SOMEWHERE ONLY WE KNOW

A K-pop star finds love and adventure with an aspiring photographer in this modern retelling of Roman Holiday.

Lucky, a Korean-American K-pop star suffering an existential crisis over her career, plays hooky one night after a big concert in Hong Kong, escaping her handlers and bodyguard in search of a hamburger. Woozy on anti-anxiety medication and sleeping pills, she loses her way only to be rescued by Jack, an attractive stranger and fellow Korean-American who at first has no idea who she is and is struggling through his own personal crisis over whether to study banking to please his parents or pursue the photography he’s so passionate about. As Lucky and Jack adventure through Hong Kong, they begin to fall for one another, but their budding connection is threatened by the lies they’ve told one another: Lucky hides her real identity, pretending to be an ordinary girl who is on tour with her church choir, while Jack has secret plans to sell photographs of their day together to a tabloid to help launch his career. Narrated in short chapters that alternate between Jack’s and Lucky’s first-person perspectives, Goo (The Way You Make Me Feel, 2018, etc.) develops each character’s voice with clarity. A quick-paced, entertaining plot, witty banter, and expert characterization make this a light and satisfying read, and a wealth of local details effortlessly immerse the reader in the worlds of Hong Kong and K-pop stardom.

Charming and swoonworthy. (Fiction. 14-18)

Pub Date: May 7, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-374-31057-8

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: April 11, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2019

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This grittily provocative debut explores the horrors of self-harm and the healing power of artistic expression.

GIRL IN PIECES

After surviving a suicide attempt, a fragile teen isn't sure she can endure without cutting herself.

Seventeen-year-old Charlie Davis, a white girl living on the margins, thinks she has little reason to live: her father drowned himself; her bereft and abusive mother kicked her out; her best friend, Ellis, is nearly brain dead after cutting too deeply; and she's gone through unspeakable experiences living on the street. After spending time in treatment with other young women like her—who cut, burn, poke, and otherwise hurt themselves—Charlie is released and takes a bus from the Twin Cities to Tucson to be closer to Mikey, a boy she "like-likes" but who had pined for Ellis instead. But things don't go as planned in the Arizona desert, because sweet Mikey just wants to be friends. Feeling rejected, Charlie, an artist, is drawn into a destructive new relationship with her sexy older co-worker, a "semifamous" local musician who's obviously a junkie alcoholic. Through intense, diarylike chapters chronicling Charlie's journey, the author captures the brutal and heartbreaking way "girls who write their pain on their bodies" scar and mar themselves, either succumbing or surviving. Like most issue books, this is not an easy read, but it's poignant and transcendent as Charlie breaks more and more before piecing herself back together.

This grittily provocative debut explores the horrors of self-harm and the healing power of artistic expression. (author’s note) (Fiction. 14 & up)

Pub Date: Aug. 30, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-101-93471-5

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: May 4, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2016

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Black is building a complex mythology; now is a great time to tune in.

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THE CRUEL PRINCE

From the Folk of the Air series , Vol. 1

Black is back with another dark tale of Faerie, this one set in Faerie and launching a new trilogy.

Jude—broken, rebuilt, fueled by anger and a sense of powerlessness—has never recovered from watching her adoptive Faerie father murder her parents. Human Jude (whose brown hair curls and whose skin color is never described) both hates and loves Madoc, whose murderous nature is true to his Faerie self and who in his way loves her. Brought up among the Gentry, Jude has never felt at ease, but after a decade, Faerie has become her home despite the constant peril. Black’s latest looks at nature and nurture and spins a tale of court intrigue, bloodshed, and a truly messed-up relationship that might be the saving of Jude and the titular prince, who, like Jude, has been shaped by the cruelties of others. Fierce and observant Jude is utterly unaware of the currents that swirl around her. She fights, plots, even murders enemies, but she must also navigate her relationship with her complex family (human, Faerie, and mixed). This is a heady blend of Faerie lore, high fantasy, and high school drama, dripping with description that brings the dangerous but tempting world of Faerie to life.

Black is building a complex mythology; now is a great time to tune in. (Fantasy. 14-adult)

Pub Date: Jan. 2, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-316-31027-7

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Sept. 26, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2017

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