Stunning doesn’t even begin to say it.

I HAVE LOST MY WAY

A trio of struggling teens meets by chance in Central Park and becomes everything to one another.

Freya, a rising half-Ethiopian, half-white and Jewish musical sensation, has lost her voice—the one thing that her handlers demand, that her sister resents, and that her fans will abandon her without. Harun, the dutiful closeted son of a traditional Pakistani-American family, has lost James—a black boy who is the love of his life and the secret part of himself he cannot bear to reveal. Nathaniel, a white boy bowed under the weight of responsibility, has lost his father—his only anchor to the rest of the world. As each one is preoccupied with the belief that they have no way forward, the teens’ lives suddenly collide when Freya topples off a Central Park bridge, landing on and concussing Nathaniel. Harun helps them both to an emergency clinic, and their lives are forever changed. Loss is unquestionably the theme here, but Forman deploys a complexity that is mirrored in the narrative structure and borders on the fractal as loss compounds loss. The intersections of love, family, and identity—and how loss impacts them all—lay the groundwork for the breathtaking empathy and friendship that takes root among these three seemingly dissimilar teens within hours of meeting each other.

Stunning doesn’t even begin to say it. (Fiction. 14-18)

Pub Date: March 27, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-425-29077-4

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: March 20, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2018

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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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Black is building a complex mythology; now is a great time to tune in.

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THE CRUEL PRINCE

From the Folk of the Air series , Vol. 1

Black is back with another dark tale of Faerie, this one set in Faerie and launching a new trilogy.

Jude—broken, rebuilt, fueled by anger and a sense of powerlessness—has never recovered from watching her adoptive Faerie father murder her parents. Human Jude (whose brown hair curls and whose skin color is never described) both hates and loves Madoc, whose murderous nature is true to his Faerie self and who in his way loves her. Brought up among the Gentry, Jude has never felt at ease, but after a decade, Faerie has become her home despite the constant peril. Black’s latest looks at nature and nurture and spins a tale of court intrigue, bloodshed, and a truly messed-up relationship that might be the saving of Jude and the titular prince, who, like Jude, has been shaped by the cruelties of others. Fierce and observant Jude is utterly unaware of the currents that swirl around her. She fights, plots, even murders enemies, but she must also navigate her relationship with her complex family (human, Faerie, and mixed). This is a heady blend of Faerie lore, high fantasy, and high school drama, dripping with description that brings the dangerous but tempting world of Faerie to life.

Black is building a complex mythology; now is a great time to tune in. (Fantasy. 14-adult)

Pub Date: Jan. 2, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-316-31027-7

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Sept. 26, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2017

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