Whittled down to a stand-alone, this might have been a classic of so-bad-it’s-goodness. Instead, the series ends as it...

ASHES TO ASHES

From the Burn for Burn series , Vol. 3

Supernatural and real-life drama collide in a revenge fantasy run amok.

Once again, readers will find themselves on Jar Island, off the coast of Massachusetts, in the company of (mostly) moneyed youth with little more to do than foment drama among themselves. Once again, the not-so-well-laid plans of ritzy (but good-hearted!) Lillia Cho and rough-around-the-edges (but good-hearted!) Kat DeBrassio will go awry. Once again, readers will wonder, what is going on with Mary Zane? What’s going on is she’s dead, and she has been all along, her spirit trapped on Jar Island and bent on exacting vengeance against Reeve, whom she blames for her suicide years ago. Why did she wait so long for revenge? Why don’t Lillia and Kat try harder to find her or discuss the strange things they’re noticing, and how do they suddenly become expert spell-casters when it’s time to fight back? This trilogy has had readers pondering the differences between a read so bad it’s good and one that is merely lamentably bad. The former includes clichéd characters, predictable plotlines and clunky dialogue, but it also possesses a spirit of insouciance, a joie de vivre that propels readers breathlessly on. In short, it is a fun page-turner. The latter is a slog.

Whittled down to a stand-alone, this might have been a classic of so-bad-it’s-goodness. Instead, the series ends as it began: a tedious, overstuffed mess. (Paranormal suspense. 15-18)

Pub Date: Sept. 16, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4424-4081-4

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: July 29, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2014

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

An unflinching portrayal of the devastating effects of domestic violence.

WATCH OVER ME

After a horrific domestic violence incident, Zoey Ward and her family finally find their footing in Las Vegas only to have their lives overturned by a house fire.

Learning that her father has been recently released from prison, Zoey suspects he had something to do with the blaze. After their lives go up in flames, literally, Zoey along with her mom and her younger siblings, Kate and Cole, flee Las Vegas with the help of her older brother, Will, and his best friend, Tristan. They take refuge in California, where Tristan and his sister welcome them into a world where things seem hopeful and more stable than anything they have ever known. Yet the fear of being hunted down by her father consumes Zoey. The story is narrated from Zoey’s and Tristan’s first-person perspectives, and Gray (Run Away With Me, 2017, etc.) has masterfully captured the uncertainty and terror that come from domestic violence. Tristan and Zoey share a budding romance in which Zoey slowly but surely learns to love and be loved in a nondestructive, healthy way despite her fears and reservations. With everything she has been through, Zoey is the underdog readers will find themselves rooting for. Gray spares no detail in this intense tale. All characters are assumed to be white; Tristan is dyslexic, and there are several queer characters.

An unflinching portrayal of the devastating effects of domestic violence. (Fiction. 16-adult)

Pub Date: Dec. 3, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5344-4281-8

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Simon Pulse/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Sept. 10, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A sweet, slow-paced novel about a teen learning to love her body.

MY EYES ARE UP HERE

Greer Walsh wishes she were one person...unfortunately, with her large breasts, she feels like she’s actually three.

High school sophomore and math whiz Greer is self-conscious about her body. Maude and Mavis, as she’s named her large breasts, are causing problems for her. When Greer meets new kid Jackson Oates, she wishes even more that she had a body that she didn’t feel a need to hide underneath XXL T-shirts. While trying to impress Jackson, who has moved to the Chicago suburbs from Cleveland, Greer decides to try out for her school’s volleyball team. When she makes JV, Greer is forced to come to terms with how her body looks and feels in a uniform and in motion as well as with being physically close with her teammates. The story is told in the first person from Greer’s point of view. Inconsistent storytelling as well as Greer’s (somewhat distracting) personified inner butterfly make this realistic novel a slow but overall enjoyable read. The story contains elements of light romance as well as strong female friendships. Greer is white with a Christian mom and Jewish dad; Jackson seems to be white by default, and there is diversity among the secondary characters.

A sweet, slow-paced novel about a teen learning to love her body. (Fiction. 12-18)

Pub Date: June 23, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9848-1524-8

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Dutton

Review Posted Online: March 29, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2020

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more