OTHERKIN

From the Otherkin series , Vol. 1

Berry’s debut offers just the right combination of high-stakes exploits and steamy love scenes to keep readers up until the wee hours.

Sixteen-year-old Desdemona Grey has always felt a little “other.” Adopted when she was a baby, Dez doesn’t have a clue who or where her birth parents are or if they are even alive. To make matters worse, a crooked spine has kept her in a back brace for the last two years and ruined any hope she might have for a love life. But Dez didn’t have any idea just how “other” she was until a sudden rage transforms her into a tiger. Before she can even process the golden eyes staring back at her in the mirror, she is locked up in a cage next to a hot "shadow caller," who identifies her as a "shifter" and takes her to a school for others like her. He not only knows the secrets of her past but also holds the key to her future—and quite possibly to her heart. While Dez is certainly not your typical teen, the book is ripe with issues that will resonate with readers. From body image to friendship, first love and betrayal, the novel explores the truth that no matter who or what you are, there’s no escaping the politics of high school.

A page-turner. (Paranormal romance. 14 & up)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-7582-7691-9

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Kensington

Review Posted Online: June 27, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2012

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A powerful tale of found family and first love.

SOME MISTAKES WERE MADE

After a year away, Ellis returns home to confront her past.

Graduating from high school far from everything familiar was not part of Ellis Truman’s original plans, but she nevertheless ended up spending her senior year with her aunt in California. In Indiana, Ellis practically grew up with the Albrey family and their three tightknit sons, Dixon, Tucker, and Easton. Now, Tucker wants her to return home for matriarch Sandry Albrey’s 50th birthday celebration on the Fourth of July—but Ellis is dreading seeing Easton, as they haven’t talked since she left. Chapters alternate between past and present, and much of the story unravels slowly: How did she come to live with the Albreys? What caused Ellis to then end up in San Diego? What happened in her relationship with Easton? Patient readers will find the heartfelt tension pays off. With her father in and out of jail and an absent mother, socio-economic differences separating Ellis from the middle-class Albreys don’t go unnoticed, and Ellis’ down-to-earth journey shows how she unpacks her feelings about her relationship with her parents. The slow-build romance is swoonworthy, and young adult fans of Colleen Hoover seeking emotional devastation and unforgettable characters will find much to enjoy here. Characters read as White.

A powerful tale of found family and first love. (Fiction. 14-18)

Pub Date: May 10, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-06-308853-5

Page Count: 384

Publisher: HarperTeen

Review Posted Online: Jan. 11, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2022

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Many teen novels touch on similar themes, but few do it so memorably.

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ALL THE BRIGHT PLACES

Two struggling teens develop an unlikely relationship in a moving exploration of grief, suicide and young love.

Violet, a writer and member of the popular crowd, has withdrawn from her friends and from school activities since her sister died in a car accident nine months earlier. Finch, known to his classmates as "Theodore Freak," is famously impulsive and eccentric. Following their meeting in the school bell tower, Finch makes it his mission to re-engage Violet with the world, partially through a school project that sends them to offbeat Indiana landmarks and partially through simple persistence. (Violet and Finch live, fortunately for all involved, in the sort of romantic universe where his throwing rocks at her window in the middle of the night comes off more charming than stalker-esque.) The teens alternate narration chapter by chapter, each in a unique and well-realized voice. Finch's self-destructive streak and suicidal impulses are never far from the surface, and the chapters he narrates are interspersed with facts about suicide methods and quotations from Virginia Woolf and poet Cesare Pavese. When the story inevitably turns tragic, a cast of carefully drawn side characters brings to life both the pain of loss and the possibility of moving forward, though some notes of hope are more believable than others.

Many teen novels touch on similar themes, but few do it so memorably. (Fiction. 14 & up)

Pub Date: Jan. 6, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-385-75588-7

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: Oct. 1, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2014

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