All the flavor of a macaron, bound by a ganache of sweet, supernatural grit

READ REVIEW

MARIE ANTOINETTE, SERIAL KILLER

A family trinket leads an American student in Paris to an undercurrent of ancestral deceit and supernatural murder. 

Colette Iselin is about to leave on a nine-day school trip to Paris. She summers in New York City. And her best girlfriends are two very rich queen bees. A perfect life—except that Colette’s parents are divorced, and Colette is too terrified (and shallow) to tell her besties she shops secondhand. On the eve of her departure, she finds a family heirloom necklace. What initially seems just a pretty accessory proves to be a link to a secret society sworn to protect Marie Antoinette—and its heirs are being mysteriously decapitated. Even as Colette explores this grisly, dangerous puzzle, she plays an emotional tug of war, torn between wanting to be herself and wanting to fit in. From sweet and fickle Colette to a consummate mean girl to an unassuming heartthrob, archetypes of chick-lit abound, along with supernatural chills and well-researched accuracy. Though Alender’s heroine might be too shaky to stand on her own feet at times, the descriptions of Parisian streets, bistros, monuments and meals are sturdy. Colette is likable, but her temperament is as bumpy as the ancient, cobbled streets she explores; though sometimes frustrating, it makes her all the more genuine.

All the flavor of a macaron, bound by a ganache of sweet, supernatural grit . (Supernatural chick-lit. 13 & up)

Pub Date: Sept. 24, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-545-46809-1

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Point/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Aug. 14, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2013

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Heart-pounding.

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • New York Times Bestseller

  • IndieBound Bestseller

CEMETERY BOYS

A gay, transgender brujo with burgeoning powers seeks answers about his cousin’s death.

Sixteen-year-old Yadriel also wishes for acknowledgement from his community but unexpectedly finds himself entangled in the unresolved wishes of a strong-willed, good-looking spirit. He descends from a long line of brujx who have been granted magic power by Lady Death to heal the living and to guide spirits into the afterlife. Although he’s grown up surrounded by a close-knit community, Yadriel feels alone, excluded indefinitely from a sacred rite of passage because he is transgender. When he senses that his cousin Miguel has died suddenly but the family can’t locate him, Yadriel sees an opportunity to prove to everyone he’s a true brujo by solving the mystery and releasing his cousin’s lost spirit. His plan quickly falls apart, as he accidentally summons the spirit of Julian Diaz, a boy with unfinished business who died the same day as Miguel. Both the romance and mystery burn slow and hot until the climax. Stakes begin high, and the intensity only increases with a looming deadline and a constant risk that Julian might lose himself, turning maligno. The cast of characters represents a diversity of Latinx identities sharing a community in East Los Angeles. Julian is Colombian while Yadriel is Cuban and Mexican. Their romance provides joyful, ground-breaking representation for gay, transgender boys.

Heart-pounding. (Fantasy. 14-18)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-250-25046-9

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Swoon Reads/Macmillan

Review Posted Online: June 25, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2020

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A riveting tour de force.

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • Kirkus Reviews'
    Best Books Of 2018

  • New York Times Bestseller

SADIE

Sadie is seeking her sister’s killer; months later, podcast producer West McCray seeks to learn why Sadie abandoned her car and vanished.

When Mattie was born to Claire, a white, drug-addicted, single mother, Sadie, 6, became her de facto parent. Her baby sister’s love filled a hole in Sadie’s fiercely protective heart. Claire favored Mattie, who remained attached to her long after Claire disappeared from their grim, trailer-park home in rural Colorado. Sadie believes that Mattie’s determination to find Claire—which Sadie opposed—led to her brutal murder at age 13. Now 19, Sadie sets out to find and kill the man she holds responsible for her sister’s murder. Interwoven with Sadie’s first-person account is the transcript of McCray’s podcast series, The Girls, tracking his efforts to learn what’s happened to Sadie, prompted and partly guided by the sisters’ sympathetic neighbor. West’s off-the-record conversations are also included. Sadie is smart, observant, tough, and at times heartbreakingly vulnerable, her interactions mediated by a profound stutter. In the podcast, characters first seen through Sadie’s ruthless eyes further reveal (or conceal) their interactions and motives. Like Salla Simukka’s Lumikki Andersson, Sadie’s a powerful avatar: the justice-seeking loner incarnated as a teenage girl. Sadie exempts no one—including herself—from her unsparing judgment. Conveyed indirectly through its effect on victims, child sexual abuse permeates the novel as does poverty’s intergenerational legacy.

A riveting tour de force. (Thriller. 14-18)

Pub Date: Sept. 4, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-250-10571-4

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Wednesday Books

Review Posted Online: June 18, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2018

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more