Marquardt once again writes a touching and authentic exploration of immigration, love, and loss.


A grieving hospital intern and an ambitious young nurse’s aide bond over their shared friendship with a dying teen patient.

After barely passing most of her first-year pre-med classes at Yale, Vivi Flannigan must successfully complete a summer internship in a Central Florida hospital’s heart ICU. TJ Carvalho works as a nurse’s aide on his way to becoming an RN. When their paths cross, Brazilian-American TJ (who’s dark-skinned and multiracial) recognizes white Vivi as the “pretty-faced hot mess” who got drunkenly out of control at his family’s churrascaria the previous Thanksgiving break. Vivi, meanwhile, would rather forget that “terrible night,” because her beloved father died soon after. TJ and Vivi attempt to avoid each other, but observant Ángel Solis, the 18-year-old heart-infection patient who doesn’t respond to English or Spanish (he’s indigenous Guatemalan), senses their attraction and brings them together. Told in alternating points of view among the three characters, the poignant story shows how young adults can connect deeply despite differences in privilege, race, and citizenship status. Each of Vivi’s chapters begins with excerpts and sketches from her bird journal—with the birds (and their calls) acting as a chorus to her story arc. Vivi and TJ’s slow-burn romance is electric, and Ángel’s humorous and heartbreaking perspective elevates him far above the stereotype of problematic sick characters without agency.

Marquardt once again writes a touching and authentic exploration of immigration, love, and loss. (Fiction. 14-17)

Pub Date: Feb. 20, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-250-10701-5

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Wednesday Books

Review Posted Online: Nov. 22, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2017

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Bloody? Yes. Scary? No.


Someone is murdering high school students. Most freeze in fear, but a brave few try to stop the killings.

Senior Makani Young has been living in corn-obsessed Nebraska for just a little over a year. She has developed a crush and made some friends, but a dark secret keeps her from truly opening up to those around her. As the only half–African-American and half–Native Hawaiian student in her school, she already stands out, but as the killing spree continues, the press descends, and rumors fly, Makani is increasingly nervous that her past will be exposed. However, the charming and incredibly shy Ollie, a white boy with hot-pink hair, a lip ring, and wanderlust, provides an excellent distraction from the horror and fear. Graphic violence and bloody mayhem saturate this high-speed slasher story. And while Makani’s secret and the killer’s hidden identity might keep the pages turning, this is less a psychological thriller and more a study in gore. The intimacy and precision of the killer’s machinations hint at some grand psychological reveal, but lacking even basic jump-scares, this tale is high in yuck and low in fright. The tendency of the characters toward preachy inner monologues feels false.

Bloody? Yes. Scary? No. (Horror. 14-16)

Pub Date: Sept. 26, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-525-42601-1

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Dutton

Review Posted Online: July 17, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2017

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Full of drama, emotional turmoil, and high stakes.


From the Aurelian Cycle series , Vol. 1

What happens to the world after the dust from a revolution has settled?

Friends Annie and Lee were children from very different circles when Atreus killed Lee’s father, dragonlord Leon Stormscourge, ending the uprising on the bloodiest day in Callipolis’ history. For too long the dragonriders held all the power while their people starved and lived in fear. Nine years later, a new generation of dragonriders is emerging, children selected and trained on merit, not bloodlines. Their dragons are finally mature enough for them to compete for Firstrider, a position of power that can give Lee back a small part of what his family lost. However, not only is Lee competing against Annie, but rumors are circulating that some of the royal family have survived and have dragons of their own. Everyone will have to make a choice: Restore the old regime, support the First Protector and the new caste system he created, or look for a new way, no matter what the cost. From the beginning, this book pulls readers in with political intrigue and action. What keeps them invested, however, are the complex relationships between many cast members. Choices are complex, and the consequences for all could be deadly. The world is well fleshed out and believable. Annie and Lee are light skinned; secondary characters are diverse, and race is a nonissue in this world.

Full of drama, emotional turmoil, and high stakes. (author’s note) (Fantasy.14-17)

Pub Date: Oct. 15, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-525-51821-1

Page Count: 448

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: July 24, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

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