The plot unravels slowly, woven in beautiful prose. (Fiction. 14-18)

HOW WE LEARNED TO LIE

Two teens struggle to make sense of their relationships with their families and each other as drugs, violence, a bad cop, and their own inexplicable choices change everything.

Joan has a mind for biology and a passion for sea creatures. Her best friend, a boy nicknamed Daisy by his mother, has a passion for figuring out the telephone network and using pay phones to learn things he’s not supposed to know. Neither understands the other’s particular fascinations, but the two have been best friends since they were little and cannot imagine life without each other. Joan has been angry about her family’s secrets and silences since her mother moved from the outskirts where they live into New York City to pursue work in the theater. When Daisy’s reckless older brother, Robbie, shows up with someone else’s blood on his hands, Joan becomes determined to figure out what kind of trouble Robbie is in. However, Daisy pretends that nothing is wrong, and that lie cracks their bond of trust and ushers in many more lies between them. Set in 1979-80 and using alternating narrators, Miller’s (Little Wrecks, 2017) tale offers a stunning portrayal of platonic love, the forces that push people apart, and the pains of growing out into the world. Joan is black, and Daisy is white.

The plot unravels slowly, woven in beautiful prose. (Fiction. 14-18)

Pub Date: July 31, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-06-247428-5

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: April 10, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2018

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Part coming-of-age story and part exposé of Duterte’s problematic policies, this powerful and courageous story offers...

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PATRON SAINTS OF NOTHING

Seventeen-year-old Jay Reguero searches for the truth about his cousin’s death amid President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs while on an epic trip back to his native Philippines.

Shocked out of his senioritis slumber when his beloved cousin Jun is killed by the police in the Philippines for presumably using drugs, Jay makes a radical move to spend his spring break in the Philippines to find out the whole story. Once pen pals, Jay hasn’t corresponded with Jun in years and is wracked by guilt at ghosting his cousin. A mixed heritage (his mother is white) Filipino immigrant who grew up in suburban Michigan, Jay’s connection to current-day Philippines has dulled from assimilation. His internal tensions around culture, identity, and languages—as “a spoiled American”—are realistic. Told through a mix of first-person narration, Jun’s letters to Jay, and believable dialogue among a strong, full cast of characters, the result is a deeply emotional story about family ties, addiction, and the complexity of truth. The tender relationship between Jay and Jun is especially notable—as is the underlying commentary about the challenges and nuances between young men and their uncles, fathers, male friends, and male cousins.

Part coming-of-age story and part exposé of Duterte’s problematic policies, this powerful and courageous story offers readers a refreshingly emotional depiction of a young man of color with an earnest desire for the truth. (author’s note, recommended reading) (Fiction. 14-18)

Pub Date: June 18, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-525-55491-2

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Kokila

Review Posted Online: March 27, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2019

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Black is building a complex mythology; now is a great time to tune in.

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THE CRUEL PRINCE

From the Folk of the Air series , Vol. 1

Black is back with another dark tale of Faerie, this one set in Faerie and launching a new trilogy.

Jude—broken, rebuilt, fueled by anger and a sense of powerlessness—has never recovered from watching her adoptive Faerie father murder her parents. Human Jude (whose brown hair curls and whose skin color is never described) both hates and loves Madoc, whose murderous nature is true to his Faerie self and who in his way loves her. Brought up among the Gentry, Jude has never felt at ease, but after a decade, Faerie has become her home despite the constant peril. Black’s latest looks at nature and nurture and spins a tale of court intrigue, bloodshed, and a truly messed-up relationship that might be the saving of Jude and the titular prince, who, like Jude, has been shaped by the cruelties of others. Fierce and observant Jude is utterly unaware of the currents that swirl around her. She fights, plots, even murders enemies, but she must also navigate her relationship with her complex family (human, Faerie, and mixed). This is a heady blend of Faerie lore, high fantasy, and high school drama, dripping with description that brings the dangerous but tempting world of Faerie to life.

Black is building a complex mythology; now is a great time to tune in. (Fantasy. 14-adult)

Pub Date: Jan. 2, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-316-31027-7

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Sept. 26, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2017

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