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

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 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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Eden’s emotionally raw narration is compelling despite its solipsism. (Fiction. 14-18)

THE WAY I USED TO BE

In the three years following Eden’s brutal rape by her brother’s best friend, Kevin, she descends into anger, isolation, and promiscuity.

Eden’s silence about the assault is cemented by both Kevin’s confident assurance that if she tells anyone, “No one will ever believe you. You know that. No one. Not ever,” and a chillingly believable death threat. For the remainder of Eden’s freshman year, she withdraws from her family and becomes increasingly full of hatred for Kevin and the world she feels failed to protect her. But when a friend mentions that she’s “reinventing” herself, Eden embarks on a hopeful plan to do the same. She begins her sophomore year with new clothes and friendly smiles for her fellow students, which attract the romantic attentions of a kind senior athlete. But, bizarrely, Kevin’s younger sister goes on a smear campaign to label Eden a “totally slutty disgusting whore,” which sends Eden back toward self-destruction. Eden narrates in a tightly focused present tense how she withdraws again from nearly everyone and attempts to find comfort (or at least oblivion) through a series of nearly anonymous sexual encounters. This self-centeredness makes her relationships with other characters feel underdeveloped and even puzzling at times. Absent ethnic and cultural markers, Eden and her family and classmates are likely default white.

Eden’s emotionally raw narration is compelling despite its solipsism. (Fiction. 14-18)

Pub Date: March 22, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4814-4935-9

Page Count: 384

Publisher: McElderry

Review Posted Online: Dec. 16, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2016

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