May cause some laughs.

READ REVIEW

CHEESUS WAS HERE

When Jesus appears…in your cheese.

Brown-skinned, dark-haired high schooler Delaney Delgado’s inherited her Mexican father’s looks and his affection for Polaroid photography. He’s lived in Montana ever since her little sister died of cancer, and Del, her footballer brother, Emmet, and their white mom live in near poverty in the tiny town of Clemency, Texas. When a social media joke—Del snaps a pic of a cheese wheel that bears a slight resemblance to the son of God—is taken for a genuine miracle, a religious frenzy overtakes the town. Other miracles begin to appear, and Del and Gabe—the hot, white son of the local preacher and her crush—hit the streets to find out who’s causing all the ruckus. To call the plot ridiculous would be an understatement, but Davis’ ability to turn a quick-witted sentence keeps this novel afloat. Even though Del’s knack for humor may make her seem wiser than her actual age may imply, her implicit ability to cut through BS will have readers chuckling. Her one-liners say it all: “Anna skates through life with a C average and a pair of D cups filling out her varsity sweater.” That said, the story itself flimsily stretches on for longer than necessary, along with the budding romance between Del and Gabe, and the results feel oddly formulaic despite the clearly distinctive perspectives portrayed.

May cause some laughs. (Fiction. 12-15)

Pub Date: April 4, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-5107-1929-3

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Sky Pony Press

Review Posted Online: Feb. 20, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2017

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This is no didactic near-future warning of present evils, but a cinematic adventure featuring endearing, compelling heroes

LEGEND

From the Legend series , Vol. 1

A gripping thriller in dystopic future Los Angeles.

Fifteen-year-olds June and Day live completely different lives in the glorious Republic. June is rich and brilliant, the only candidate ever to get a perfect score in the Trials, and is destined for a glowing career in the military. She looks forward to the day when she can join up and fight the Republic’s treacherous enemies east of the Dakotas. Day, on the other hand, is an anonymous street rat, a slum child who failed his own Trial. He's also the Republic's most wanted criminal, prone to stealing from the rich and giving to the poor. When tragedies strike both their families, the two brilliant teens are thrown into direct opposition. In alternating first-person narratives, Day and June experience coming-of-age adventures in the midst of spying, theft and daredevil combat. Their voices are distinct and richly drawn, from Day’s self-deprecating affection for others to June's Holmesian attention to detail. All the flavor of a post-apocalyptic setting—plagues, class warfare, maniacal soldiers—escalates to greater complexity while leaving space for further worldbuilding in the sequel.

This is no didactic near-future warning of present evils, but a cinematic adventure featuring endearing, compelling heroes . (Science fiction. 12-14)

Pub Date: Nov. 29, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-399-25675-2

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: April 8, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2011

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Not much forward momentum but a tasty array of chills, thrills, and chortles.

A MAP OF DAYS

From the Peculiar Children series , Vol. 4

The victory of Jacob and his fellow peculiars over the previous episode’s wights and hollowgasts turns out to be only one move in a larger game as Riggs (Tales of the Peculiar, 2016, etc.) shifts the scene to America.

Reading largely as a setup for a new (if not exactly original) story arc, the tale commences just after Jacob’s timely rescue from his decidedly hostile parents. Following aimless visits back to newly liberated Devil’s Acre and perfunctory normalling lessons for his magically talented friends, Jacob eventually sets out on a road trip to find and recruit Noor, a powerful but imperiled young peculiar of Asian Indian ancestry. Along the way he encounters a semilawless patchwork of peculiar gangs, syndicates, and isolated small communities—many at loggerheads, some in the midst of negotiating a tentative alliance with the Ymbryne Council, but all threatened by the shadowy Organization. The by-now-tangled skein of rivalries, romantic troubles, and family issues continues to ravel amid bursts of savage violence and low comedy (“I had never seen an invisible person throw up before,” Jacob writes, “and it was something I won’t soon forget”). A fresh set of found snapshots serves, as before, to add an eldritch atmosphere to each set of incidents. The cast defaults to white but includes several people of color with active roles.

Not much forward momentum but a tasty array of chills, thrills, and chortles. (Horror/Fantasy. 12-14)

Pub Date: Oct. 2, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-7352-3214-3

Page Count: 496

Publisher: Dutton

Review Posted Online: Sept. 2, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2018

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