An occasionally thrilling paranormal romance with enough spellbinding incidents to overcome the clichéd components....

FRACTURE

Eleven full minutes pass before 17-year-old Delaney’s best friend Decker pulls her from beneath the ice of a northern Maine lake. Can she recover from the bizarre results of her long period without oxygen?

Or, perhaps more importantly, can their relationship, evolving from being soul mates for years toward being romantically involved, survive? Even though the doctors say Delaney should be severely brain damaged, the only aftereffect she can discover is that she’s suddenly aware of—and irresistibly drawn to—those around her who are about to die. It’s through that fixation that she meets handsome, intriguing Troy, who seems to share her new compulsion, but he has dark, disturbing secrets in connection to it. Delaney’s mother begins an emotional disintegration that results in her trying to keep the teen drugged with sedatives, adding an unnecessary complication to the plot, and Decker becomes involved with another girl, leaving Delaney no one to confide in. Her first-person narration and her issues with Decker largely ring true, but her mother’s problems feel contrived. Teetering between tired, predictable romance and edgy thriller, the breathlessly scary moments of this effort provide sufficient pizzazz to keep the plot moving forward, even though it’s sometimes bogged down by Delaney’s too-trite soul searching.

An occasionally thrilling paranormal romance with enough spellbinding incidents to overcome the clichéd components.  (Paranormal romantic thriller. 11 & up)

Pub Date: Jan. 3, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-8027-2309-3

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Walker

Review Posted Online: Oct. 19, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2011

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A lushly written story with an intriguing heart.

ONCE UPON A BROKEN HEART

From the Once Upon a Broken Heart series , Vol. 1

After praying to a Fate for help, Evangeline discovers the dangerous world of magic.

When her father passes away, Evangeline is left with her cold stepmother and kind but distant stepsister, Marisol. Despite inheriting a steady trust in magic, belief in her late mother’s homeland of the mystical North (where fantastical creatures live), and philosophy of hope for the future, her dreams are dashed when Luc, her love, pledges to marry Marisol instead. Evangeline desperately prays to the Prince of Hearts, a dangerous and fickle Fate famed for his heart that is waiting to be revived by his one true love—and his potentially lethal kisses. The bargain they strike sends her on a dark and magical journey throughout the land. The writing style fluctuates from clever and original to overly verbose and often confusing in its jumble of senses. While the pervasive magic and concept of the Fates as a religious system add interest, other fantasy elements are haphazardly incorporated without enough time devoted to building a cohesive world. However, the themes of love, the power of story, family influence, and holding onto belief are well rounded and add depth. The plot contains welcome surprises, and the large cast piques curiosity; readers will wish more time was spent getting to know them. Evangeline has rose-gold hair and, like other main characters, reads as White; there is diversity among the fantasy races in this world.

A lushly written story with an intriguing heart. (map) (Fantasy. 12-16)

Pub Date: Sept. 28, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-250-26839-6

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Flatiron Books

Review Posted Online: July 28, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2021

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An inspirational read.

THE LIGHT IN HIDDEN PLACES

A true story of faith, love, and heroism.

Stefania “Fusia” Podgórska longed for nothing more than to leave the rural Polish farm she was born on for the city of Przemyśl where her older sisters lived. At the age of 12, she did just that, finding a job with the Diamants, a family of Jewish shopkeepers who welcomed her into their lives. For three years they lived peacefully until the Germans dropped bombs on Przemyśl. The family struggled on as the war and anti-Semitism ramped up, but eventually, the Diamants were forced into a ghetto. Then 17, Catholic Fusia was determined to help them survive, even at the risk of her own safety, while also caring for her 6-year-old sister, Helena, after their family was taken by the Nazis for forced labor. Knowing the risks involved, Fusia made a bold decision to harbor Jews. As the number of people she sheltered increased, so did her panic about being caught, but she was determined to do what was right. Cameron (The Knowing, 2017, etc.) used Stefania’s unpublished memoir as well as interviews with family members as source material. She deftly details Fusia’s brave actions and includes moving family photographs in the author’s note. Narrated in the first person, the story highlights essential events in Fusia’s life while maintaining a consistent pace. Readers will be pulled in by the compelling opening and stay for the emotional journey.

An inspirational read. (author’s note) (Historical fiction. 13-18)

Pub Date: March 3, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-338-35593-2

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Dec. 8, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2020

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