Robot apocalypse done right—sequels can’t come fast enough.

REVOLUTION 19

From the Revolution 19 series , Vol. 1

In 2051, the robot soldiers stopped fighting; the next day they took over the world.

Fourteen years later, free humans are scattered through the wilderness in Freeposts, where they live off the land, communicate via pigeon and try to avoid bot raiding parties. In the Cities, humans live under strict robot control. Just as the adults are discussing whether to move the Freepost, 17-year-old Nick’s home is attacked and destroyed. He and his 13-year-old, tech-loving brother Kevin and adopted 15-year-old sister Cass escape and head for the shelter their family set up in the north, hoping to find their parents there. After waiting there for several days, the trio decides to head to the nearest City in hopes of rescuing their parents. The City is vastly different from the stories they’ve heard all their lives, and when they meet Lexi, they find her ideas of the wilderness are just as different from reality. Even with Lexi’s help, can they survive in the City long enough to save their parents? Debut novelist Rosenblum’s series kickoff (movie already in the planning stages) is an exciting, dystopian page turner. Conceived by the minds behind the Final Destination movies and the TV series Homeland and 24, this is sure to have legs.

Robot apocalypse done right—sequels can’t come fast enough. (Science fiction. 12 & up)

Pub Date: Jan. 8, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-06-212595-8

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Oct. 24, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2012

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Engrossing, contemplative, and as heart-wrenching as the title promises.

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THEY BOTH DIE AT THE END

What would you do with one day left to live?

In an alternate present, a company named Death-Cast calls Deckers—people who will die within the coming day—to inform them of their impending deaths, though not how they will happen. The End Day call comes for two teenagers living in New York City: Puerto Rican Mateo and bisexual Cuban-American foster kid Rufus. Rufus needs company after a violent act puts cops on his tail and lands his friends in jail; Mateo wants someone to push him past his comfort zone after a lifetime of playing it safe. The two meet through Last Friend, an app that connects lonely Deckers (one of many ways in which Death-Cast influences social media). Mateo and Rufus set out to seize the day together in their final hours, during which their deepening friendship blossoms into something more. Present-tense chapters, short and time-stamped, primarily feature the protagonists’ distinctive first-person narrations. Fleeting third-person chapters give windows into the lives of other characters they encounter, underscoring how even a tiny action can change the course of someone else’s life. It’s another standout from Silvera (History Is All You Left Me, 2017, etc.), who here grapples gracefully with heavy questions about death and the meaning of a life well-lived.

Engrossing, contemplative, and as heart-wrenching as the title promises. (Speculative fiction. 13-adult).

Pub Date: Sept. 5, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-06-245779-0

Page Count: 384

Publisher: HarperTeen

Review Posted Online: June 5, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2017

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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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