A solid and satisfying paranormal mystery, this offering will please existing fans and may win over some new ones to boot.

UNBROKEN

From the Ruined series , Vol. 2

In this second installment of the Ruined series, New Yorker Rebecca Brown heads back to New Orleans, where new mysteries—and new ghosts—await.

Rebecca—sure that her dealings with ghosts had ended with the breaking of the family curse—is hoping for a haunt-free return trip to New Orleans to enjoy spring break with her father and her best friend, Ling. But when a handsome, blue-eyed boy named Frank appears to her, explaining his need to retrieve a locket from an old, abandoned house in Tremé, Rebecca knows she has to help. Since Frank was supposed to be delivering the locket when he was murdered, he must complete the delivery soon or else be trapped in the ghost world forever. Retrieving a locket sounds like an easy task, until Rebecca realizes that there’s another ghost, the very one who murdered Frank, plus Rebecca’s flesh-and-blood nemesis Toby Sutton, trying to thwart her at every turn. New Orleans is richly evoked, with accurate details, believable local characters and (slightly overdone) dinner-table discussions of gentrification. Rebecca’s love interest, Anton, has a regrettably small role; readers may find themselves wishing for more romantic interludes and less unnecessary recapping of the plot, but this is a small quibble.

A solid and satisfying paranormal mystery, this offering will please existing fans and may win over some new ones to boot. (postscript) (Paranormal thriller. 12 & up)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-545-41641-2

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Point/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Dec. 12, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2013

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A must-read with a conclusion that will leave readers craving more.

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • Kirkus Reviews'
    Best Books Of 2020

  • New York Times Bestseller

THESE VIOLENT DELIGHTS

A monster spreads madness through the streets of Shanghai.

It is the autumn of 1926, and Shanghai is poised at the brink of transformation. Foreign powers have carved out portions of the city for themselves; what remains is divided between two feuding gangs, the Chinese Scarlet Gang and the Russian White Flowers. Eighteen-year-old Juliette Cai has returned home from New York City, wreathed in a reputation for ruthlessness and ready to step into her role as heir to the Scarlet Gang. Four years ago, a betrayal by the White Flowers heir, Roma Montagov, a young man of 19, led to the deaths of countless Scarlets, and Juliette is determined to avenge her gang. But when a lethal contagion strikes the city, targeting Scarlets and White Flowers alike, Juliette and Roma grudgingly agree to cooperate on an investigation in order to save their city. The slow-burning romance in this book takes a back seat to the gripping mystery grounded in immersive historical detail. Allusions to Romeo and Juliet are evident in names and specific scenes, but familiar themes of family, loyalty, and identity bear new significance in Gong’s inventive adaptation. Language is a tool wielded deftly by the multilingual characters, who switch easily among English, French, Shanghainese, Russian, and more, with Mandarin as the primary dialect for Chinese phrases. A strong supporting cast that includes a trans girl completes this striking debut.

A must-read with a conclusion that will leave readers craving more. (Historical fantasy. 13-18)

Pub Date: Nov. 17, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5344-5769-0

Page Count: 464

Publisher: McElderry

Review Posted Online: Aug. 4, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2020

Did you like this book?

An eerie thriller reminiscent of summer horror movies that will keep readers on edge.

THE LAKE

Two teens with a dark secret return to their old summer camp.

Childhood friends Esme and Kayla can’t wait to return to Camp Pine Lake as counselors-in-training, ready to try everything they couldn’t do when they were younger: find cute boys, stay up late, and sneak out after hours. Even Andy, their straight-laced supervisor, can’t dampen their excitement, especially after they meet the crushworthy Olly and Jake. An intuitive 17-year-old, Esme is ready to jump in and teach her cute little campers. But when a threatening message appears, Esme and Kayla realize the secret they’ve kept hidden for nearly a decade is no longer safe. Paranoia and fear soon cause Esme and Kayla to revisit their ominous secret and realize that nobody in the camp can be trusted. The slow buildup of suspense and the use of classic horror elements contrast with lighthearted camp activities, bonding with new friends, and budding romance. Similarly, Esme’s first-person point of view allows for increased tension and action as well as offering insight into her emotional and mental well-being. Discussions of adulthood, trauma, and recovery are subtle and realistic, but acts of sexism and machismo aren’t fully analyzed. While the strong buildup of action comes late, it leads to a shockingly satisfying finale. Major characters are White.

An eerie thriller reminiscent of summer horror movies that will keep readers on edge. (Thriller. 12-16)

Pub Date: March 2, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-593-12497-0

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: Dec. 10, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2021

Did you like this book?

more