ending.

SERVANTS OF THE STORM

A hurricane ushers in a flood of evil in Savannah, Georgia, and the only girl capable of seeing the truth fights to save the souls of her loved ones.

After losing her best friend, Carly, during Hurricane Josephine a year ago, Dovey lives in a haze of antipsychotic medication—until the day she spots Carly in their favorite coffee shop, very much alive. Spurred by the sighting, Dovey ditches her meds, and it isn’t long before she’s seeing things no one else can: people with black, dead eyes and an unearthly-looking girl with fox ears. She follows one such creature to a run-down bar where she meets Isaac, a handsome stranger who lights her way down the rabbit hole of horror pulsing through Savannah: Demons are real, and Carly’s soul has been made a servant of one. Racing through a landscape thick with growing evil, Dovey sets off to save both her best friend’s soul and Savannah itself. Dawson draws an immersive, eerie setting and expertly unravels Savannah’s many dark secrets. Each skin-crawling demonic encounter couples with Dovey’s fighting spirit to propel the gruesome tale into an engaging page-turner. However, the swift ending provides little closure and will leave readers scratching their heads, wanting more.

A standout, atmospheric horror tale derailed by its abrupt ending. (Horror. 14-18)

Pub Date: Aug. 5, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4424-8378-1

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Simon Pulse/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: June 10, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2014

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A treat for mystery readers who enjoy being kept in suspense.

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A GOOD GIRL'S GUIDE TO MURDER

From the Good Girl's Guide to Murder series , Vol. 1

Everyone believes that Salil Singh killed his girlfriend, Andrea Bell, five years ago—except Pippa Fitz-Amobi.

Pip has known and liked Sal since childhood; he’d supported her when she was being bullied in middle school. For her senior capstone project, Pip researches the disappearance of former Fairview High student Andie, last seen on April 18, 2014, by her younger sister, Becca. The original investigation concluded with most of the evidence pointing to Sal, who was found dead in the woods, apparently by suicide. Andie’s body was never recovered, and Sal was assumed by most to be guilty of abduction and murder. Unable to ignore the gaps in the case, Pip sets out to prove Sal’s innocence, beginning with interviewing his younger brother, Ravi. With his help, Pip digs deeper, unveiling unsavory facts about Andie and the real reason Sal’s friends couldn’t provide him with an alibi. But someone is watching, and Pip may be in more danger than she realizes. Pip’s sleuthing is both impressive and accessible. Online articles about the case and interview transcripts are provided throughout, and Pip’s capstone logs offer insights into her thought processes as new evidence and suspects arise. Jackson’s debut is well-executed and surprises readers with a connective web of interesting characters and motives. Pip and Andie are white, and Sal is of Indian descent.

A treat for mystery readers who enjoy being kept in suspense. (Mystery. 14-18)

Pub Date: Feb. 4, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9848-9636-0

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2019

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

IF HE HAD BEEN WITH ME

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. 13, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2013

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