A captivating page-turner enriched by probing social commentary.

ALL EYES ON US

Two teens from opposite sides of the tracks have their worlds rocked by a threatening stalker.

Frick (See All the Stars, 2018, etc.) returns with an intricate, page-ripping psychological thriller involving dual—at times dueling—white protagonist narrators. Seventeen-year-old Amanda Kelly and Rosalie Bell are classic foils. Upper-class, pretty, straight Amanda is used to being the center of attention, a queen bee and steady girlfriend of Carter Shaw—the blond, athletic senior class president who is heir to his father’s real estate empire. By contrast, Rosalie hails from a working-class suburb of Amanda and Carter’s posh West Virginia town. She sports a casual style and prefers to keep a low profile ever since her fundamentalist Christian family subjected her to conversion therapy to try to “cure” her lesbian orientation. Frick initially brings the lives of her intriguing first-person narrators together through Carter, who is cheating on Amanda by seeing Rosalie. She is using Carter as a beard to mask her intimate relationship with her girlfriend from her parents. Later, Amanda and Rosalie find their fates intertwining when an anonymous texter threatens physical harm and exposure of their darkest secrets. Though largely plot-driven, Frick’s narrative challenges all sorts of social and class conventions, encouraging teens to examine critical assumptions about haves and have-nots and the sacrifices one might be asked to make on the road to self-acceptance.

A captivating page-turner enriched by probing social commentary. (Thriller. 15-adult)

Pub Date: June 4, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5344-0440-3

Page Count: 384

Publisher: McElderry

Review Posted Online: March 27, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2019

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A stunning novel that exposes modern fascism and elevates human resilience. (author’s note, research and sources, glossary,...

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THE FOUNTAINS OF SILENCE

The pitiless dictatorship of Francisco Franco examined through the voices of four teenagers: one American and three Spaniards.

The Spanish Civil War lasted from 1936-1939, but Franco held Spain by its throat for 36 years. Sepetys (Salt to the Sea, 2016, etc.) begins her novel in 1957. Daniel is a white Texan who wants to be a photojournalist, not an oilman; Ana is trying to work her way to respectability as a hotel maid; her brother, Rafael, wants to erase memories of an oppressive boys’ home; and Puri is a loving caregiver for babies awaiting adoption—together they provide alternating third-person lenses for viewing Spain during one of its most brutally repressive periods. Their lives run parallel and intersect as each tries to answer questions about truth and the path ahead within a regime that crushes any opposition, murders dissidents, and punishes their families while stealing babies to sell to parents with accepted political views. This formidable story will haunt those who ask hard questions about the past as it reveals the hopes and dreams of individuals in a nation trying to lie its way to the future. Meticulous research is presented through believable, complex characters on the brink of adulthood who personalize the questions we all must answer about our place in the world. 

A stunning novel that exposes modern fascism and elevates human resilience. (author’s note, research and sources, glossary, photographs) (Historical fiction. 15-adult)

Pub Date: Oct. 22, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-399-16031-8

Page Count: 512

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: July 21, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

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Will cast a spell on romance fans.

SERPENT & DOVE

From the Serpent & Dove series , Vol. 1

A stealth witch and a devout witch hunter are forced to marry.

In this French-flavored fantasy world, witches are hunted down by the Church’s Chasseurs and burned at the stake; they retaliate against this genocidal crusade through vicious terrorist attacks. Thief Louise le Blanc wants none of that—she’s left her witch life behind. But Lou ends up on Chasseur captain Reid Diggory’s radar when a heist goes bad; his attempt to catch her lands them in a situation so compromising that the archbishop suggests marriage to save face. Lou’s initial priority is self-protection—wanting to avoid both fallout from the heist and a dangerous figure from her past—and she’s fine with using Reid. The slow-burn, opposites-attract romance between crass, irreverent Lou and prim and proper Reid gets very hot and sexy once it ignites. Lou sees firsthand the damages some witches do to innocents, has her presumptions about individual Chasseurs challenged, and also sees up close the horrors Chasseurs perpetrate. Despite occasional pacing hiccups and an easily guessed twist, the secondary characters will charm readers, and the story picks up when Lou’s past dangerously catches up to her, revealing the true stakes. Though at heart a romance, rich second-tier characters round out the shades-of-gray, morality-and-empathy themes. Witches, Chasseurs, and some secondary characters come in all colors; the leads appear white. The ending screams sequel.

Will cast a spell on romance fans. (Fantasy. 15-adult)

Pub Date: Sept. 3, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-06-287802-1

Page Count: 528

Publisher: HarperTeen

Review Posted Online: June 18, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2019

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