Reminiscent of Charlaine Harris’ Sookie Stackhouse and Janet Evanovich’s Stephan Plum, Gina never fails to deliver the goods.

FANGTABULOUS

From the Vamped series , Vol. 4

The fourth in the Vamped series carries the gang to the infamous center of all things witchy: Salem, Mass.

Gina Covello, teen vamp and ex-Fed, is on the run with her trusty BFF Marcy and her oh-so gorgeous BF Bobby. They’re on the down-low for now and hoping to stay under the radar long enough to earn some money and decide what to do next. It’s not long before they run into an old friend Ulric, who is only too happy to be a strong shoulder for Gina…or anything else she’d like him to be. Taking jobs as guides on the nightly ghost tours of Salem, Gina and her crew become all too close to a vengeful spirit who is out to murder anyone it can get its hands on. Gina is caught among the ghost, the authorities, the normals, an investigative TV crew and a horrendous Pilgrim outfit (so not to die for!). Things only get worse when Bobby’s body is taken over by the ghost and turns on Gina herself. As always, it’s up to Gina to solve the problem without revealing herself or getting any of her friends staked in the process. Another amusing romp in the series, this installment also sees its hardy heroine beginning to mature, adding further dimension to her character.

Reminiscent of Charlaine Harris’ Sookie Stackhouse and Janet Evanovich’s Stephan Plum, Gina never fails to deliver the goods. (Paranormal comedy. 12 & up)

Pub Date: Jan. 8, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-7387-3150-6

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Flux

Review Posted Online: Nov. 7, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2012

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An immersive tale of brave, vulnerable teens facing threats both real and fantastic.

ALL OUR HIDDEN GIFTS

An Irish teen grapples with past misdeeds and newfound ties to magic.

When 16-year-old Maeve discovers a deck of tarot cards stashed with a mixtape of moody indie music from 1990, she starts giving readings for her classmates at her all-girls private school. Though her shame over dumping her strange friend Lily during an attempt to climb the social ladder at St. Bernadette’s is still palpable, it doesn’t stop her from trying to use the tarot in her favor to further this goal. However, after speaking harsh words to Lily during a reading, Maeve is horrified when her former friend later disappears. As she struggles to understand the forces at play within her, classmate Fiona proves to be just the friend Maeve needs. Detailed, interesting characters carry this contemporary story of competing energy and curses. Woven delicately throughout are chillingly eerie depictions of the Housekeeper, a figure who shows up on an extra card in the deck, echoing the White Lady legend from Irish folklore. Even more disturbing is an organization of young people led by a homophobic but charismatic figurehead intent on provoking backlash against Ireland’s recent civil rights victories. Most characters are White; Fiona is biracial, with a Filipina mother and White Irish father. Roe, Maeve’s love interest and Lily’s sibling, is a bisexual, genderqueer person who is a target for intolerance in their small city of Kilbeg.

An immersive tale of brave, vulnerable teens facing threats both real and fantastic. (Paranormal. 14-18)

Pub Date: June 8, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-5362-1394-2

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Walker US/Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Dec. 10, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2021

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A different kind of fairy tale, for older and wiser readers.

BRAVELY

Disney adaptations are familiar, but this title marks a new gambit: a novel sequel that accepts the source movie, Brave, as canon.

Merida, now nearly 20, has negotiated a truce with her mother (they never talk about betrothals or marriage) and traveled the kingdom learning new things. But little has changed otherwise: The triplets are still a force of chaos, Merida prefers archery to embroidery, the kingdom is at peace, and magic is at rest. That is, until Feradach, the god who brings ruin in order to make room for growth, threatens to destroy everything Merida loves unless she can change her family enough to end their stagnation. This is still clearly a fairy-tale world, but Stiefvater’s understanding of medieval history (briefly detailed in the author’s note) grounds it, as does the very believable nature of Merida’s conflict: Saving what she loves means transforming it beyond what she knows. The episodic structure as Merida takes on three journeys, each with different family members, moves more slowly than the movie, but the depth of characterization—as shown in Feradach and Queen Elinor in particular—is nuanced and noteworthy. Readers who spent their childhoods watching Merida engage with magic will readily fall under her spell again as she negotiates the hardest challenge of all: growing up. All characters are assumed White.

A different kind of fairy tale, for older and wiser readers. (Historical fantasy. 12-18)

Pub Date: May 3, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-368-07134-5

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Disney Press

Review Posted Online: Feb. 9, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2022

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