Four personalities in two bodies (and plenty of sexual tension) make for a wild ride in one stolen vehicle after another,...

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WANTED: DEAD OR IN LOVE

Bonnie and Clyde have languished in Limbo for decades, but thanks to a teenage girl on probation who touches the bullets that mowed them down, they have a chance to rekindle their romance.

Monroe’s father has added to his collection of gangster memorabilia five slugs from the outlaws’ final shootout. After pocketing two of the slugs, Monroe hears a voice in her head with a Southern accent and becomes convinced that she’s possessed by Bonnie. Monroe meets Jack at a party and lets him hold the slugs; soon, he’s possessed by Clyde. Chapters alternate between Monroe, who’s trying to keep Bonnie from taking over, and Clyde, who’s more successful at controlling Jack and restarting his crime spree—a technique that meets with only mixed success. Monroe’s foulmouthed, bad-girl persona and snarky attitude are unconvincing, as are the shallow characterizations of high school life. Clyde’s more compelling narrative, written in dialect, is rich in humor and colloquialisms from the 1930s as he confronts life in 21st-century Chicago. Plot points arise and are dropped without ceremony, like a skateboarder with an otherworldly message for Monroe and a stereotypical deer-hunting redneck who nearly sidetracks Monroe’s efforts to get to Bonnie and Clyde’s memorial in Louisiana.

Four personalities in two bodies (and plenty of sexual tension) make for a wild ride in one stolen vehicle after another, but uneven quality in the writing weakens the overall effect. (Fantasy. 13-17)

Pub Date: June 30, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4405-7057-5

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Merit Press

Review Posted Online: April 30, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2014

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A purple page turner.

CLOCKWORK PRINCE

From the Infernal Devices series , Vol. 2

This sequel to Clockwork Angel (2010) pits gorgeous, attractively broken teens against a menacing evil.

There's betrayal, mayhem and clockwork monstrosities, and the Shadowhunters have only two weeks to discover—oh, who are we kidding? The plot is only surprisingly tasty icing on this cupcake of a melodramatic love triangle. Our heroes are Tessa, who may or may not be a warlock, and the beautiful Shadowhunter warrior boys who are moths to her forbidden flame. It's not always clear why Tessa prefers Will to his beloved (and only) friend Jem, the dying, silver-eyed, biracial sweetheart with the face of an angel. Jem, after all, is gentle and kind, her dearest confidante; Will is unpleasant to everyone around him. But poor, wretched Will—who "would have been pretty if he had not been so tall and so muscular"—has a deep, dark, thoroughly emo secret. His trauma puts all previous romantic difficulties to shame, from the Capulet/Montague feud all the way to Edward Cullen's desire to chomp on Bella Swan. Somehow there's room for an interesting steampunk mystery amid all this angst. The supporting characters (unusually well-developed for a love-triangle romance) include multiple compelling young women who show strength in myriad ways. So what if there are anachronisms, character inconsistencies and weird tonal slips? There's too much overwrought fun to care.

A purple page turner. (Fantasy. 13-16)

Pub Date: Dec. 6, 2011

ISBN: 978-1-4169-7588-5

Page Count: 528

Publisher: McElderry

Review Posted Online: Oct. 12, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2011

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Though no punches are pulled about the unimaginable atrocity of the death camps, a life-affirming history

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  • Sydney Taylor Book Award Winner

THE LIBRARIAN OF AUSCHWITZ

A teenage girl imprisoned in Auschwitz keeps the secret library of a forbidden school.

Dita Adlerova, 14, is confined in the notorious extermination camp of Auschwitz-Birkenau. Compared to her fellow inmates, Dita’s relatively lucky. The several thousand residents of camp BIIb are inexplicably allowed to keep their own clothing, their hair, and, most importantly, their children. A young man named Fredy Hirsch maintains a school in BIIb, right under the noses of the Nazis. In Fredy’s classroom, Dita discovers something wonderful: a dangerous collection of eight smuggled books. The tale, based on the real life of Dita Polach Kraus and the events of 1944 and 1945, intertwines the stories of several real people: Dita, Fredy, several little-known war heroes, even a grim cameo from Anne and Margot Frank. Holocaust-knowledgeable readers will have suspicions about how many characters will die horribly (spoiler alert: this is Auschwitz). Yet somehow, myriad storylines told by multiple narrators offer compelling narrative tension. Why does BIIb exist? Will Rudi and Alice have a romance? What’s Fredy’s secret? Will Dr. Mengele subject Dita to his grotesque experiments? Dita’s matter-of-fact perspective, set in a slow build from BIIb to the chaotic starvation of the war’s end, both increases the horror and makes it bearable to read.

Though no punches are pulled about the unimaginable atrocity of the death camps, a life-affirming history . (Historical fiction. 13-16)

Pub Date: Oct. 10, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-62779-618-7

Page Count: 432

Publisher: Godwin Books/Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: Aug. 21, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2017

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