From the American Royals series , Vol. 2

America’s new queen has a royal wedding to plan in the follow-up to 2019’s American Royals.

Imagine that George Washington was crowned America’s first king instead of president, and you’ve got the intriguing premise of McGee’s addictive series. In the wake of the sudden death of King George IV, his oldest daughter and heir to the throne, Beatrice, must put her grief aside and throw herself into her new responsibilities as queen. But first, she must get married. Even in a contemporary America, the very idea of a single woman taking the throne is controversial. She’s engaged to the perfectly nice son of the Duke of Boston, Theodore “Teddy” Eaton, but her heart lies with a commoner, and Beatrice is torn between love and duty. Meanwhile, her younger, hard-partying sister, Samantha, is consumed by her own romantic foibles, as is her best (and nonroyal) friend, Nina, who briefly dated Samantha’s twin brother, Jefferson. Then there’s relentless social climber Daphne, Jeff’s ex, who plans to win him back at any cost—along with the status that comes with him. McGee skillfully juggles each woman’s narrative, framing their struggles with plenty of pomp and circumstance and the challenges of living very public lives. Add in a dramatic finale that packs in all the feels, and you’ve got a royal winner. Most characters are white, but Nina is Latinx, and there is diversity in the supporting cast.

An immensely fun sequel. (Fiction. 14-19)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-984830-21-0

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: June 15, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2020

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This grittily provocative debut explores the horrors of self-harm and the healing power of artistic expression.


After surviving a suicide attempt, a fragile teen isn't sure she can endure without cutting herself.

Seventeen-year-old Charlie Davis, a white girl living on the margins, thinks she has little reason to live: her father drowned himself; her bereft and abusive mother kicked her out; her best friend, Ellis, is nearly brain dead after cutting too deeply; and she's gone through unspeakable experiences living on the street. After spending time in treatment with other young women like her—who cut, burn, poke, and otherwise hurt themselves—Charlie is released and takes a bus from the Twin Cities to Tucson to be closer to Mikey, a boy she "like-likes" but who had pined for Ellis instead. But things don't go as planned in the Arizona desert, because sweet Mikey just wants to be friends. Feeling rejected, Charlie, an artist, is drawn into a destructive new relationship with her sexy older co-worker, a "semifamous" local musician who's obviously a junkie alcoholic. Through intense, diarylike chapters chronicling Charlie's journey, the author captures the brutal and heartbreaking way "girls who write their pain on their bodies" scar and mar themselves, either succumbing or surviving. Like most issue books, this is not an easy read, but it's poignant and transcendent as Charlie breaks more and more before piecing herself back together.

This grittily provocative debut explores the horrors of self-harm and the healing power of artistic expression. (author’s note) (Fiction. 14 & up)

Pub Date: Aug. 30, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-101-93471-5

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: May 4, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2016

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Black is building a complex mythology; now is a great time to tune in.


From the Folk of the Air series , Vol. 1

Black is back with another dark tale of Faerie, this one set in Faerie and launching a new trilogy.

Jude—broken, rebuilt, fueled by anger and a sense of powerlessness—has never recovered from watching her adoptive Faerie father murder her parents. Human Jude (whose brown hair curls and whose skin color is never described) both hates and loves Madoc, whose murderous nature is true to his Faerie self and who in his way loves her. Brought up among the Gentry, Jude has never felt at ease, but after a decade, Faerie has become her home despite the constant peril. Black’s latest looks at nature and nurture and spins a tale of court intrigue, bloodshed, and a truly messed-up relationship that might be the saving of Jude and the titular prince, who, like Jude, has been shaped by the cruelties of others. Fierce and observant Jude is utterly unaware of the currents that swirl around her. She fights, plots, even murders enemies, but she must also navigate her relationship with her complex family (human, Faerie, and mixed). This is a heady blend of Faerie lore, high fantasy, and high school drama, dripping with description that brings the dangerous but tempting world of Faerie to life.

Black is building a complex mythology; now is a great time to tune in. (Fantasy. 14-adult)

Pub Date: Jan. 2, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-316-31027-7

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Sept. 26, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2017

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