Readers will root for Mia to get her act together on her chaotic, hilarious journey to self-discovery.


Between academic superstar Grace and Olympics-caliber swimmer Audrey, middle-sister Mia (talent: getting wasted) can’t shake the “trouble” label.

When Grace arrives home pregnant after her gap year in Greece, Mia looks forward to seeing her perfect sister in disgrace for once. But after scolding Grace and her posh, white boyfriend, Sam, Mum and Dad act thrilled to become grandparents while Grace—her star undimmed—will sail on to Cambridge, Sam and baby in tow. Born prematurely, Mia’s the family misfit. Grace and Audrey got their white mum’s hair; Mia’s “massive Afro” comes from their Jamaican dad. While her unmarried parents plan their belated wedding, schlep shy Audrey to swim practice, and help Grace and Sam, Mia parties with friends and steadfastly ignores pressure to plan her future. Her grades are appalling, but who cares? She’s not university bound—she’ll leave school, find work, and share a flat with chum Stella. Outwardly confident, Mia’s crushed when her ex parades his new girlfriend across social media. Discovering Stella’s hidden stash of university brochures feels like betrayal. Mia knows change is needed, but refusing to own her bad choices makes it hard to accept that she has the power to make good ones. Flawed, gorgeous, smarter than she knows—as revealed in her trenchant narration—Mia’s a natural leader who’s mostly used her considerable charisma to mislead up till now.

Readers will root for Mia to get her act together on her chaotic, hilarious journey to self-discovery. (Fiction. 14-18)

Pub Date: Sept. 12, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-338-16397-1

Page Count: 336

Publisher: David Fickling/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: June 14, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2017

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Riveting, brutal and beautifully told.

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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

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


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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