A heroine who places herself in the back seat during a revolution makes for an unsatisfying end to the series. (Steampunk....

The conclusion to the Ashes of Twilight trilogy misses the potential of its promised revolution, focusing on pining over punches.

Shadow of Glass (2013) left Wren imprisoned at the hands of her father, the Master General Enforcer of the dome. Now she waits in isolation for a chance to escape. An unexpected ally reveals the fate of her paramours, Pace and Levi, and soon enough, they’re reunited. However, Wren’s father quickly foils their getaway plan, and Wren and her friends are cast outside the dome, enslaved to a band of rovers. All but doomed in violent new territory, Wren must decide which boy she truly loves before it’s too late to tell him. The ensuing battles rip apart their old world as Wren finally confronts her father and greets the dawn of a new era. Tayler paints elaborate, engrossing settings and never shies from a well-orchestrated, bloody battle scene. However, Wren disappoints as a heroine. Though constantly told she inspires all around her, she lets her love interests lead in both the great battle for the dome and its aftermath. By the time Wren finally chooses a beau, readers will wish she’d chosen to focus on herself. Her flat, present-tense narration is meted out in short sentences, a choppy delivery that grates.

A heroine who places herself in the back seat during a revolution makes for an unsatisfying end to the series. (Steampunk. 14-16)

Pub Date: March 18, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-312-64177-1

Page Count: 320

Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin

Review Posted Online: Jan. 28, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2014


Equal parts entertaining and thought-provoking.

Sixteen-year-old Mandy considers herself the anti-Starfire: Unlike her scantily clad superhero mother, she doesn’t have superpowers, can’t fly, and doesn’t even own a bathing suit.

Mandy dyes her hair and dresses in all black to further call out how different they are. Mandy’s best friend, Lincoln, whose parents were born in Vietnam, insightfully summarizes this rift as being down to an intergenerational divide that occurs whether parents and children come from different countries or different planets. Mandy tries to figure out what kind of future she wants for herself as she struggles with teenage insecurities and bullying, her relationship with her mom, and her budding friendship (or is it something more?) with her new class project partner, Claire. Yoshitani’s vibrant and colorful stylized illustrations beautifully meld the various iterations of Starfire and the Titans with the live-action versions of those characters. Together with Tamaki’s punchy writing, this coming-of-age story of identity, family, friendship, and saving the world is skillfully brought to life in a quick but nuanced read. These layers are most strongly displayed as the story draws parallels between cultural differences between the generations as evidenced in how the characters address bullying, body positivity, fatphobia, fetishization and sexualization, and feminism. This title addresses many important concepts briefly, but well, with great pacing, bold art, and concise and snappy dialogue. The cast is broadly diverse in both primary and secondary characters.

Equal parts entertaining and thought-provoking. (Graphic fantasy. 14-16)

Pub Date: July 27, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-77950-126-4

Page Count: 184

Publisher: DC

Review Posted Online: Aug. 10, 2021


There’s a built-in audience for the London sisters’ adventures, but beneath all the glitter is a bunch of blah.

Hardworking sisters face glamorous romantic and professional challenges in Los Angeles.

Approachable fashionista-next-door video bloggers Sophia and Ava London have built an impressive reputation as savvy guides to fashion, accessories and personal grooming and are thrilled to be moving up in their shared career. An award naming the tightknit sisters Best Webstars of the Year leads to a licensing deal for their own makeup line—London Calling—with LuxeLife Cosmetics, and now the hottest men in Los Angeles are falling at their feet. Ava begins dating paparazzi-bait–turned–doting boyfriend Liam Carlson (but she continues to enjoy flirtatious banter with Dalton, a fellow volunteer at the local animal shelter). Meanwhile, Sophia, “boytoxing” after being blindsided by a terrible breakup, finds herself torn between wealthy smoothie Hunter Ralston and gorgeous Italian bartender-sculptor Giovanni. The Fowlers—who, like their protagonists, are beauty-and-fashion video bloggers—let their otherwise-effervescent modern fairy tale of sisterly love and self-actualization get bogged down in a dreary subplot of sibling separation anxiety and jealousy, basing it on the flimsiest of serial miscommunications and resolving it in a single paragraph. A last-chapter twist threatens the sisters’ reputation (and sets up a potential sequel), making the novel simply stop, rather than resolve.

There’s a built-in audience for the London sisters’ adventures, but beneath all the glitter is a bunch of blah. (Chick lit. 14-16)

Pub Date: Sept. 4, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-250-00618-9

Page Count: 288

Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin

Review Posted Online: Aug. 7, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2012

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