BEAUTIFUL BROKEN GIRLS

After two sisters commit suicide, the boy next door traces the notes one left behind for him.

Ben Lattanzi, a white teen toiling in small-town Massachusetts, receives a letter from Mira Cillo seven days after she and her sister, Francesca, died. They were found at the bottom of the quarry lake, tangled together. Compounding the tragedy, their cousin Connie Villela had passed away only months before. In her letter, Mira tells Ben that everyone wanted to touch her and Francesca and that by going to the seven locations he touched her, he’ll discover the truth. Ben, known as sensitive due to a public childhood trauma, becomes enamored with the notion of reconnecting with Mira, whom he briefly dated but long adored. Soon he realizes the story Mira wants to tell isn’t about her—it’s about her sister and the months leading to their fatal fall. Mira, Francesca, and Connie, all white, were bonded by shared blood and would do anything for each other. Through a haze of longing, Ben finds out just what that means as he pieces together Mira’s last messages. Told through both Ben’s and the girls’ perspectives, the mystery unfolds with aching precision—both Ben’s grief and the sisters’ pain can be acutely traced as they grow. Even though the truth can be seen before it’s revealed, the girls’ secrets pack a gut punch that lingers.

Haunting and mesmerizing. (Fiction. 14-adult)

Pub Date: Feb. 21, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-374-30059-3

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: Nov. 23, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2016

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A treat for mystery readers who enjoy being kept in suspense.

Reader Votes

  • Readers Vote
  • 26

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • New York Times Bestseller

A GOOD GIRL'S GUIDE TO MURDER

From the Good Girl's Guide to Murder series , Vol. 1

Everyone believes that Salil Singh killed his girlfriend, Andrea Bell, five years ago—except Pippa Fitz-Amobi.

Pip has known and liked Sal since childhood; he’d supported her when she was being bullied in middle school. For her senior capstone project, Pip researches the disappearance of former Fairview High student Andie, last seen on April 18, 2014, by her younger sister, Becca. The original investigation concluded with most of the evidence pointing to Sal, who was found dead in the woods, apparently by suicide. Andie’s body was never recovered, and Sal was assumed by most to be guilty of abduction and murder. Unable to ignore the gaps in the case, Pip sets out to prove Sal’s innocence, beginning with interviewing his younger brother, Ravi. With his help, Pip digs deeper, unveiling unsavory facts about Andie and the real reason Sal’s friends couldn’t provide him with an alibi. But someone is watching, and Pip may be in more danger than she realizes. Pip’s sleuthing is both impressive and accessible. Online articles about the case and interview transcripts are provided throughout, and Pip’s capstone logs offer insights into her thought processes as new evidence and suspects arise. Jackson’s debut is well-executed and surprises readers with a connective web of interesting characters and motives. Pip and Andie are white, and Sal is of Indian descent.

A treat for mystery readers who enjoy being kept in suspense. (Mystery. 14-18)

Pub Date: Feb. 4, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9848-9636-0

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2019

Did you like this book?

Part coming-of-age story and part exposé of Duterte’s problematic policies, this powerful and courageous story offers...

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • Kirkus Reviews'
    Best Books Of 2019

  • National Book Award Finalist

PATRON SAINTS OF NOTHING

Seventeen-year-old Jay Reguero searches for the truth about his cousin’s death amid President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs while on an epic trip back to his native Philippines.

Shocked out of his senioritis slumber when his beloved cousin Jun is killed by the police in the Philippines for presumably using drugs, Jay makes a radical move to spend his spring break in the Philippines to find out the whole story. Once pen pals, Jay hasn’t corresponded with Jun in years and is wracked by guilt at ghosting his cousin. A mixed heritage (his mother is white) Filipino immigrant who grew up in suburban Michigan, Jay’s connection to current-day Philippines has dulled from assimilation. His internal tensions around culture, identity, and languages—as “a spoiled American”—are realistic. Told through a mix of first-person narration, Jun’s letters to Jay, and believable dialogue among a strong, full cast of characters, the result is a deeply emotional story about family ties, addiction, and the complexity of truth. The tender relationship between Jay and Jun is especially notable—as is the underlying commentary about the challenges and nuances between young men and their uncles, fathers, male friends, and male cousins.

Part coming-of-age story and part exposé of Duterte’s problematic policies, this powerful and courageous story offers readers a refreshingly emotional depiction of a young man of color with an earnest desire for the truth. (author’s note, recommended reading) (Fiction. 14-18)

Pub Date: June 18, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-525-55491-2

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Kokila

Review Posted Online: March 27, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more