Teens will find it easy to relate to this drama that touches on the supernatural but is grounded in sisterly love and common...

THE SISTERHOOD

Sixteen-year-old Lil has been sad and anxious since her sister, Mella, inexplicably went missing over four months earlier.

Although sometimes resentful of her sister’s colorful character and unpredictable behavior, Lil misses her terribly. Events take a strange turn when Lil rescues a young teen, apparently the victim of a mysterious accident, who is eventually able to provide clues as to Mella’s whereabouts. Set against the backdrop of the wet and wild Welsh countryside, the story is punctuated with chapters about gatherings of the Sisterhood of the Light led by the charismatic but evil Moon whose mission it is to bring down-and-out girls in from the Dark and induct them into the sinister Light-worshipping Sisterhood. With the help of her loyal boyfriend, Kiran, and her policewoman aunt, Sabrina, Lil continues to search for Mella, haunted by imaginary conversations with her, survivor’s guilt, and flashbacks to the good and bad times they had together. Lil’s reflections on Mella and her anxiety and insecurity are relevant to modern teen issues, and Lil experiences the flood and fire of a traumatic separation. The relationship between the sisters is well-drawn. Most major characters are assumed white, and Kiran is biracial, with a white Welsh mother and British-Indian father.

Teens will find it easy to relate to this drama that touches on the supernatural but is grounded in sisterly love and common sense. (Thriller. 14-17)

Pub Date: Feb. 12, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4814-2906-1

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Nov. 12, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2018

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Bloody? Yes. Scary? No.

THERE'S SOMEONE INSIDE YOUR HOUSE

Someone is murdering high school students. Most freeze in fear, but a brave few try to stop the killings.

Senior Makani Young has been living in corn-obsessed Nebraska for just a little over a year. She has developed a crush and made some friends, but a dark secret keeps her from truly opening up to those around her. As the only half–African-American and half–Native Hawaiian student in her school, she already stands out, but as the killing spree continues, the press descends, and rumors fly, Makani is increasingly nervous that her past will be exposed. However, the charming and incredibly shy Ollie, a white boy with hot-pink hair, a lip ring, and wanderlust, provides an excellent distraction from the horror and fear. Graphic violence and bloody mayhem saturate this high-speed slasher story. And while Makani’s secret and the killer’s hidden identity might keep the pages turning, this is less a psychological thriller and more a study in gore. The intimacy and precision of the killer’s machinations hint at some grand psychological reveal, but lacking even basic jump-scares, this tale is high in yuck and low in fright. The tendency of the characters toward preachy inner monologues feels false.

Bloody? Yes. Scary? No. (Horror. 14-16)

Pub Date: Sept. 26, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-525-42601-1

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Dutton

Review Posted Online: July 17, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2017

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An emotionally engaging closer that fumbles in its final moments.

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ALWAYS AND FOREVER, LARA JEAN

From the To All the Boys I've Loved Before series , Vol. 3

Lara Jean prepares for college and a wedding.

Korean-American Lara Jean is finally settled into a nice, complication-free relationship with her white boyfriend, Peter. But things don’t stay simple for long. When college acceptance letters roll in, Peter and Lara Jean discover they’re heading in different directions. As the two discuss the long-distance thing, Lara Jean’s widower father is making a major commitment: marrying the neighbor lady he’s been dating. The whirlwind of a wedding, college visits, prom, and the last few months of senior year provides an excellent backdrop for this final book about Lara Jean. The characters ping from event to event with emotions always at the forefront. Han further develops her cast, pushing them to new maturity and leaving few stones unturned. There’s only one problem here, and it’s what’s always held this series back from true greatness: Peter. Despite Han’s best efforts to flesh out Peter with abandonment issues and a crummy dad, he remains little more than a handsome jock. Frankly, Lara Jean and Peter may have cute teen chemistry, but Han's nuanced characterizations have often helped to subvert typical teen love-story tropes. This knowing subversion is frustratingly absent from the novel's denouement.

An emotionally engaging closer that fumbles in its final moments. (Romance. 14-17)

Pub Date: May 2, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4814-3048-7

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: March 29, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2017

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