Simply put, a darn good read.

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LIAR'S MOON

A solid fantasy sequel embroils its irresistible heroine in mystery, intrigue and romance (StarCrossed, 2010).

Erstwhile lady's maid, forger and spy Digger is back in the besieged city of Gerse—picking pockets, avoiding the fanatic Greenmen and looking for any opportunity to aid Prince Wierolf and his rebel allies. But when her friend Lord Durrel is imprisoned for poisoning his wife, Digger devotes her skills to proving his innocence. The titular moon belongs to the god of wine, deception and thieves, all of which play significant roles in a convoluted narrative involving murder, magic, smuggling, sex, blackmail, bribery, religion and revolution, with a fair sprinkling of humor and romance. There's an awful lot of plot going on, but it never spirals out of control; Digger always manages to be where events are unfolding, make friends with the right people and uncover the crucial clues. She remains a marvelous creation, with a wry observant voice and a veneer of heartbreaking bravado; indeed, her personality is so vibrant that (lacking an equally strong antagonist) every other character tends to disappear in her shadow. While it's not a standalone, sufficient information is provided to start with this entry, and the main plot lines wrap up in a satisfying fashion—but an unexpected twist in the final paragraphs will leave Digger's many fans impatient for her next adventure.

Simply put, a darn good read. (Fantasy. 14 & up)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-545-13608-2

Page Count: 368

Publisher: Levine/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Sept. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2011

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Powerful, captivating, and raw—Adeyemi is a talent to watch. Exceptional

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CHILDREN OF BLOOD AND BONE

From the Legacy of Orisha series , Vol. 1

Seventeen-year-old Zélie and companions journey to a mythic island seeking a chance to bring back magic to the land of Orïsha, in a fantasy world infused with the textures of West Africa.

Dark-skinned Zélie is a divîner—someone with latent magical abilities indicated by the distinctive white hair that sets them apart from their countrymen. She saves Princess Amari, who is on the run from her father, King Saran, after stealing the scroll that can transform divîners into magic-wielding maji, and the two flee along with Zélie’s brother. The scroll vanished 11 years ago during the king’s maji genocide, and Prince Inan, Amari’s brother, is sent in hot pursuit. When the trio learns that the impending solstice offers the only chance of restoring magic through a connection to Nana Baruku, the maternal creator deity, they race against time—and Inan—to obtain the final artifact needed for their ritual. Over the course of the book allegiances shift and characters grow, change, and confront traumas culminating in a cliffhanger ending that will leave readers anxiously awaiting the next installment. Well-drawn characters, an intense plot, and deft writing make this a strong story. That it is also a timely study on race, colorism, power, and injustice makes it great.

Powerful, captivating, and raw—Adeyemi is a talent to watch. Exceptional . (Fantasy. 14-adult)

Pub Date: March 6, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-250-17097-2

Page Count: 544

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: Feb. 5, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2018

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An emotionally engaging closer that fumbles in its final moments.

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ALWAYS AND FOREVER, LARA JEAN

From the To All the Boys I've Loved Before series , Vol. 3

Lara Jean prepares for college and a wedding.

Korean-American Lara Jean is finally settled into a nice, complication-free relationship with her white boyfriend, Peter. But things don’t stay simple for long. When college acceptance letters roll in, Peter and Lara Jean discover they’re heading in different directions. As the two discuss the long-distance thing, Lara Jean’s widower father is making a major commitment: marrying the neighbor lady he’s been dating. The whirlwind of a wedding, college visits, prom, and the last few months of senior year provides an excellent backdrop for this final book about Lara Jean. The characters ping from event to event with emotions always at the forefront. Han further develops her cast, pushing them to new maturity and leaving few stones unturned. There’s only one problem here, and it’s what’s always held this series back from true greatness: Peter. Despite Han’s best efforts to flesh out Peter with abandonment issues and a crummy dad, he remains little more than a handsome jock. Frankly, Lara Jean and Peter may have cute teen chemistry, but Han's nuanced characterizations have often helped to subvert typical teen love-story tropes. This knowing subversion is frustratingly absent from the novel's denouement.

An emotionally engaging closer that fumbles in its final moments. (Romance. 14-17)

Pub Date: May 2, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4814-3048-7

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: March 29, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2017

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