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ARE YOU EXPERIENCED?

This provocative, personal peek at legendary Woodstock rocks

When 15-year-old Rich Barber travels back in time from 2014 to the 1969 Woodstock festival, he encounters the ’60s, including his teenage father.

Rich loves playing the guitar and wishes he had been around in the ’60s, like his father and uncle who played in a rock band and attended Woodstock. After his older brother died from a heroin overdose, though, Rich’s father turned into a depressed, overprotective adult. Rich has spent his whole life limited by his father’s rules. When he discovers his father’s been hiding a guitar rock luminary Jimi Hendrix played at Woodstock, Rich defiantly strikes a chord and wakes up on the road to Woodstock with his father, his uncle and his uncle’s girlfriend. A stranger from the future who knows what’s going to happen, Rich conceals his identity and bonds with his father. Together, they witness Woodstock’s free love, rampant drug use and incredible music. When Rich learns his father had abusive parents, he’s determined to “meet Jimi Hendrix, save [his] uncle and change [his] father’s future.” Alternating his first-person narration between past and present, Rich proves a sensitive, insightful and humorous 21st-century guide to the hippie generation’s most iconic event.

This provocative, personal peek at legendary Woodstock rocks . (Fantasy. 12 & up)

Pub Date: Sept. 3, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-250-02564-7

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Feiwel & Friends

Review Posted Online: Aug. 2, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2013

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POWERLESS

From the Powerless Trilogy series , Vol. 1

A lackluster and sometimes disturbing mishmash of overused tropes.

The Plague has left a population divided between Elites and Ordinaries—those who have powers and those who don’t; now, an Ordinary teen fights for her life.

Paedyn Gray witnessed the king kill her father five years ago, and she’s been thieving and sleeping rough ever since, all while faking Psychic abilities. When she inadvertently saves the life of Prince Kai, she becomes embroiled in the Purging Trials, a competition to commemorate the sickness that killed most of the kingdom’s Ordinaries. Kai’s duties as the future Enforcer include eradicating any remaining Ordinaries, and these Trials are his chance to prove that he’s internalized his brutal training. But Kai can’t help but find Pae’s blue eyes, silver hair, and unabashed attitude enchanting. She likewise struggles to resist his stormy gray eyes, dark hair, and rakish behavior, even as they’re pitted against each other in the Trials and by the king himself. Scenes and concepts that are strongly reminiscent of the Hunger Games fall flat: They aren’t bolstered by the original’s heart or worldbuilding logic that would have justified a few extreme story elements. Illogical leaps and inconsistent characterizations abound, with lighthearted romantic interludes juxtaposed against genocide, child abuse, and sadism. These elements, which are not sufficiently addressed, combined with the use of ableist language, cannot be erased by any amount of romantic banter. Main characters are cued white; the supporting cast has some brown-skinned characters.

A lackluster and sometimes disturbing mishmash of overused tropes. (map) (Fantasy. 14-18)

Pub Date: Nov. 7, 2023

ISBN: 9798987380406

Page Count: 538

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Sept. 9, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2023

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CARAVAL

From the Caraval series , Vol. 1

Immersive and engaging, despite some flaws, and destined to capture imaginations.

Magic, mystery, and love intertwine and invite in this newest take on the “enchanted circus” trope.

Sisters raised by their abusive father, a governor of a colonial backwater in a world vaguely reminiscent of the late 18th century, Scarlett and Donatella each long for something more. Scarlett, olive-skinned, dark of hair and attitude, longs for Caraval, the fabled, magical circus helmed by the possibly evil Master Legend Santos, while blonde, sunny Tella finds comfort in drink and the embraces of various men. A slightly awkward start, with inconsistencies of attitude and setting, rapidly smooths out when they, along with handsome “golden-brown” sailor Julian, flee to Caraval on the eve of Scarlett’s arranged marriage. Tella disappears, and Scarlett must navigate a nighttime world of magic to find her. Caraval delights the senses: beautiful and scary, described in luscious prose, this is a show readers will wish they could enter. Dresses can be purchased for secrets or days of life; clocks can become doors; bridges move: this is an inventive and original circus, laced with an edge of horror. A double love story, one sensual romance and the other sisterly loyalty, anchors the plot, but the real star here is Caraval and its secrets.

Immersive and engaging, despite some flaws, and destined to capture imaginations. (Fantasy. 14 & up)

Pub Date: Jan. 31, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-250-09525-1

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Flatiron Books

Review Posted Online: Sept. 18, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2016

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