The pairing of a formulaic start and formula-breaking ending makes the book ideal for paranormal-romance readers seeking a...

WICKED HUNGER

From the Someone Wicked This Way Comes series , Vol. 1

Teenage siblings with a dark secret find their lives complicated by the arrival of a mysterious girl.

Zander and Van are tougher and heal faster than ordinary teenagers. However, the price is a terrible, mysterious hunger—a bloodlust that becomes intensified by specific individuals. Younger Van does her best to suppress it so she can have friends and a normal life; Zander instead keeps everyone at arm’s length and warns Van that once her 16th birthday hits and her powers reach full strength, she should do so as well. Ivy, a new girl—cousin to one of Van’s friends—puts everything at risk. Both Zander and Van hunger to hurt her, but Zander falls for her in a push-pull love story reminiscent of Twilight, right down to Zander’s sneaking into Ivy’s room to watch her sleep. Van, however—when she’s not busy with a love triangle of her own, with a mysterious boy she’s just met and her trusty best friend, Ketchup—is suspicious that certain things don’t add up with Ivy. The narrative occasionally withholds too much for too long, moving from the dangling of intriguing tidbits into artificial and frustrating narrative territory. The conclusion, made strong by unraveling secrets and formula-shattering twists, sets up a sequel.

The pairing of a formulaic start and formula-breaking ending makes the book ideal for paranormal-romance readers seeking a new spin on the familiar. (Paranormal romance. 13-17)

Pub Date: April 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-940534-39-8

Page Count: 358

Publisher: Clean Teen

Review Posted Online: Feb. 26, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2014

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Bloody? Yes. Scary? No.

THERE'S SOMEONE INSIDE YOUR HOUSE

Someone is murdering high school students. Most freeze in fear, but a brave few try to stop the killings.

Senior Makani Young has been living in corn-obsessed Nebraska for just a little over a year. She has developed a crush and made some friends, but a dark secret keeps her from truly opening up to those around her. As the only half–African-American and half–Native Hawaiian student in her school, she already stands out, but as the killing spree continues, the press descends, and rumors fly, Makani is increasingly nervous that her past will be exposed. However, the charming and incredibly shy Ollie, a white boy with hot-pink hair, a lip ring, and wanderlust, provides an excellent distraction from the horror and fear. Graphic violence and bloody mayhem saturate this high-speed slasher story. And while Makani’s secret and the killer’s hidden identity might keep the pages turning, this is less a psychological thriller and more a study in gore. The intimacy and precision of the killer’s machinations hint at some grand psychological reveal, but lacking even basic jump-scares, this tale is high in yuck and low in fright. The tendency of the characters toward preachy inner monologues feels false.

Bloody? Yes. Scary? No. (Horror. 14-16)

Pub Date: Sept. 26, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-525-42601-1

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Dutton

Review Posted Online: July 17, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2017

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A satisfying if slightly lesser sequel. (Romance. 13-17)

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  • Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature Winner

P.S. I STILL LOVE YOU

From the To All the Boys I've Loved Before series , Vol. 2

Lara Jean's romantic entanglements complicate themselves further.

In the wake of the events detailed in To All the Boys I Loved Before (2014), Lara Jean confesses her love for handsome golden boy Peter. This frees the pair to start a romantic relationship with a clean slate, but over the course of the novel it becomes clear that embarking on a relationship that turns an aggressive blind eye to baggage is never a good idea. When a viral video of a steamy love session between Peter and Lara Jean rears its ugly head and a boy from the past enters Lara Jean's life once more, Lara Jean's life gets complicated. Every character from Han’s adored previous novel is back, with new dimensions given to nearly every one of them. Subplots abound, among them two involving Lara Jean's father and Peter's ex-gal Genevieve, but benefitting most from this second look is John Ambrose McClaren, a boy briefly referenced in the former book who is thrust into the spotlight here as Peter's rival for Lara Jean's heart. With all these characters bouncing around, Han occasionally struggles to keep a steady hand on the novel's primary thrust: Lara Jean’s emotional development. Han gets the job done in the end, but this overeventful sequel pales to the original where structure is concerned. The author's greatest success remains her character work, and the book does indeed give everyone a solid arc, narrative be damned.

A satisfying if slightly lesser sequel. (Romance. 13-17)

Pub Date: May 26, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-4424-2673-3

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: July 4, 2015

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