A surprisingly heartfelt coming-of-age story wrapped in a zany package.

THE TRUTH LIES HERE

While trying to find her missing father, Penny uncovers a conspiracy in the Upper Peninsula.

Penny’s father lost her trust when she discovered that he fabricated the cryptozoology stories for his tabloid magazine column. Years later, she returns to small-town Michigan from Chicago, where she has lived with her mother since her parents’ divorce, for a summer visit with him, planning on mining the town for an article about its decline due to the recession, which shuttered the local plant that was the area’s employer. When her father doesn’t show up to meet her at the airport, she thinks he’s chasing a story—but the geeky boy next door, her one-time best friend, half-Chippewa Dex, who is now her father’s protégé, thinks it’s something sinister. After Penny’s investigations into local economic woes turn up an oddity (the word-for-word identical response that it’s “best not to think too much about it” from anyone asked about an accident at the plant), mysterious federal agent types show up around town, and bodies similar to the mysterious one that prompted Penny’s father’s latest story start to pile up. Penny becomes determined to get to the bottom of everything, and her well-plotted, conspiracy-laden journey leads her to revelations about perspective and her relationships with various loved ones. Aside from Dex and his mother, all characters are white.

A surprisingly heartfelt coming-of-age story wrapped in a zany package. (Science-fiction thriller. 13-adult)

Pub Date: Aug. 21, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-06-238039-5

Page Count: 416

Publisher: HarperTeen

Review Posted Online: April 30, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2018

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A treat for mystery readers who enjoy being kept in suspense.

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A GOOD GIRL'S GUIDE TO MURDER

From the Good Girl's Guide to Murder series , Vol. 1

Everyone believes that Salil Singh killed his girlfriend, Andrea Bell, five years ago—except Pippa Fitz-Amobi.

Pip has known and liked Sal since childhood; he’d supported her when she was being bullied in middle school. For her senior capstone project, Pip researches the disappearance of former Fairview High student Andie, last seen on April 18, 2014, by her younger sister, Becca. The original investigation concluded with most of the evidence pointing to Sal, who was found dead in the woods, apparently by suicide. Andie’s body was never recovered, and Sal was assumed by most to be guilty of abduction and murder. Unable to ignore the gaps in the case, Pip sets out to prove Sal’s innocence, beginning with interviewing his younger brother, Ravi. With his help, Pip digs deeper, unveiling unsavory facts about Andie and the real reason Sal’s friends couldn’t provide him with an alibi. But someone is watching, and Pip may be in more danger than she realizes. Pip’s sleuthing is both impressive and accessible. Online articles about the case and interview transcripts are provided throughout, and Pip’s capstone logs offer insights into her thought processes as new evidence and suspects arise. Jackson’s debut is well-executed and surprises readers with a connective web of interesting characters and motives. Pip and Andie are white, and Sal is of Indian descent.

A treat for mystery readers who enjoy being kept in suspense. (Mystery. 14-18)

Pub Date: Feb. 4, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9848-9636-0

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2019

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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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