An unflinching look at rape culture and its repercussions.

READ REVIEW

THE FEMALE OF THE SPECIES

Three teens in small-town Ohio struggle with sexual violence, together and individually, in a tragic thriller.

Alex, Jack, and Peekay are white high school seniors looking ahead to the next phases of their lives. Alex’s older sister, Anna, was raped and murdered their freshman year, and she’s been quietly seething ever since. In fact, she stalked and killed her sister’s murderer so skillfully that she has evaded any legal repercussions, and her vengeful exploit has become legend in their close-knit, economically blighted town. Relationships within the group shift: preacher’s kid Peekay (given name: Claire) befriends Alex when their volunteer shifts at the local animal shelter overlap; Peekay’s boyfriend, Adam, cheats on her with classically gorgeous cheerleader Branley; swaggering Jack breaks off his friends-with-benefits arrangement with Branley to pursue Alex. This gives readers a close look at how the emotional claustrophobia of their town affects everyone. When you party in the same crumbling, abandoned church that your parents used for their illicit beer-soaked parties, how do you confide in them or the local sympathetic police officer about the rape your friend barely saved you from? All three teens are haunted by the memory of Anna’s murder, and Alex’s inclination to both considering and exacting revenge with cruel efficiency leads them all inexorably to an explosive, terrible finale.

An unflinching look at rape culture and its repercussions. (Thriller. 15-18)

Pub Date: Sept. 20, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-06-232089-6

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Katherine Tegen/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: June 1, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2016

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...

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?

An atmospheric and creepy page-turner.

I KILLED ZOE SPANOS

Seventeen-year-old Anna Cicconi finds herself in the middle of a mystery when she takes a summer nanny job in the swanky Hamptons enclave of Herron Hills.

Frick begins her story at the end. Well, sort of. August in the Hamptons signals the turning of the leaves and sees the grisly discovery of 19-year-old Zoe Spanos’ body. Zoe disappeared on New Year’s Eve, and Anna, who happens to strongly resemble her, has confessed to her murder. However, Martina Green, who runs the podcast Missing Zoe, doesn’t believe Anna did it and attempts to find out what really happened. Flash back to June: Hard-partying recent high school grad Anna sees her new job caring for Tom and Emilia Bellamy’s 8-year-old daughter as a fresh start. As one sun-drenched day melts into the next, Anna is drawn to Windemere, the neighboring Talbots’ looming, Gothic-style home, and to the brooding, mysterious Caden Talbot. But Anna can’t shake a feeling of déjà vu, and she’s having impossible memories that intertwine her life with Zoe’s. Frick easily juggles multiple narratives, and readers will enjoy connecting the dots of her cleverly plotted thriller inspired by Daphne du Maurier’s classic Rebecca. Anna and Zoe are white; the supporting cast includes biracial characters Martina (Latinx/white) and Caden (black/white). Caden discusses grappling with being raised by white adoptive parents, facing racialized suspicion as Zoe’s boyfriend, and feeling marginalized at Yale.

An atmospheric and creepy page-turner. (map) (Thriller. 14-adult)

Pub Date: June 30, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5344-4970-1

Page Count: 384

Publisher: McElderry

Review Posted Online: March 11, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2020

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more