CAPRICIOUS

This verse novel follows a girl juggling two boyfriends and trying to cope with her rival at school.

Sixteen-year-old Ella loves two boys. She’s sleeping with Samir and cares for him, but she also loves David. She insists David is just her good friend but knows that underneath, it’s really a romance, and she may even prefer David to Samir. Meanwhile, she tries to avoid Genie, a girl at her high school who hates her because of her own crush on Samir. Things with Genie come to a head when circumstances force her to agree to participate in a bikini carwash. Samir strongly disapproves, but Ella shows up in a vintage 1950s two-piece bathing suit that allows her to attract more attention than anyone else while showing far less skin. To retaliate, Genie and her clique take Ella’s clothes, leaving her stranded in the bikini behind a gas station for hours into the night. Eventually Ella must come to terms with her relationships with both boys and with the girls. Prendergast’s unrhymed verse not only tells the tale, but varies form and line length, the clipped rhythms capturing Ella’s emotional turmoil. The story touches on different religions with nuance: Samir is a devout Muslim; David is a Jew; Ella and her family are Catholic; Ella’s sister is dating a Mormon.

Sensitive and compelling. (Verse fiction. 12-18)

Pub Date: April 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4598-0267-4

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Orca

Review Posted Online: Feb. 12, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2014

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Riveting, brutal and beautifully told.

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WE WERE LIARS

A devastating tale of greed and secrets springs from the summer that tore Cady’s life apart.

Cady Sinclair’s family uses its inherited wealth to ensure that each successive generation is blond, beautiful and powerful. Reunited each summer by the family patriarch on his private island, his three adult daughters and various grandchildren lead charmed, fairy-tale lives (an idea reinforced by the periodic inclusions of Cady’s reworkings of fairy tales to tell the Sinclair family story). But this is no sanitized, modern Disney fairy tale; this is Cinderella with her stepsisters’ slashed heels in bloody glass slippers. Cady’s fairy-tale retellings are dark, as is the personal tragedy that has led to her examination of the skeletons in the Sinclair castle’s closets; its rent turns out to be extracted in personal sacrifices. Brilliantly, Lockhart resists simply crucifying the Sinclairs, which might make the family’s foreshadowed tragedy predictable or even satisfying. Instead, she humanizes them (and their painful contradictions) by including nostalgic images that showcase the love shared among Cady, her two cousins closest in age, and Gat, the Heathcliff-esque figure she has always loved. Though increasingly disenchanted with the Sinclair legacy of self-absorption, the four believe family redemption is possible—if they have the courage to act. Their sincere hopes and foolish naïveté make the teens’ desperate, grand gesture all that much more tragic.

Riveting, brutal and beautifully told. (Fiction. 14 & up)

Pub Date: May 13, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-385-74126-2

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: March 17, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2014

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A lush and darkly twisted modern fairy tale.

HOUSE OF HOLLOW

Ten years ago, the three Hollow sisters disappeared from an Edinburgh street while on holiday. A month later, they came back.

When Iris, Vivi, and Grey returned, they couldn’t remember anything of their ordeal. Their dark hair turned white, and their blue eyes became black. They sported identical hook-shaped scars on their necks. Despite their altered appearances, their parents were elated to return home to London with them. However, their father soon began to believe that they were not really his daughters, a conviction that led to his suicide. Since then, the story of now 17-year-old Iris and her older sisters has been like catnip to online sleuths, and their ethereal beauty and uncanny ability to bend people to their wills and intoxicate them with dangerous desire add to their mystique. When Grey, now an internationally famous fashion designer and model, goes missing, Iris and Vivi, with help from Grey’s Korean British boyfriend, Tyler, set out to find her and the truth behind their disappearance. Their search takes on a new urgency when they find a decomposing body blooming with white flowers in Grey’s apartment and they are pursued by a murderous man wearing a horned bull’s skull mask. Iris’ smart and assured narration easily carries a fast-paced story entwining themes of grief and loss with elements of folklore and some very inventive body horror. The pervasive feeling of dread builds to a shocking twist.

A lush and darkly twisted modern fairy tale. (Horror. 13-18)

Pub Date: April 6, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-593-11034-8

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: Jan. 26, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2021

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