Title aside, a good place for young fans of Lois Duncan and Christopher Pike.

GIRL IN A BAD PLACE

Best friends Mailee and Cara’s bond is tested when Cara becomes enthralled with a charismatic cult leader the summer before their senior year.

Disorganized Mailee has always depended on Cara’s focus to make their future dreams of working in show business come true. So she’s stunned when Cara decides to turn her life over to Firehorse, the alluring leader of the Haven, a small commune in the wilderness near their Montana home. Cara’s been in mourning since her younger sister, Harper, died in a car accident and is initially attracted to Haven after a chance meeting with Avalon, a little girl who lives there. But Mailee is troubled by the commune’s lack of basic resources and the small concrete prison she discovers on its outskirts. When Cara invites Mailee to a Haven “harvest celebration” that will culminate in her initiation into the commune, Mailee tries to free her friend—an attempt that nearly ends in tragedy. Though the plot is predictable and the climax preposterous, Mailee’s extensive research into the veracity of Firehorse’s anti-government rants is a well-timed nod to current “fake news” controversies. Mailee and Cara are white, Mailee’s boyfriend, Gavin, is an enrolled member of the Blackfeet tribe, and secondary character Brigit is black.

Title aside, a good place for young fans of Lois Duncan and Christopher Pike. (Fiction. 12-15)

Pub Date: Oct. 31, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-338-10105-8

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Point/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Aug. 27, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 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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TRASH

In an unnamed country (a thinly veiled Philippines), three teenage boys pick trash for a meager living. A bag of cash in the trash might be—well, not their ticket out of poverty but at least a minor windfall. With 1,100 pesos, maybe they can eat chicken occasionally, instead of just rice. Gardo and Raphael are determined not to give any of it to the police who've been sniffing around, so they enlist their friend Rat. In alternating and tightly paced points of view, supplemented by occasional other voices, the boys relate the intrigue in which they're quickly enmeshed. A murdered houseboy, an orphaned girl, a treasure map, a secret code, corrupt politicians and 10,000,000 missing dollars: It all adds up to a cracker of a thriller. Sadly, the setting relies on Third World poverty tourism for its flavor, as if this otherwise enjoyable caper were being told by Olivia, the story's British charity worker who muses with vacuous sentimentality on the children that "break your heart" and "change your life." Nevertheless, a zippy and classic briefcase-full-of-money thrill ride. (Thriller. 12-14)

Pub Date: Oct. 12, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-385-75214-5

Page Count: 240

Publisher: David Fickling/Random

Review Posted Online: Aug. 31, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2010

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