Original and compelling.

A fresh take on the Persephone and Hades myth told through the eyes of a modern teen girl.

Seventeen-year-old Corey has grown up on the Island, where Greek gods and their mythology pervade the community’s culture and serve as their religion. Corey feels most at home when spending time with her friends and family and working in her garden. When Corey’s boyfriend, Alistair, unexpectedly leaves her for her best friend, Bree, Corey is certain they’ll now be enemies for life. But on the night of Thesmophoria, the Island’s ancient annual celebration, Bree drowns in the lake. While Corey grapples with confusion—a combination of her ongoing hatred for Bree, mixed with the shock of sudden grief and nagging guilt—she finds herself pulled into the world of the Greek gods she’s grown up with. She’s dragged through the river Styx into the Underworld, where she joins Hades and other familiar figures, including Hermes and the Furies. This is an enjoyable interpretation of the story of Persephone and Hades with plentiful nods to perennially popular figures and tales from Greek mythology. While the plot occasionally drags and the worldbuilding is a little fuzzy, Salisbury realistically captures the tension, anxiety, and rage of a teenager who’s been betrayed by people she trusted against the backdrop of a darkly atmospheric setting. Main characters read white; there is some racial diversity among secondary characters.

Original and compelling. (Fantasy. 13-18)

Pub Date: tomorrow

ISBN: 9780593705582

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: Sept. 9, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2023


There’s not much plot here, but readers will relish the opportunity to climb inside Autumn’s head.

The finely drawn characters capture readers’ attention in this debut.

Autumn and Phineas, nicknamed Finny, were born a week apart; their mothers are still best friends. Growing up, Autumn and Finny were like peas in a pod despite their differences: Autumn is “quirky and odd,” while Finny is “sweet and shy and everyone like[s] him.” But in eighth grade, Autumn and Finny stop being friends due to an unexpected kiss. They drift apart and find new friends, but their friendship keeps asserting itself at parties, shared holiday gatherings and random encounters. In the summer after graduation, Autumn and Finny reconnect and are finally ready to be more than friends. But on August 8, everything changes, and Autumn has to rely on all her strength to move on. Autumn’s coming-of-age is sensitively chronicled, with a wide range of experiences and events shaping her character. Even secondary characters are well-rounded, with their own histories and motivations.

There’s not much plot here, but readers will relish the opportunity to climb inside Autumn’s head.   (Fiction. 14 & up)

Pub Date: April 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-4022-7782-5

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Review Posted Online: Feb. 12, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2013


An ode to the children of migrants who have been taken away.

A Mexican American boy takes on heavy responsibilities when his family is torn apart.

Mateo’s life is turned upside down the day U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents show up unsuccessfully seeking his Pa at his New York City bodega. The Garcias live in fear until the day both parents are picked up; his Pa is taken to jail and his Ma to a detention center. The adults around Mateo offer support to him and his 7-year-old sister, Sophie, however, he knows he is now responsible for caring for her and the bodega as well as trying to survive junior year—that is, if he wants to fulfill his dream to enter the drama program at the Tisch School of the Arts and become an actor. Mateo’s relationships with his friends Kimmie and Adam (a potential love interest) also suffer repercussions as he keeps his situation a secret. Kimmie is half Korean (her other half is unspecified) and Adam is Italian American; Mateo feels disconnected from them, less American, and with worries they can’t understand. He talks himself out of choosing a safer course of action, a decision that deepens the story. Mateo’s self-awareness and inner monologue at times make him seem older than 16, and, with significant turmoil in the main plot, some side elements feel underdeveloped. Aleman’s narrative joins the ranks of heart-wrenching stories of migrant families who have been separated.

An ode to the children of migrants who have been taken away. (Fiction. 14-18)

Pub Date: May 4, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-7595-5605-8

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Feb. 22, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2021

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