Next book


Exciting and endearing.

A 16-year-old who predicts death teams up with a vampire to learn more about her powers.

When her skin touches another’s, Elise Beaumont visualizes and feels the manner of that person’s death. This began five months ago when she foresaw her brother’s imminent drowning. She desperately wants to be rid of this ability until vampire Claire Montgomery tells her that, as the Death Oracle, Elise can change people’s fates. Meanwhile, Claire hates being permanently 17 and a vampire. She agreed to complete one final case as a shepherd for the Veil, so now she’s responsible for teaching Elise and getting her to come work for them. Claire hopes that once she succeeds in this task, the leaders of the Veil will help her finally get the revenge she seeks against Rose, who made her what she is. The mission becomes complicated, though, with an unknown killer on the loose in town and Claire developing romantic feelings for Elise. The girls’ alternating first-person narratives aren’t terribly distinct, but they succeed in expressing their emotions realistically as they grieve, yearn, and grow. Heartfelt friendships with lovable side characters add lightness and charm. The pace is brisk throughout with plenty of thrilling action, even while the romance is a slow burn. Worldbuilding happens naturally, and the paranormal mythos is easy to understand. Elise and Claire are White and queer; side characters are diverse in terms of race, sexuality, and gender identity.

Exciting and endearing. (Paranormal. 13-18)

Pub Date: Dec. 7, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-593-35043-0

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Razorbill/Penguin

Review Posted Online: Sept. 28, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2021

Next book


A heavy read about the harsh realities of tragedy and their effects on those left behind.

In this companion novel to 2013’s If He Had Been With Me, three characters tell their sides of the story.

Finn’s narrative starts three days before his death. He explores the progress of his unrequited love for best friend Autumn up until the day he finally expresses his feelings. Finn’s story ends with his tragic death, which leaves his close friends devastated, unmoored, and uncertain how to go on. Jack’s section follows, offering a heartbreaking look at what it’s like to live with grief. Jack works to overcome the anger he feels toward Sylvie, the girlfriend Finn was breaking up with when he died, and Autumn, the girl he was preparing to build his life around (but whom Jack believed wasn’t good enough for Finn). But when Jack sees how Autumn’s grief matches his own, it changes their understanding of one another. Autumn’s chapters trace her life without Finn as readers follow her struggles with mental health and balancing love and loss. Those who have read the earlier book will better connect with and feel for these characters, particularly since they’ll have a more well-rounded impression of Finn. The pain and anger is well written, and the novel highlights the most troublesome aspects of young adulthood: overconfidence sprinkled with heavy insecurities, fear-fueled decisions, bad communication, and brash judgments. Characters are cued white.

A heavy read about the harsh realities of tragedy and their effects on those left behind. (author’s note, content warning) (Fiction. 14-18)

Pub Date: Feb. 6, 2024

ISBN: 9781728276229

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Review Posted Online: Jan. 5, 2024

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2024

Next book


There’s not much plot here, but readers will relish the opportunity to climb inside Autumn’s head.

The finely drawn characters capture readers’ attention in this debut.

Autumn and Phineas, nicknamed Finny, were born a week apart; their mothers are still best friends. Growing up, Autumn and Finny were like peas in a pod despite their differences: Autumn is “quirky and odd,” while Finny is “sweet and shy and everyone like[s] him.” But in eighth grade, Autumn and Finny stop being friends due to an unexpected kiss. They drift apart and find new friends, but their friendship keeps asserting itself at parties, shared holiday gatherings and random encounters. In the summer after graduation, Autumn and Finny reconnect and are finally ready to be more than friends. But on August 8, everything changes, and Autumn has to rely on all her strength to move on. Autumn’s coming-of-age is sensitively chronicled, with a wide range of experiences and events shaping her character. Even secondary characters are well-rounded, with their own histories and motivations.

There’s not much plot here, but readers will relish the opportunity to climb inside Autumn’s head.   (Fiction. 14 & up)

Pub Date: April 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-4022-7782-5

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Review Posted Online: Feb. 12, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2013

Close Quickview