A white 17-year-old deals with the aftermath of killing her attacker in self-defense.
Seelie knows that she had to kill Shane when he ambushed her in a hayloft, choking her and brutally stabbing her face and leg, but her small Massachusetts town vilifies her. The loudest faction sides with Shane, an older, presumably white boy whose father is an esteemed judge. Thrace’s debut chronicles the fallout, centering on a court case against Seelie. If some technical details about the legal process are brushed over, it’s in service of the fast-paced narrative. Overwhelmed by what happened, Seelie conceals a key detail about the attack, a component that she doesn’t want to face. It’s markedly convenient that no one asks her questions regarding this secret, but the plot depends upon it going unmentioned. Seelie’s school peers harass her, labeling her a murderer, while her manipulative single mother treats the entire situation as an inconvenience. However, Seelie can rely on Cara, a young black lawyer defending her pro bono, and her tightknit friend group. Among her friends is her crush, Lyssa, a protective, pugnacious biracial (Japanese and French Canadian) girl. As more details about the attack come to light, the group’s dynamic is jeopardized. Seelie’s intimate first-person account invites readers in as she empowers herself to acknowledge the full truth of what happened.
Engaging and honest. (Fiction. 14-18)