High-octane espionage that’s heavy on thrills but light on character growth.

ENEMY EXPOSURE

From the Raven Files series , Vol. 2

Teen spy Jocelyn recruits double agents from KATO to gain intelligence, but can she trust them?

Jocelyn Steely, now code-named Raven, has a new mission at the International Defense Agency. She and Travis (code name: Scorpion), her former enemy–turned-confidant, must find Eliza Foster, an English girl kidnapped by KATO as leverage against her weapons-expert father. The situation is personal: Joss was taken for similar reasons. She’s still haunted by PTSD and a lingering addiction to the drug Gerex. A decoded North Korean message pins the future of KATO’s training and control on Eliza, and when Joss extracts the girl from a safe house in Russia, it’s clear that different evils were done to her. Eliza wasn’t honed into a brutal weapon—she was an experiment. Joss decides that the only way to thwart KATO and learn the nature of what was done to Eliza is to recruit double agents. But not everyone at the IDA trusts making deals with KATO, and Joss risks being caught with the promise of no rescue regardless of new alliances. Joss’ latest mission is filled with well-paced intrigue, making for a suspenseful page-turner. However, the much-hyped North Korean agents bend to her will too easily, and attempts to build a relationship with her once-estranged father read as ancillary to the plot. For all that this is a story about North Korean espionage, racial differences are oddly downplayed; Joss, Travis, and Eliza are all evidently white.

High-octane espionage that’s heavy on thrills but light on character growth. (Thriller. 14-18)

Pub Date: March 14, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-399-17618-0

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: Dec. 14, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2017

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This gripping page-turner will keep readers guessing until the final twist.

SHE'S GONE

Seventeen-year-old Hunter Gifford has no memories of the car accident he was in the night of the homecoming dance with Chloe Summers, his now-missing girlfriend.

In the small southern Kentucky city of Bentley, comments on social media condemn Hunter as responsible for Chloe’s disappearance. When he attends the community vigil for her, Chloe’s mother publicly accuses Hunter of obstructing the investigation. Hunter’s own mom died when he was 15 and his sister, Olivia, was 12. Their dad has awkwardly attempted to pull his weight as a solo parent, and Hunter has stepped in and nurtured Livvy. Small but mighty Livvy is an ardent defender of her brother and is fiercely in love with her girlfriend, Gabriela. To make things worse, childhood friend Daniel informs Hunter that he’s making a true-crime documentary about Chloe. Hunter is upset, especially since it makes him look like a prime suspect, and a subsequent dramatic event draws more attention to the video. Hunter and Chloe met in creative writing club, and he knew she kept a journal—but it’s missing. Enter the sleuthing team of Hunter, Livvy, and Gabriela, who hatch a plan to find it. The dynamics between Hunter and Livvy and Livvy and Gabriela are endearing and will charm readers, who will root for them to solve the well-executed mystery. Main characters default to White; Gabriela is Mexican American.

This gripping page-turner will keep readers guessing until the final twist. (Thriller. 14-18)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-72825-420-3

Page Count: 360

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Review Posted Online: Aug. 31, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2022

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

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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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