A series stand-alone that won’t disappoint Turner aficionados

THICK AS THIEVES

From the Queen's Thief series

A slave escapes across the wilderness and cities of the Mede empire with an enemy soldier.

Kamet is proud to be the enslaved secretary to Nahuseresh, former ambassador to Attolia. He must endure his master’s moods and is sometimes badly flogged, but he will one day belong to the emperor’s heir and will become exceedingly powerful. Still, even a respected slave is no freeman; when a fellow slave tells Kamet that their master’s been poisoned, he flees the household to avoid inevitable torture and slow death. He joins a young Attolian soldier who claims to be on a mission from his king and promises Kamet his freedom. Kamet has every intention of escaping from the Attolian, but a deep affection grows as they survive elite imperial forces, slavers, near starvation, and even aggressive dogs. Their journey and friendship parallel that of Immakuk and Ennikar, legendary Mede heroes who evoke Gilgamesh and Enkidu in this Persian-feeling empire. This series fifth can stand alone without reading the rest of the books, although brown-skinned Kamet and the light-skinned Attolian are previously introduced characters. Kamet’s growth as this loyal slave develops self-reflection is first-rate. As with Turner’s other Attolia books, this invites an older audience, but the perilous journey, character growth, and understated affection of shield brothers offer more teen appeal than the political drama of earlier Queen’s Thief novels.

A series stand-alone that won’t disappoint Turner aficionados . (Fantasy. 14-adult)

Pub Date: May 16, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-06-256824-3

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Greenwillow Books

Review Posted Online: March 6, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2017

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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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Swoonworthy wish fulfillment that checks all the right boxes.

HERE'S TO US

Former boyfriends’ “big Broadway love story” gets a revival in this sequel to What If It’s Us (2018).

Two years after their flash romance, Ben Alejo and Arthur Seuss (both now in college) couldn’t have drifted further apart. But destiny intervenes when Arthur lands his “ultimate top-tier pie-in-the-sky dream job” interning at a queer off-Broadway theater for the summer. Their long-anticipated reunion comes with a small catch: Both boys are basically taken. Ben met Mario in his college creative writing class, and, while they aren’t boyfriends, the connection—and attraction—is definitely there. Arthur’s officially dating Mikey, whose sweetness and steadiness saved him from remaining a “Ben-addled mess.” Cue the confusion—and inevitable broken hearts—as Ben and Arthur contend with their pasts and presents while trying to figure out their futures. Who will end up with whom? Albertalli’s and Silvera’s voices blend seamlessly, balancing the complexities of the boys’ situations with heartfelt (and heartwarming) nostalgia. As in the previous book, the narrative alternates between Ben’s and Arthur’s perspectives with off-the-charts wit and chemistry. Lovable side characters have grown and matured, while new characters expand the world to create an even stronger sense of community. Loose ends are tied up believably with an epilogue. Arthur is Jewish; Ben and Mario are Puerto Rican, and Mikey is White.

Swoonworthy wish fulfillment that checks all the right boxes. (Fiction. 14-18)

Pub Date: Dec. 28, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-06-307163-6

Page Count: 448

Publisher: Quill Tree Books/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Oct. 13, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2021

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