A thoughtful and meandering travel narrative, this will find an audience among readers willing to take the time to get to...

WANDERLOVE

A tale of self-discovery slowly unfolds in this novel about a talented artist who falls for her travel companion as she backpacks in Central America.

Eighteen-year-old Bria defiantly embarks on a post–high-school graduation trip, quickly abandoning the tour group full of squares she’s with and uneasily throwing her lot in with globetrotter Starling and her surly, yet intriguing brother, Rowan. Bria and Rowan eventually wind up on their own, both guarding their secrets mightily from the other. Bria is distinctive—embarrassed that she let her dreams of art school be sabotaged by a former boyfriend and self-conscious about appearing to be a naïve traveler, but also often tough and assertive. While these seemingly incongruous qualities make for interesting reading, her internal voice sometimes seems to clash with her dry, almost tartly down-to-earth outward persona, as when she thinks, “Tonight, I am the bohemian beach fairy of my fantasies.” Rowan, who is attempting to leave behind a sordid past that includes drug use and smuggling, is similarly complex. If the pacing drags at times, there are also some thrillingly romantic, smart and funny moments. Pencil drawings by the author embellish appealingly.

A thoughtful and meandering travel narrative, this will find an audience among readers willing to take the time to get to know characters whose motives they might not always understand. (Fiction. 13 & up)

Pub Date: March 13, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-385-73937-5

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: Dec. 21, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2012

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Engrossing, contemplative, and as heart-wrenching as the title promises.

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THEY BOTH DIE AT THE END

What would you do with one day left to live?

In an alternate present, a company named Death-Cast calls Deckers—people who will die within the coming day—to inform them of their impending deaths, though not how they will happen. The End Day call comes for two teenagers living in New York City: Puerto Rican Mateo and bisexual Cuban-American foster kid Rufus. Rufus needs company after a violent act puts cops on his tail and lands his friends in jail; Mateo wants someone to push him past his comfort zone after a lifetime of playing it safe. The two meet through Last Friend, an app that connects lonely Deckers (one of many ways in which Death-Cast influences social media). Mateo and Rufus set out to seize the day together in their final hours, during which their deepening friendship blossoms into something more. Present-tense chapters, short and time-stamped, primarily feature the protagonists’ distinctive first-person narrations. Fleeting third-person chapters give windows into the lives of other characters they encounter, underscoring how even a tiny action can change the course of someone else’s life. It’s another standout from Silvera (History Is All You Left Me, 2017, etc.), who here grapples gracefully with heavy questions about death and the meaning of a life well-lived.

Engrossing, contemplative, and as heart-wrenching as the title promises. (Speculative fiction. 13-adult).

Pub Date: Sept. 5, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-06-245779-0

Page Count: 384

Publisher: HarperTeen

Review Posted Online: June 5, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2017

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

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

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