A lush, captivating new twist on beloved fairy tales.

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ECHO NORTH

To save her father, a 16-year-old girl makes a difficult bargain with a wolf.

Echo Alkaev lives a quiet life with her beloved father and older brother, working in the family bookstore. When Echo was 7, she found a white wolf caught in a trap. Inexplicably drawn to help it break free, Echo, attacked by the wolf, was left with scars across her face which villagers say are the devil’s mark. After her father travels to the city to sell precious manuscripts and doesn’t return, Echo is distraught and fights with her new stepmother, who continually belittles her. Echo flees, finding both her missing father and the white wolf in the woods. The wolf offers a bargain: He’ll save her hypothermic father’s life if she’ll live with him for a year. She accepts. Though initially frightened, Echo tends the wolf’s magical house, outfitted with fantastical rooms. She forms a bond with the wolf, who tells her he’ll die when her year is over—and she decides she’ll do anything to prevent that. Drawing on classic tales, Echo’s story is epic and engrossing. Magic pulsates through every page; every landscape in this alternate Siberia lives and breathes. Echo is fierce, and her love for the wolf is hard-earned and true. Readers will ache when it’s over and want to start all over again. All human characters are white.

A lush, captivating new twist on beloved fairy tales. (author’s note) (Fantasy. 14-adult)

Pub Date: Jan. 15, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-62414-715-9

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Page Street

Review Posted Online: Oct. 15, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2018

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This story is necessary. This story is important.

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THE HATE U GIVE

Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter is a black girl and an expert at navigating the two worlds she exists in: one at Garden Heights, her black neighborhood, and the other at Williamson Prep, her suburban, mostly white high school.

Walking the line between the two becomes immensely harder when Starr is present at the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend, Khalil, by a white police officer. Khalil was unarmed. Khalil’s death becomes national news, where he’s called a thug and possible drug dealer and gangbanger. His death becomes justified in the eyes of many, including one of Starr’s best friends at school. The police’s lackadaisical attitude sparks anger and then protests in the community, turning it into a war zone. Questions remain about what happened in the moments leading to Khalil’s death, and the only witness is Starr, who must now decide what to say or do, if anything. Thomas cuts to the heart of the matter for Starr and for so many like her, laying bare the systemic racism that undergirds her world, and she does so honestly and inescapably, balancing heartbreak and humor. With smooth but powerful prose delivered in Starr’s natural, emphatic voice, finely nuanced characters, and intricate and realistic relationship dynamics, this novel will have readers rooting for Starr and opening their hearts to her friends and family.

This story is necessary. This story is important. (Fiction. 14-adult)

Pub Date: Feb. 28, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-06-249853-3

Page Count: 464

Publisher: Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Dec. 6, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2016

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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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