Equal parts page-turning adventure and heartwarming tribute to chosen family.



From the Wilder Trilogy series , Vol. 3

Three years after a deadly virus first swept Australia, the intrepid survivors from Smith’s Wilder Trilogy continue to struggle.

Several months after the events of Wilder Country (2018), Finn, Kas, Ray, and Rowdy are living off the land and their store of supplies in Angowrie, ever vigilant for danger. The setting is idyllic—a young couple in love, enjoying the beauty of land and sea with their loyal dog and protective father figure—but they’ve seen too much to be complacent. The unexpected arrival of JT and Daymu, who have escaped captivity on the No-landers’ farm, brings unwelcome news: Ramage and Tusker, cruel leaders of the Wilders who pursue and persecute refugee Sileys like Kas and Daymu, are not only alive, but in roles of authority in regional government. With the virus mutating and decontamination squads closing in on the quarantined zone, the four youths and Rowdy set off in search of a safe haven, bidding a gut-wrenching farewell to Ray, who doesn’t want to slow them down. Their bid for freedom is tragically short-lived, and their capture takes the hardy band into dark places indeed. All too timely in an age of pandemics and panic, this gripping work has real emotional depth and ultimately rests on a foundation of hope and faith in humanity. Kas is Afghani and Daymu is Karen; most other main characters are white.

Equal parts page-turning adventure and heartwarming tribute to chosen family. (Dystopian. 13-adult)

Pub Date: Sept. 10, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-925773-58-3

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Text

Review Posted Online: March 18, 2020

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A lackluster take on a well-worn trope.


After a family tragedy, 16-year-old Ivy Mason hopes to reconnect with her aloof identical twin sister, Iris—but Iris has other plans.

When Ivy’s parents divorced 10 years ago, Ivy stayed with her father while Iris went to live with their mother. When their mother dies after falling off a bridge while jogging, Iris comes to live with Ivy and their father. Narrator Ivy is reeling (she even goes to therapy), but Iris seems strangely detached, only coming to life when Ivy introduces her to her best friends, Haley and Sophie, and her quarterback boyfriend, Ty. However, Ivy isn’t thrilled when Iris wants to change her class schedule to match hers, and it’s not long before Iris befriends Ivy’s besties and even makes plans with them that don’t include Ivy. Iris even joins the swim team where Ivy is a star swimmer. As Iris’ strange behavior escalates, Ivy starts to suspect that their mother’s death might not have been an accident. Is Iris up to no good, or is Ivy just paranoid? In the end, readers may not care. There are few surprises to be found in a narrative populated by paper-thin characters stuck fast in a derivative plot. Even a jarring final twist can’t save this one. Most characters seem to be white, but there is some diversity in secondary characters.

A lackluster take on a well-worn trope. (Thriller. 13-18)

Pub Date: March 3, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-593-12496-3

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: Jan. 23, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2020

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A treat for mystery readers who enjoy being kept in suspense.


Everyone believes that Salil Singh killed his girlfriend, Andrea Bell, five years ago—except Pippa Fitz-Amobi.

Pip has known and liked Sal since childhood; he’d supported her when she was being bullied in middle school. For her senior capstone project, Pip researches the disappearance of former Fairview High student Andie, last seen on April 18, 2014, by her younger sister, Becca. The original investigation concluded with most of the evidence pointing to Sal, who was found dead in the woods, apparently by suicide. Andie’s body was never recovered, and Sal was assumed by most to be guilty of abduction and murder. Unable to ignore the gaps in the case, Pip sets out to prove Sal’s innocence, beginning with interviewing his younger brother, Ravi. With his help, Pip digs deeper, unveiling unsavory facts about Andie and the real reason Sal’s friends couldn’t provide him with an alibi. But someone is watching, and Pip may be in more danger than she realizes. Pip’s sleuthing is both impressive and accessible. Online articles about the case and interview transcripts are provided throughout, and Pip’s capstone logs offer insights into her thought processes as new evidence and suspects arise. Jackson’s debut is well-executed and surprises readers with a connective web of interesting characters and motives. Pip and Andie are white, and Sal is of Indian descent.

A treat for mystery readers who enjoy being kept in suspense. (Mystery. 14-18)

Pub Date: Feb. 4, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9848-9636-0

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2019

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