Funny, sexy, action-packed and tragic in all the right moments.

THE QUEEN OF ZOMBIE HEARTS

From the White Rabbit Chronicles series , Vol. 3

Hostilities between Anima Industries and the zombie slayers escalate into all-out war in this trilogy conclusion.

The teenage zombie slayers’ relative peace is shattered when Anima, the evil company doing zombie research, launches a series of attacks meant to eliminate them. When faced with a comrade’s severe injuries, Ali discovers via a desperate experiment that the magical zombie-killing fire heals slayers. Unfortunately, though, it can’t help dead slayers, so Ali and friends must find their fellow survivors before it’s too late. Publicly, Anima’s made it look like the attacks were a gang war between Cole’s group and another band of teenage zombie fighters—leading to a tense union of both crowds. While at times it is hard to keep track of the large cast, it’s always safe to assume that any given guy is an alpha male. Meanwhile, Ali and Cole incrementally progress in their physical intimacy (subject to comical interruptions). Between finding the missing slayers and the slow march to sex, the story becomes repetitive at times, but Showalter’s witty zingers will keep readers cackling. A mysterious woman heralds yet-undiscovered abilities for Ali, as well as devastating secrets from the past that endanger aspects of her personal life and reveal more of Anima’s history. The ending thoroughly concludes the series.

Funny, sexy, action-packed and tragic in all the right moments. (Horror/paranormal romance. 14 & up)

Pub Date: Sept. 30, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-373-21131-9

Page Count: 448

Publisher: Harlequin Teen

Review Posted Online: Aug. 27, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2014

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A powerful tale of found family and first love.

SOME MISTAKES WERE MADE

After a year away, Ellis returns home to confront her past.

Graduating from high school far from everything familiar was not part of Ellis Truman’s original plans, but she nevertheless ended up spending her senior year with her aunt in California. In Indiana, Ellis practically grew up with the Albrey family and their three tightknit sons, Dixon, Tucker, and Easton. Now, Tucker wants her to return home for matriarch Sandry Albrey’s 50th birthday celebration on the Fourth of July—but Ellis is dreading seeing Easton, as they haven’t talked since she left. Chapters alternate between past and present, and much of the story unravels slowly: How did she come to live with the Albreys? What caused Ellis to then end up in San Diego? What happened in her relationship with Easton? Patient readers will find the heartfelt tension pays off. With her father in and out of jail and an absent mother, socio-economic differences separating Ellis from the middle-class Albreys don’t go unnoticed, and Ellis’ down-to-earth journey shows how she unpacks her feelings about her relationship with her parents. The slow-build romance is swoonworthy, and young adult fans of Colleen Hoover seeking emotional devastation and unforgettable characters will find much to enjoy here. Characters read as White.

A powerful tale of found family and first love. (Fiction. 14-18)

Pub Date: May 10, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-06-308853-5

Page Count: 384

Publisher: HarperTeen

Review Posted Online: Jan. 11, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2022

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Many teen novels touch on similar themes, but few do it so memorably.

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  • New York Times Bestseller

ALL THE BRIGHT PLACES

Two struggling teens develop an unlikely relationship in a moving exploration of grief, suicide and young love.

Violet, a writer and member of the popular crowd, has withdrawn from her friends and from school activities since her sister died in a car accident nine months earlier. Finch, known to his classmates as "Theodore Freak," is famously impulsive and eccentric. Following their meeting in the school bell tower, Finch makes it his mission to re-engage Violet with the world, partially through a school project that sends them to offbeat Indiana landmarks and partially through simple persistence. (Violet and Finch live, fortunately for all involved, in the sort of romantic universe where his throwing rocks at her window in the middle of the night comes off more charming than stalker-esque.) The teens alternate narration chapter by chapter, each in a unique and well-realized voice. Finch's self-destructive streak and suicidal impulses are never far from the surface, and the chapters he narrates are interspersed with facts about suicide methods and quotations from Virginia Woolf and poet Cesare Pavese. When the story inevitably turns tragic, a cast of carefully drawn side characters brings to life both the pain of loss and the possibility of moving forward, though some notes of hope are more believable than others.

Many teen novels touch on similar themes, but few do it so memorably. (Fiction. 14 & up)

Pub Date: Jan. 6, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-385-75588-7

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: Oct. 1, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2014

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