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REBELS DIVIDED

An action-packed love story with even more twists and turns than its prequel.

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In Erlick’s sequel to The Rebel Within (2013), tensions mount even higher when a young girl and boy begin an illicit relationship in a female-ruled society.

Followers of the series will be more than happy to find Annabelle Scott just as feisty and zealous as she was when last they saw her. Before she’s sent on a high-priority mission to capture a boy dangerous to their female-dominated, sexist society, she learns in a surprise twist that she’s to be part of an arranged marriage with Thane Edwards in order for the region of Tenn-tucky to make an alliance with the Outland, Thane’s people. Disgusted by this, Annabelle goes on her mission along with her beloved sister, Janine, and her former nemesis, Dara. Everything takes a turn for the worse when Janine is captured by the Rangers, a brutal, hostile male force in the Outland. The Rangers leave Annabelle with no choice but to take off her mech suit, thus losing nearly all her power. She wakes up on Thane Edwards’ estate and narrowly escapes before finding refuge with Geo, her adopted mother’s biological son who’s also a freedom fighter against both the Rangers and Tenn-tucky’s sexist, militaristic rule. After Geo loses his father to the Rangers, he and Annabelle hesitantly come to trust and rely on each other, as Annabelle desperately searches for her sister and Geo wishes to avenge his father’s death. They come to realize that much more holds them together than they initially thought. Like its prequel, this engrossing YA novel keeps readers on their toes. In this volume, the magnetic love between Annabelle and Geo is especially intriguing. Both raised in a society where the other sex is not to be trusted, they’re initially surprised and somewhat horrified to find how attracted to one another they are. Although, as a whole, the novel reads well with a great sense of pace and excitement, in a few instances the plot points and emotions can be overstated. For example, Annabelle’s concerns—“She hoped [Geo] hadn’t misled her. She didn’t think so; he acted too sweet and smitten” —almost defuse the sparks between them. Rather than diving into both Annabelle’s and Geo’s perspectives, a bit more emotional mystery would have made the novel even stronger.

An action-packed love story with even more twists and turns than its prequel.

Pub Date: June 12, 2013

ISBN: 978-0988996830

Page Count: 294

Publisher: Finlee Augare Books

Review Posted Online: Sept. 12, 2013

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A LITTLE LIFE

The phrase “tour de force” could have been invented for this audacious novel.

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Four men who meet as college roommates move to New York and spend the next three decades gaining renown in their professions—as an architect, painter, actor and lawyer—and struggling with demons in their intertwined personal lives.

Yanagihara (The People in the Trees, 2013) takes the still-bold leap of writing about characters who don’t share her background; in addition to being male, JB is African-American, Malcolm has a black father and white mother, Willem is white, and “Jude’s race was undetermined”—deserted at birth, he was raised in a monastery and had an unspeakably traumatic childhood that’s revealed slowly over the course of the book. Two of them are gay, one straight and one bisexual. There isn’t a single significant female character, and for a long novel, there isn’t much plot. There aren’t even many markers of what’s happening in the outside world; Jude moves to a loft in SoHo as a young man, but we don’t see the neighborhood change from gritty artists’ enclave to glitzy tourist destination. What we get instead is an intensely interior look at the friends’ psyches and relationships, and it’s utterly enthralling. The four men think about work and creativity and success and failure; they cook for each other, compete with each other and jostle for each other’s affection. JB bases his entire artistic career on painting portraits of his friends, while Malcolm takes care of them by designing their apartments and houses. When Jude, as an adult, is adopted by his favorite Harvard law professor, his friends join him for Thanksgiving in Cambridge every year. And when Willem becomes a movie star, they all bask in his glow. Eventually, the tone darkens and the story narrows to focus on Jude as the pain of his past cuts deep into his carefully constructed life.  

The phrase “tour de force” could have been invented for this audacious novel.

Pub Date: March 10, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-385-53925-8

Page Count: 720

Publisher: Doubleday

Review Posted Online: Dec. 21, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2015

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TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD

A first novel, this is also a first person account of Scout's (Jean Louise) recall of the years that led to the ending of a mystery, the breaking of her brother Jem's elbow, the death of her father's enemy — and the close of childhood years. A widower, Atticus raises his children with legal dispassion and paternal intelligence, and is ably abetted by Calpurnia, the colored cook, while the Alabama town of Maycomb, in the 1930's, remains aloof to their divergence from its tribal patterns. Scout and Jem, with their summer-time companion, Dill, find their paths free from interference — but not from dangers; their curiosity about the imprisoned Boo, whose miserable past is incorporated in their play, results in a tentative friendliness; their fears of Atticus' lack of distinction is dissipated when he shoots a mad dog; his defense of a Negro accused of raping a white girl, Mayella Ewell, is followed with avid interest and turns the rabble whites against him. Scout is the means of averting an attack on Atticus but when he loses the case it is Boo who saves Jem and Scout by killing Mayella's father when he attempts to murder them. The shadows of a beginning for black-white understanding, the persistent fight that Scout carries on against school, Jem's emergence into adulthood, Calpurnia's quiet power, and all the incidents touching on the children's "growing outward" have an attractive starchiness that keeps this southern picture pert and provocative. There is much advance interest in this book; it has been selected by the Literary Guild and Reader's Digest; it should win many friends.

Pub Date: July 11, 1960

ISBN: 0060935464

Page Count: 323

Publisher: Lippincott

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 1960

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