A beguiling, cozy mystery worth sinking into.

LUCY CLARK WILL NOT APOLOGIZE

Lucy’s determined to learn who’s out to get her employer—whether anyone takes her seriously or not.

Sixteen-year-old Lucy Clark attends the Willa Thornton Academy in Texas, where she landed at age 12 after her paternal grandmother passed. Nana had raised her, since her parents travel for work and never stay put for long. Nana’s death hollowed Lucy out, and only her best friend, Dyna, offered any respite. But then an incident results in Dyna’s removal from school and Lucy’s suspension. Lucy is sent on an internship to take care of an elderly woman with dementia in New York. At first she’s upset, but once there, she changes her tune: Jack Zuo, a 19-year-old neighbor, shares her interest in plants, and Edith Fox, her wealthy employer, turns out to be quick-witted and becomes a fast friend. There’s just one problem: Edith believes someone is trying to murder her. Jack and his policeman father don’t buy it, but Lucy does. Soon, suspicious incidents pile up, each more sinister than the last, and as Lucy races to help Edith, she unwittingly becomes more aware and accepting of her own emotions. Lucy’s adventure is lush with opulent gardens, big-city charm, and charismatic characters. Her path to finding both a new home and self-image is hard-won and enchanting. Lucy and Edith are White and Jewish; Dyna has some Jewish and Salvadoran heritage, and Jack is implied Chinese/White.

A beguiling, cozy mystery worth sinking into. (Mystery. 14-18)

Pub Date: May 11, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-06-232240-1

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Quill Tree Books/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: March 25, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2021

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Riveting, brutal and beautifully told.

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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

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How can such a hefty tome be un-put-down-able excitement from beginning to end? (glossary) (Fantasy. 14 & up)

CROOKED KINGDOM

From the Six of Crows series , Vol. 2

This hefty sequel to Six of Crows (2015) brings high-tension conclusions to the many intertwined intrigues of Ketterdam.

It's time for revenge—has been ever since old-before-his-time crook Kaz and his friends were double-crossed by the merchant princes of Ketterdam, an early-industrial Amsterdam-like fantasy city filled to the brim with crime and corruption. Disabled, infuriated, and perpetually scheming Kaz, the light-skinned teen mastermind, coordinates the efforts to rescue Inej. Though Kaz is loath to admit weakness, Inej is his, for he can't bear any harm come to the knife-wielding, brown-skinned Suli acrobat. Their team is rounded out by Wylan, a light-skinned chemist and musician whose merchant father tried to have him murdered and who can't read due to a print disability; Wylan's brown-skinned biracial boyfriend, Jesper, a flirtatious gambler with ADHD; Nina, the pale brunette Grisha witch and recovering addict from Russia-like Ravka; Matthias, Nina's national enemy and great love, a big, white, blond drüskelle warrior from the cold northern lands; and Kuwei, the rescued Shu boy everyone wants to kidnap. Can these kids rescue everyone who needs rescuing in Ketterdam's vile political swamp? This is dark and violent—one notable scene features a parade of teens armed with revolvers, rifles, pistols, explosives, and flash bombs—but gut-wrenchingly genuine. Astonishingly, Bardugo keeps all these balls in the air over the 500-plus pages of narrative.

How can such a hefty tome be un-put-down-able excitement from beginning to end? (glossary) (Fantasy. 14 & up)

Pub Date: Sept. 27, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-62779-213-4

Page Count: 560

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: Aug. 2, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2016

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