A riveting adventure that rewards returning readers.

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THE SCATTERING

From the Outliers series , Vol. 2

High schooler Wylie Lang sees things differently from most teenagers.

She is a member of a select group of girls known as Outliers, who have Heightened Emotional Perception. In series opener The Outliers (2016), Wylie first becomes aware of her unusual skill, which is being studied by her scientist father. Unfortunately for Wylie and her family, sinister forces have an interest in subverting these skills for their own ends, and Wylie is often on the run. In this sequel, when her friend Jasper mysteriously disappears, Wylie fears the worst. As she races to save him from possible suicide, she is captured and placed in a secure mental hospital, where for the first time she encounters other Outliers (who for the most part seem white as Wylie). Through the other girls’ skills, she learns how to “read” other people and to trust her instincts. Wylie’s strength of character is tested when, having escaped from the institution, she again finds herself a prisoner, this time in a grim youth detention facility. Tantalizing mysteries remain to be solved: the whereabouts of her father; the real status of her mother, presumed killed in a car crash; and the motive of her mother’s lawyer friend, Rachel. Wylie’s compelling first-person narration, tough conflicts with others, and her courage against formidable odds make this an un-put-downable thriller. A reading of the first novel is necessary to appreciate this title.

A riveting adventure that rewards returning readers. (Thriller. 12-16)

Pub Date: May 2, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-06-235912-4

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: March 6, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2017

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Skip this uninspired entry into the world of medieval love and court intrigue.

THE BETROTHED

From the Betrothed series , Vol. 1

In an imagined setting evoking medieval England, King Jameson of Coroa pursues Hollis Brite.

The independent teenager makes Jameson laugh, but she lacks the education and demeanor people expect in a queen. Her friend Delia Grace has more knowledge of history and languages but is shunned due to her illegitimate birth. Hollis gets caught up in a whirl of social activity, especially following an Isolten royal visit. There has been bad blood between the two countries, not fully explained here, and when an exiled Isolten family also comes to court, Jameson generously allows them to stay. Hollis relies on the family to teach her about Isolten customs and secretly falls in love with Silas, the oldest son, even though a relationship with him would mean relinquishing Jameson and the throne. When Hollis learns of political machinations that will affect her future in ways that she abhors, she faces a difficult decision. Romance readers will enjoy the usual descriptions of dresses, jewelry, young love, and discreet kisses, although many characters remain cardboard figures. While the violent climax may be upsetting, the book ends on a hopeful note. Themes related to immigration and young women’s taking charge of their lives don’t quite lift this awkwardly written volume above other royal romances. There are prejudicial references to Romani people, and whiteness is situated as the norm.

Skip this uninspired entry into the world of medieval love and court intrigue. (Historical romance. 13-16)

Pub Date: May 5, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-06-229163-9

Page Count: 320

Publisher: HarperTeen

Review Posted Online: Feb. 5, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2020

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This is no didactic near-future warning of present evils, but a cinematic adventure featuring endearing, compelling heroes

LEGEND

From the Legend series , Vol. 1

A gripping thriller in dystopic future Los Angeles.

Fifteen-year-olds June and Day live completely different lives in the glorious Republic. June is rich and brilliant, the only candidate ever to get a perfect score in the Trials, and is destined for a glowing career in the military. She looks forward to the day when she can join up and fight the Republic’s treacherous enemies east of the Dakotas. Day, on the other hand, is an anonymous street rat, a slum child who failed his own Trial. He's also the Republic's most wanted criminal, prone to stealing from the rich and giving to the poor. When tragedies strike both their families, the two brilliant teens are thrown into direct opposition. In alternating first-person narratives, Day and June experience coming-of-age adventures in the midst of spying, theft and daredevil combat. Their voices are distinct and richly drawn, from Day’s self-deprecating affection for others to June's Holmesian attention to detail. All the flavor of a post-apocalyptic setting—plagues, class warfare, maniacal soldiers—escalates to greater complexity while leaving space for further worldbuilding in the sequel.

This is no didactic near-future warning of present evils, but a cinematic adventure featuring endearing, compelling heroes . (Science fiction. 12-14)

Pub Date: Nov. 29, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-399-25675-2

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: April 8, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2011

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