Ivy’s investigation is suspenseful, but the narrative also offers unexpected emotional and philosophical depths that emerge...

GARDENIA

With only a month to live, high school senior Ivy investigates her best friend’s murder.

Ivy secretly sees countdown clocks floating above people’s heads that reveal the time left before they die. Ivy believes “the numbers don’t lie,” making her predicted death, within months of her best friend Vanessa’s, inevitable. But Ivy can’t help but hope she will be able to somehow intervene and save Vanessa before her countdown ends. Instead, in a moment of self-pity and self-sabotage, Ivy kisses Vanessa’s boyfriend—and is caught by her own boyfriend, Myers. During the ensuing chaos, the girls separate, leaving a frantic Ivy searching for Vanessa, whose body is later found in the woods. After two months, the investigation has stalled while Ivy is nearly paralyzed by guilt, longing for Myers, and fear about her own death. But when she concludes solving the crime could be her salvation, her knowledge of her own time of death becomes an asset by encouraging bold investigative tactics. Plenty of red herrings lend plausibility to Ivy’s occasionally wild suspicions about community members. And when Ivy begins receiving death threats—made credible by her own ticking clock—readers will anticipate and dread the climax. Though Ivy’s small town is not at all-white one, her immediate circle seems to be.

Ivy’s investigation is suspenseful, but the narrative also offers unexpected emotional and philosophical depths that emerge from her musings about the nature of life, death, and personal legacy. (Thriller. 14-18)

Pub Date: Feb. 28, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-62681-841-5

Page Count: 260

Publisher: Diversion Books

Review Posted Online: Nov. 23, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2016

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How can such a hefty tome be un-put-down-able excitement from beginning to end? (glossary) (Fantasy. 14 & up)

CROOKED KINGDOM

From the Six of Crows series , Vol. 2

This hefty sequel to Six of Crows (2015) brings high-tension conclusions to the many intertwined intrigues of Ketterdam.

It's time for revenge—has been ever since old-before-his-time crook Kaz and his friends were double-crossed by the merchant princes of Ketterdam, an early-industrial Amsterdam-like fantasy city filled to the brim with crime and corruption. Disabled, infuriated, and perpetually scheming Kaz, the light-skinned teen mastermind, coordinates the efforts to rescue Inej. Though Kaz is loath to admit weakness, Inej is his, for he can't bear any harm come to the knife-wielding, brown-skinned Suli acrobat. Their team is rounded out by Wylan, a light-skinned chemist and musician whose merchant father tried to have him murdered and who can't read due to a print disability; Wylan's brown-skinned biracial boyfriend, Jesper, a flirtatious gambler with ADHD; Nina, the pale brunette Grisha witch and recovering addict from Russia-like Ravka; Matthias, Nina's national enemy and great love, a big, white, blond drüskelle warrior from the cold northern lands; and Kuwei, the rescued Shu boy everyone wants to kidnap. Can these kids rescue everyone who needs rescuing in Ketterdam's vile political swamp? This is dark and violent—one notable scene features a parade of teens armed with revolvers, rifles, pistols, explosives, and flash bombs—but gut-wrenchingly genuine. Astonishingly, Bardugo keeps all these balls in the air over the 500-plus pages of narrative.

How can such a hefty tome be un-put-down-able excitement from beginning to end? (glossary) (Fantasy. 14 & up)

Pub Date: Sept. 27, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-62779-213-4

Page Count: 560

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: Aug. 2, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2016

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A suspenseful tale filled with Ojibwe knowledge, hockey, and the politics of status.

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FIREKEEPER'S DAUGHTER

Testing the strength of family bonds is never easy—and lies make it even harder.

Daunis is trying to balance her two communities: The Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, teen is constantly adapting, whether she is with her Anishinaabe father’s side of the family, the Firekeepers, or the Fontaines, her White mother’s wealthy relatives. She has grand plans for her future, as she wants to become a doctor, but has decided to defer her plans to go away for college because her maternal grandmother is recovering from a stroke. Daunis spends her free time playing hockey with her Firekeeper half brother, Levi, but tragedy strikes, and she discovers someone is selling a dangerous new form of meth—and the bodies are piling up. While trying to figure out who is behind this, Daunis pulls away from her family, covering up where she has been and what she has been doing. While dealing with tough topics like rape, drugs, racism, and death, this book balances the darkness with Ojibwe cultural texture and well-crafted characters. Daunis is a three-dimensional, realistically imperfect girl trying her best to handle everything happening around her. The first-person narration reveals her internal monologue, allowing readers to learn what’s going on in her head as she encounters anti-Indian bias and deals with grief.

A suspenseful tale filled with Ojibwe knowledge, hockey, and the politics of status. (Thriller. 14-18)

Pub Date: March 16, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-250-76656-4

Page Count: 496

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: Dec. 10, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2021

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