Sure to win over YA readers looking for a dangerous, dystopian adventure story balanced by emotion.



A sci-fi adventure with a sweet YA love story at its center.

Kira Donovan is enjoying high school with her boyfriend, Tristan, and her best friend, Bri. She’s had to take all these weird intellectual, psychological and physical tests, but she’s got an end-of-the-year party to look forward to. Searching for Tristan among the partygoers, she runs into Ethan, who has eyes too blue and a face too handsome to ignore. After a terrible tragedy that evening claims the lives of her friends, Kira and the school loner, Blake, find themselves on a harsh but habitable planet called Thera, which is governed by mysterious powers. There are nightly doctor’s visits, hours of computer-led classes and strange ways of getting around, like zip lines and skateboards. As roommates at school, Kira and Blake are expected to “Cleave,” or mate for life. But Blake, having grown up with the hardship of alternating between Earth and Thera, has his own agenda, one that includes revenge upon the brutal Theran leaders who destroyed his family. When Tristan, Bri and Ethan all show up, with no memory of their past lives or deaths, Kira and Blake feel the stakes of their joint mission—and of their romantic expectations—rise even higher. Author Thomason rotates the chapters through different characters’ perspectives, allowing their distinctive voices and conflicting motivations to round out her thoroughly described world. The narrative perfectly captures the cadences and nuances of teen speech, blending with a richly imagined alternate world in which breaking the rules can result in being “Exiled” to certain death—but sticking to the rules may be just as bad.

Sure to win over YA readers looking for a dangerous, dystopian adventure story balanced by emotion. 

Pub Date: Nov. 26, 2012

ISBN: 978-1480226555

Page Count: 320

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: Dec. 21, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2013

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A probably harmless, entirely forgettable series opener.


From the Selection series , Vol. 1

It's a bad sign when you can figure out the elevator pitch for a novel from the get-go.

In this case, if it wasn't "The Bachelor meets The Hunger Games," it was pretty darn close. In a rigid, caste-based dystopian future, Illéa’s Prince Maxon has come of age and needs to marry. One girl will be chosen by lottery from each province to travel to the Capital and live in the palace so the prince can make his choice. The winning girl will become queen, and her family will all be elevated to Ones. America, a Five, doesn't want to join the Selection because she is in love with Aspen, a Six. But pressure from both her family and Aspen causes her to relent, and the rest is entirely predictable. She's chosen, she goes to the palace, she draws the ire of the other girls with her beauty and the interest of the prince with her spunky independence. Prince Maxon is much nicer than she expected, but she will remain loyal to Aspen. Maybe. Shabby worldbuilding complements the formulaic plot. Scant explanation is made for the ructions that have created the current political reality, and the palace is laughably vulnerable to rebels from both the North and the South, neither of whom are given any credible motives. But there's lots of descriptions of dresses.

A probably harmless, entirely forgettable series opener. (Dystopian romance. 13 & up)

Pub Date: April 24, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-06-205993-2

Page Count: 336

Publisher: HarperTeen

Review Posted Online: Feb. 22, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2012

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

An exciting, layered, action-filled tale with a cast of sympathetic characters.


A group of young soldiers defend their home against the evil Karensa Federation.

Talin is a Basean refugee in Mara, treated with xenophobic cruelty by many but recognized for her skill by her battle partner, Corian, and friends Rooke and Jeran. The capture of a former Federation fighter named Redlen with magnificent, strange abilities forces her into new territory and life-altering decisions. Redlen exposes details about the Federation’s genetically engineered army of Ghosts, zombielike creatures, leading Talin and the rest to hatch a desperate scheme to infiltrate their stronghold and sabotage their production—against explicit orders. Their mission and its aftermath help Talin understand more about her role in Mara and her reasons for defending a nation where she is often persecuted. In this cinematically imagined dystopia, Talin uses sign language to communicate since early trauma in her homeland at the hands of the Federation resulted in the cessation of her speech. In a deftly plotted first-person narrative that is both expansive and detailed in its depiction of the setting and includes quick-moving battle sequences, Talin’s trajectory is convincing. In a few instances, her earnest realizations about her own motivations can feel a bit pat, but this is a mostly nuanced and poignant story that is left wide open for a welcome sequel. Characters have a range of skin tones; one male character is in love with another man.

An exciting, layered, action-filled tale with a cast of sympathetic characters. (map) (Fantasy. 13-18)

Pub Date: Sept. 29, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-250-22168-1

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Roaring Brook

Review Posted Online: July 27, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2020

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet