Challenging and rewarding.

THIS REBEL HEART

A Jewish girl finds her power in an occupied city.

Csilla Tisza lives with her aunt Ilona in 1956 Hungary. Eleven years after the war, they’re all they have left; Csilla survived the Holocaust, unlike most of her Jewish family, but her parents were later executed for false charges under a brutal communist regime. When Csilla is followed by an agent of the Hungarian secret police, she’s certain she’s about to be arrested, but a strange young man who doesn’t seem quite normal intercepts and helps her. From here on, Csilla learns more about her family and her country as she becomes involved in the revolutionary struggle to free Hungary from the post-Stalin Soviet Union. History and magic intertwine in a beautifully rendered Budapest that is literally drained of color, where the Danube River becomes a supernatural protector and your childhood friend might be an angel of death. Through prose at times elegant and evocative and at other times mechanical and jarring, readers follow Csilla as she uses both practical and supernatural tactics to organize her comrades and fight for her country’s future. Some readers may need more background on European history to fully understand what is happening, and occasionally the political explanations become jumbled, but overall this is an engaging story, melding characters and themes that feel familiar against a backdrop that is underutilized in young adult literature.

Challenging and rewarding. (Historical fantasy. 13-18)

Pub Date: April 5, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-593-38124-3

Page Count: 448

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: Jan. 11, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2022

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

An immersive tale of brave, vulnerable teens facing threats both real and fantastic.

ALL OUR HIDDEN GIFTS

An Irish teen grapples with past misdeeds and newfound ties to magic.

When 16-year-old Maeve discovers a deck of tarot cards stashed with a mixtape of moody indie music from 1990, she starts giving readings for her classmates at her all-girls private school. Though her shame over dumping her strange friend Lily during an attempt to climb the social ladder at St. Bernadette’s is still palpable, it doesn’t stop her from trying to use the tarot in her favor to further this goal. However, after speaking harsh words to Lily during a reading, Maeve is horrified when her former friend later disappears. As she struggles to understand the forces at play within her, classmate Fiona proves to be just the friend Maeve needs. Detailed, interesting characters carry this contemporary story of competing energy and curses. Woven delicately throughout are chillingly eerie depictions of the Housekeeper, a figure who shows up on an extra card in the deck, echoing the White Lady legend from Irish folklore. Even more disturbing is an organization of young people led by a homophobic but charismatic figurehead intent on provoking backlash against Ireland’s recent civil rights victories. Most characters are White; Fiona is biracial, with a Filipina mother and White Irish father. Roe, Maeve’s love interest and Lily’s sibling, is a bisexual, genderqueer person who is a target for intolerance in their small city of Kilbeg.

An immersive tale of brave, vulnerable teens facing threats both real and fantastic. (Paranormal. 14-18)

Pub Date: June 8, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-5362-1394-2

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Walker US/Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Dec. 10, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2021

Did you like this book?

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

Reader Votes

  • Readers Vote
  • 14

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • New York Times Bestseller

THE CRUEL PRINCE

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

Did you like this book?

more