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

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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 story is necessary. This story is important.

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THE HATE U GIVE

Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter is a black girl and an expert at navigating the two worlds she exists in: one at Garden Heights, her black neighborhood, and the other at Williamson Prep, her suburban, mostly white high school.

Walking the line between the two becomes immensely harder when Starr is present at the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend, Khalil, by a white police officer. Khalil was unarmed. Khalil’s death becomes national news, where he’s called a thug and possible drug dealer and gangbanger. His death becomes justified in the eyes of many, including one of Starr’s best friends at school. The police’s lackadaisical attitude sparks anger and then protests in the community, turning it into a war zone. Questions remain about what happened in the moments leading to Khalil’s death, and the only witness is Starr, who must now decide what to say or do, if anything. Thomas cuts to the heart of the matter for Starr and for so many like her, laying bare the systemic racism that undergirds her world, and she does so honestly and inescapably, balancing heartbreak and humor. With smooth but powerful prose delivered in Starr’s natural, emphatic voice, finely nuanced characters, and intricate and realistic relationship dynamics, this novel will have readers rooting for Starr and opening their hearts to her friends and family.

This story is necessary. This story is important. (Fiction. 14-adult)

Pub Date: Feb. 28, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-06-249853-3

Page Count: 464

Publisher: Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Dec. 6, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2016

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An emotionally engaging closer that fumbles in its final moments.

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ALWAYS AND FOREVER, LARA JEAN

From the To All the Boys I've Loved Before series , Vol. 3

Lara Jean prepares for college and a wedding.

Korean-American Lara Jean is finally settled into a nice, complication-free relationship with her white boyfriend, Peter. But things don’t stay simple for long. When college acceptance letters roll in, Peter and Lara Jean discover they’re heading in different directions. As the two discuss the long-distance thing, Lara Jean’s widower father is making a major commitment: marrying the neighbor lady he’s been dating. The whirlwind of a wedding, college visits, prom, and the last few months of senior year provides an excellent backdrop for this final book about Lara Jean. The characters ping from event to event with emotions always at the forefront. Han further develops her cast, pushing them to new maturity and leaving few stones unturned. There’s only one problem here, and it’s what’s always held this series back from true greatness: Peter. Despite Han’s best efforts to flesh out Peter with abandonment issues and a crummy dad, he remains little more than a handsome jock. Frankly, Lara Jean and Peter may have cute teen chemistry, but Han's nuanced characterizations have often helped to subvert typical teen love-story tropes. This knowing subversion is frustratingly absent from the novel's denouement.

An emotionally engaging closer that fumbles in its final moments. (Romance. 14-17)

Pub Date: May 2, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4814-3048-7

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: March 29, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2017

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