NICHOLAS DANE

Coming from England, this bleak, violent, slang-inflected street saga exposes the machinations of power and villainy in Manchester's social services and criminal underworld. The year is 1984, and 14-year-old Nicholas Dane loses his mother and only known relative to an unexpected heroin overdose. An ineffective social worker decides leaving Nick with his mother's close friend is not in the teen's best interest and sends him to Meadow Hill, a home for boys. Violence from both staff and other boys is vicious and near-constant, and the one seemingly compassionate figure there turns out to be a terrifying master manipulator who sexually abuses boys with impunity. Institutional cruelty, domestic violence and the horrors of addiction are depicted in graphic and occasionally prurient detail. The omniscient narrator incisively explicates how shame, fear, anger and desperation motivate horrific acts, and Nick's transformation from warmhearted troublemaker to angry, secretive street kid illustrates both the effects of deliberate mistreatment and the uselessness of government intervention. A small note of hope ends this gripping but harsh tale. (Historical fiction. 15 & up)

Pub Date: Dec. 7, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-8050-9203-5

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: Oct. 11, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2010

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Green seamlessly bridges the gap between the present and the existential, and readers will need more than one box of tissues...

Reader Votes

  • Readers Vote
  • 32

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • New York Times Bestseller

THE FAULT IN OUR STARS

He’s in remission from the osteosarcoma that took one of his legs. She’s fighting the brown fluid in her lungs caused by tumors. Both know that their time is limited.

Sparks fly when Hazel Grace Lancaster spies Augustus “Gus” Waters checking her out across the room in a group-therapy session for teens living with cancer. He’s a gorgeous, confident, intelligent amputee who always loses video games because he tries to save everyone. She’s smart, snarky and 16; she goes to community college and jokingly calls Peter Van Houten, the author of her favorite book, An Imperial Affliction, her only friend besides her parents. He asks her over, and they swap novels. He agrees to read the Van Houten and she agrees to read his—based on his favorite bloodbath-filled video game. The two become connected at the hip, and what follows is a smartly crafted intellectual explosion of a romance. From their trip to Amsterdam to meet the reclusive Van Houten to their hilariously flirty repartee, readers will swoon on nearly every page. Green’s signature style shines: His carefully structured dialogue and razor-sharp characters brim with genuine intellect, humor and desire. He takes on Big Questions that might feel heavy-handed in the words of any other author: What do oblivion and living mean? Then he deftly parries them with humor: “My nostalgia is so extreme that I am capable of missing a swing my butt never actually touched.” Dog-earing of pages will no doubt ensue.

Green seamlessly bridges the gap between the present and the existential, and readers will need more than one box of tissues to make it through Hazel and Gus’ poignant journey. (Fiction. 15 & up)

Pub Date: Jan. 10, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-525-47881-2

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Dutton

Review Posted Online: Jan. 10, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2012

Did you like this book?

ANNA K AWAY

From the Anna K series , Vol. 2

A tale of love and loss that spans the globe.

Instead of having a carefree summer, biracial (Korean/White) Anna is sent away from the familiarity of New York, her friends, the past school year’s scandal—and the memories of her dead boyfriend, Alexia Vronsky. While struggling with grief, her shattered self-image, and an uncertain future, Anna attempts to reclaim her summer in Seoul, where she knows only her father and grandmother. Beatrice, Alexia’s cousin, juggles her clingy girlfriend and falling for a California surfer even as she represses her grief. Meanwhile, Anna’s brother, Steven, plans for an amazing summer party, although Lolly, his girlfriend, is away at theater camp. Steven’s best friend, Dustin, and Kimmie, Lolly’s younger sister, are equally nervous about their first sexual experience together. This sequel to Anna K (2020) contains fewer mentions of luxury brands, and the characters exhibit an increased awareness of the impacts of wealth and socio-economic status. The novel also touches on issues of addiction, sexism, cultural differences, fame, relationships, love, and mental health; in particular, the portrayals of living with grief and redefining the self after a loved one dies shine. Despite some awkward time skips, the humor, pop-culture references, and characters’ distinct voices strengthen the story. Fans of the first novel will enjoy this follow-up, which is also accessible to readers new to Anna and her world. Some major characters are White; Dustin is Black and Jewish, and there is diversity in the supporting cast.

Entertaining. (cast of characters) (Fiction. 15-18)

Pub Date: April 27, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-250-23646-3

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Flatiron Books

Review Posted Online: March 25, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2021

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more