Part mad science, part convincing portrayal of the volatile, resilient nature of friendship and grief—and that, as Ollie...

NOWHERE NEAR YOU

Two mutant boys search for answers about their increasingly erratic powers as they continue the correspondence begun in Because You'll Never Meet Me (2015).

Readers may wish to review the previous novel before starting this one, as Ollie, a white American teen, and Moritz, a German boy of Turkish descent, pick up bickering and pep-talking right where they left off, and preceding events and characters receive little introduction. This time, the literally electromagnetic Ollie's exuberant letters are written from the road as he and Dr. Auburn-Stache drive across America to meet other "Blunderkids," including a boy who regenerates his brittle bones and a girl with a removable heart. (Their back stories are brief but fascinating.) But roadblocks ensue; his power has become conspicuous and destructive, and everyone seems to know more about the Blunderkids than he does. Eyeless Moritz's emotional echolocation, meanwhile, is suddenly broadcasting his turbulent feelings to everyone he meets. Worst of all, Blunderkids are dying. The boys' communication is fraught with secrecy, frustration, and sympathetically awkward tension (Moritz is gay and loves Ollie, but Ollie is straight). Even so, they rely on each other for courage and perspective. Their letters alternately withhold and reveal critical information, culminating in a shocking revelation that will leave readers waiting eagerly for the next letter.

Part mad science, part convincing portrayal of the volatile, resilient nature of friendship and grief—and that, as Ollie says, is not science fiction. (Science fiction. 14 & up)

Pub Date: Feb. 7, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-68119-178-2

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Review Posted Online: Nov. 2, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2016

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This grittily provocative debut explores the horrors of self-harm and the healing power of artistic expression.

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GIRL IN PIECES

After surviving a suicide attempt, a fragile teen isn't sure she can endure without cutting herself.

Seventeen-year-old Charlie Davis, a white girl living on the margins, thinks she has little reason to live: her father drowned himself; her bereft and abusive mother kicked her out; her best friend, Ellis, is nearly brain dead after cutting too deeply; and she's gone through unspeakable experiences living on the street. After spending time in treatment with other young women like her—who cut, burn, poke, and otherwise hurt themselves—Charlie is released and takes a bus from the Twin Cities to Tucson to be closer to Mikey, a boy she "like-likes" but who had pined for Ellis instead. But things don't go as planned in the Arizona desert, because sweet Mikey just wants to be friends. Feeling rejected, Charlie, an artist, is drawn into a destructive new relationship with her sexy older co-worker, a "semifamous" local musician who's obviously a junkie alcoholic. Through intense, diarylike chapters chronicling Charlie's journey, the author captures the brutal and heartbreaking way "girls who write their pain on their bodies" scar and mar themselves, either succumbing or surviving. Like most issue books, this is not an easy read, but it's poignant and transcendent as Charlie breaks more and more before piecing herself back together.

This grittily provocative debut explores the horrors of self-harm and the healing power of artistic expression. (author’s note) (Fiction. 14 & up)

Pub Date: Aug. 30, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-101-93471-5

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: May 4, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2016

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

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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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