A SKY PAINTED GOLD

Seventeen-year-old Louise Trevelyan’s sleepy Cornish village witnesses the arrival of the wealthy, glamorous Cardews.

Lou has a bustling, loving, ordinary family—and dreams of something more. Her older sister is content to marry and settle down, but at low tide Lou sneaks across the causeway and into the empty Cardew House, where she writes installments in her ongoing adventure story. When 23-year-old Robert and his sister, the anachronistically named Caitlin, come down from London for the summer, Lou is drawn into their circle, becoming a pet project and confidante for Caitlin, whose fast-living friends flock to her sumptuously decadent parties. Robert and Lou initially clash, but their underlying romantic attraction is heavily signaled. Beneath the sparkle, Lou senses the orphaned, noble Cardews’ dysfunction, though concrete facts are tantalizingly mysterious. As the summer wears on and the gap between Lou’s indulgences and her family’s modest lifestyle becomes more glaring, Lou faces the difficult question of what next: Should she find a local boy and abandon her dream of becoming a novelist? Throw herself at wealthy American Charlie? Face her true feelings about Robert (who is engaged to Charlie’s sister)? While the story is charmingly frothy and the descriptions of clothing delight, there is little chemistry between Lou and Robert, and the characters feel as insubstantial as the glossy veneer on their high-society lives. Main characters are white; there are significant black secondary characters.

A light, escapist read. (Historical romance. 13-18)

Pub Date: June 23, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-593-12722-3

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: May 2, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2020

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Riveting, brutal and beautifully told.

Reader Votes

  • Readers Vote
  • 29

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • Kirkus Reviews'
    Best Books Of 2014

  • New York Times Bestseller

WE WERE LIARS

A devastating tale of greed and secrets springs from the summer that tore Cady’s life apart.

Cady Sinclair’s family uses its inherited wealth to ensure that each successive generation is blond, beautiful and powerful. Reunited each summer by the family patriarch on his private island, his three adult daughters and various grandchildren lead charmed, fairy-tale lives (an idea reinforced by the periodic inclusions of Cady’s reworkings of fairy tales to tell the Sinclair family story). But this is no sanitized, modern Disney fairy tale; this is Cinderella with her stepsisters’ slashed heels in bloody glass slippers. Cady’s fairy-tale retellings are dark, as is the personal tragedy that has led to her examination of the skeletons in the Sinclair castle’s closets; its rent turns out to be extracted in personal sacrifices. Brilliantly, Lockhart resists simply crucifying the Sinclairs, which might make the family’s foreshadowed tragedy predictable or even satisfying. Instead, she humanizes them (and their painful contradictions) by including nostalgic images that showcase the love shared among Cady, her two cousins closest in age, and Gat, the Heathcliff-esque figure she has always loved. Though increasingly disenchanted with the Sinclair legacy of self-absorption, the four believe family redemption is possible—if they have the courage to act. Their sincere hopes and foolish naïveté make the teens’ desperate, grand gesture all that much more tragic.

Riveting, brutal and beautifully told. (Fiction. 14 & up)

Pub Date: May 13, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-385-74126-2

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: March 17, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2014

Did you like this book?

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

Reader Votes

  • Readers Vote
  • 37

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • Kirkus Reviews'
    Best Books Of 2017

  • New York Times Bestseller

  • IndieBound Bestseller

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

Did you like this book?

more