An exquisitely written tale featuring a noble, hopeful protagonist who finds his true love.

HAVEN

In Lindsey’s (Fragile Spirits, 2014, etc.) YA paranormal romance, an attraction heats up between a street-wise teen and a classmate with an affinity for the moon.

When 17-year-old Aaron “Rain” Ryland’s drug-addict mother dies in a Houston homeless shelter, a judge sends him to live with his Aunt Ruby, his mother’s twin, who’s a police officer in New Wurzburg in Texas Hill Country. Tough, optimistic, and full of pluck, Rain has a “sixth sense about danger” that kicks in when he meets pale-blue–eyed, 17-year-old Friederike “Freddie” Burkhart, whom he finds to be “fierce and smart and painfully sexy.” Spellbound, he pursues her, and although she eventually enjoys his kisses, she pushes him away to keep him safe from an unspecified threat. Rain gains the trust of Freddie’s cousins, Thomas, Kurt, and Merrick, all members of the family that runs Haven Winery; he also commits to investigating the mysteries surrounding Freddie—her love of the moon, the danger she’s in, her dad’s murder, and her clan’s mysterious connection to another family in town, the Ericksens. Doing so, however, could mean the end of his life as he knows it. Lindsey develops the characters well; at one point, for example, Aunt Ruby breaks down in tears while gifting Rain with his deceased dad’s motocross bike, and Rain responds to this with the feeling that “he’d finally found a place where he belonged.” As the story’s tension steadily rises, the descriptions feel natural and organic to the action; for example, at a gathering at Aunt Ruby’s, Mrs. Ericksen works on her needlework and watches Rain “over her reading glasses, needle stabbing in and out.” The passion between Rain and Freddie is rendered sublimely (“She all but consumed him, wrapping her arms around his neck and digging her nails into his skin. Hot. Demanding. Perfect”), with actual sex happening offstage.

An exquisitely written tale featuring a noble, hopeful protagonist who finds his true love.

Pub Date: Nov. 7, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-63375-883-4

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Entangled Teen

Review Posted Online: Oct. 19, 2017

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A love letter to fans who will forgive (and even revel in) its excesses and indulgences.

MIDNIGHT SUN

From the Twilight series , Vol. 5

A long-awaited Twilight (2005) companion novel told from vampire Edward’s point of view.

Edward Cullen, a 104-year-old vampire (and eternal 17-year-old), finds his world turned upside down when new girl Bella Swan’s addictive scent drives a primal hunger, launching the classic story of vampire-meets-girl, vampire-wants-to-eat-girl, vampire-falls-in-love-with-girl. Edward’s broody inner monologue allows readers to follow every beat of his falling in love. The glacial pace and already familiar plot points mean that instead of surprise twists, characterization reigns. Meyer doesn’t shy away from making Edward far less sympathetic than Bella’s view of him (and his mind reading confirms that Bella’s view of him isn’t universal). Bella benefits from being seen without the curtain of self-deprecation from the original book, as Edward analyzes her every action for clues to her personality. The deeper, richer characterization of the leads comes at the expense of the secondary cast, who (with a few exceptions) alternate primarily along gender lines, between dimwitted buffoons and jealous mean girls. Once the vampiric threat from James’ storyline kicks off, vampire maneuvering and strategizing show off the interplay of the Cullens’ powers in a fresh way. After the action of the climax starts in earnest, though, it leans more into summary and monologue to get to the well-known ending. Aside from the Quileutes and the occasional background character, the cast defaults to White.

A love letter to fans who will forgive (and even revel in) its excesses and indulgences. (Paranormal romance. 12-adult)

Pub Date: Aug. 4, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-316-70704-6

Page Count: 672

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Aug. 8, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2020

Did you like this book?

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

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more