Avoiding second-volume sag with plenty of charisma, this outing proves to be a satisfying read that takes the baton neatly...

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ELITE

From the Hunter series , Vol. 2

Following the events of Hunter (2015), now that she’s become an Elite, Joy knows she’s in for more high-stakes danger and will be facing more dangerous Othersiders than before.

Backed by her pack of 11 Hounds, more than any other Hunter, she feels certain she’s ready for the job. However, it soon becomes clear that she and the rest of Apex City’s leaders and protectors—including the PsiCorps—are not as prepared for what is beyond the Barriers as they thought. Within them, rising political and power tensions between the Hunters and the PsiCorps make for additional issues. Then Joy, on special assignment, comes to discover dead Psimons in the city sewers she’s been tasked with patrolling. With each newly discovered body, Joy becomes more likely to take the fall for their deaths. When Ace, the Hunter who tried to murder Joy at her Elite trials, escapes and defects to the Othersiders, the city’s guardians realize that they may be unable to protect the city. Lackey efficiently brings readers up to speed, quickly laying out the rules of this multicultural post-apocalyptic future that blends technology and magic before plunging into this middle volume’s plot. Such details as a rare feast of pizza hammers home Joy’s reality.

Avoiding second-volume sag with plenty of charisma, this outing proves to be a satisfying read that takes the baton neatly from the first and leaves readers ready for more . (Science fiction/fantasy. 12 & up)

Pub Date: Sept. 6, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4847-0785-2

Page Count: 368

Publisher: Hyperion

Review Posted Online: June 28, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2016

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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 unpolished grab bag of incidents that tries to make a point about racial inequality.

I'M NOT DYING WITH YOU TONIGHT

Two teenage girls—Lena and Campbell—come together following a football game night gone wrong.

Campbell, who is white and new to Atlanta, now attends the school where Lena, who is black, is a queen bee. At a game between McPherson High and their rival, a racist slur leads to fights, and shots are fired. The unlikely pair are thrown together as they try to escape the dangers on campus only to find things are even more perilous on the outside; a police blockade forces them to walk through a dangerous neighborhood toward home. En route, a peaceful protest turns into rioting, and the presence of police sets off a clash with protestors with gruesome consequences. The book attempts to tackle racial injustice in America by offering two contrasting viewpoints via narrators of different races. However, it portrays black characters as violent and criminal and the white ones as excusably ignorant and subtly racist, seemingly redeemed by moments when they pause to consider their privileges and biases. Unresolved story arcs, underdeveloped characters, and a jumpy plot that tries to pack too much into too small a space leave the story lacking. This is not a story of friendship but of how trauma can forge a bond—albeit a weak and questionable one—if only for a night.

An unpolished grab bag of incidents that tries to make a point about racial inequality. (Fiction. 15-adult)

Pub Date: Aug. 6, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4926-7889-2

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Review Posted Online: May 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2019

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