A brisk, thrilling novel of humankind versus nature.

THE LIGHTNING TREE

In Fogelberg’s YA fantasy series starter, trees begin attacking and killing humans, and three teens investigate why.

In Derwyn, Pennsylvania, high school junior Flora Reed has been an outcast for a year, ever since she and her sister were struck by lightning. She has strange scars on her skin, but her 14-year-old sister, Fauna, is in a catatonic state. In addition, Flora still struggles with the fact that their scientist father went missing years ago. However, her best friend, Carl Nielsen, convinces her to attend an end-of-the-school-year party to celebrate summer. Three boys there aggressively demand to see Flora’s scars and rip her T-shirt from her body before Carl and his friend Aaron rescue her. The next morning, Flora sees one of the boys that attacked her the night before, hanging from the very tree she and Fauna had climbed before lightning struck. Soon, the other two boys are found dead in the woods, twisted into tree branches. Each boys had an X scratched into his forehead, and then Carl receives a similar mark while running through the woods. Flora, Carl, and Aaron are sure the trees are attacking humans after marking them, but no one believes them. Soon, Flora and the boys must hide from an angry mob, and she starts to suspect that Carl knows more than he’s letting on—and the more she learns about the trees, the more she begins to understand their goal. Over the course of this YA novel, Fogelberg presents an exciting story not only of teens trying to escape the trees themselves, but also townspeople intent on pinning crimes on them. The story delves into classic SF themes regarding environmentalism and humans’ abuse of the planet’s resources, but it feels very original at the same time. Flora’s feelings of being an outsider due to her accident and her family situation feel genuine, and young readers will certainly be able to relate to her anxieties. Overall, it’s a fast-paced, intriguing story that will likely appeal to young and older adults alike and keep them turning pages.

A brisk, thrilling novel of humankind versus nature.

Pub Date: March 18, 2022

ISBN: 978-9-19874-760-7

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Dedaun Publishing

Review Posted Online: May 24, 2022

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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

Reader Votes

  • Readers Vote
  • 36

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?

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

Reader Votes

  • Readers Vote
  • 20

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • New York Times Bestseller

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

Did you like this book?

more