WHERE WE GO FROM HERE

Three young, queer Brazilian men grapple with the realities of living with HIV in Rocha’s audacious debut.

The overcrowded clinic brims with impatient people, but for 18-year-old Ian Gonçalves, the only thing on his mind is his testing positive for HIV. The news sends him spiraling down, understandably. Enter 18-year-old Victor Mendonça, who’s also in the clinic, awaiting his results after a recent partner revealed his own HIV status. Fortunately, Victor’s in the clear, but he notices the distraught Ian and offers him the opportunity to connect with said partner, 21-year-old Henrique, for support. Readers follow all three young men—Ian, struggling with his newly defined life; Henrique, already HIV positive for three years; and Victor, afraid to be in love with Henrique—as Rocha depicts each of their perspectives with profound kindness and clarity. More a series of open-hearted conversations than a plot-driven narrative, this debut seeks to tear down the social stigmas surrounding HIV, offering life-affirming scientific facts and addressing prejudicial thinking. The cast of characters is solid: Ian feels alone, but as he adapts to the medicine that’ll help him, that isolating thought withers thanks to the supportive voices who gather around him, including those of Victor and Henrique, who are trying to mediate their newfound, complicated relationship. At times explicitly educational, this treatise on community provides comfort in an often homophobic world, with strong-willed drag queens; drunken, ecstatic nights; and blossoming lovers.

Simply fearless. (afterword, author's note) (Fiction. 14-18)

Pub Date: June 2, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-338-55624-7

Page Count: 288

Publisher: PUSH/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: April 5, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2020

Did you like this book?

Riveting, brutal and beautifully told.

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?

Grimly plainly worked hard, but, as the title indicates, the result serves his own artistic vision more than Mary Shelley’s.

GRIS GRIMLY'S FRANKENSTEIN

A slightly abridged graphic version of the classic that will drive off all but the artist’s most inveterate fans.

Admirers of the original should be warned away by veteran horror artist Bernie Wrightson’s introductory comments about Grimly’s “wonderfully sly stylization” and the “twinkle” in his artistic eye. Most general readers will founder on the ensuing floods of tiny faux handwritten script that fill the opening 10 pages of stage-setting correspondence (other lengthy letters throughout are presented in similarly hard-to-read typefaces). The few who reach Victor Frankenstein’s narrative will find it—lightly pruned and, in places, translated into sequences of largely wordless panels—in blocks of varied length interspersed amid sheaves of cramped illustrations with, overall, a sickly, greenish-yellow cast. The latter feature spidery, often skeletal figures that barrel over rough landscapes in rococo, steampunk-style vehicles when not assuming melodramatic poses. Though the rarely seen monster is a properly hard-to-resolve jumble of massive rage and lank hair, Dr. Frankenstein looks like a decayed Lyle Lovett with high cheekbones and an errant, outsized quiff. His doomed bride, Elizabeth, sports a white lock à la Elsa Lanchester, and decorative grotesqueries range from arrangements of bones and skull-faced flowers to bunnies and clownish caricatures.

Grimly plainly worked hard, but, as the title indicates, the result serves his own artistic vision more than Mary Shelley’s. (Graphic classic. 14 & up)

Pub Date: Aug. 27, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-06-186297-7

Page Count: 208

Publisher: Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: July 3, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2013

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more