A YA adventure with ethereal prose and appealing characters.

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Forget Tomorrow

From the Forget Tomorrow series , Vol. 1

In Dunn’s YA sci-fi debut, set in a world where people can see glimpses of future events, one teenager sees a vision of herself killing her little sister.

As the story opens, Callie is a day shy of 17, the age when everyone in the nation of North Amerie receives a memory from their future selves. Most expect to see what career path they’ve taken, but Callie witnesses something disturbing: she walks into what appears to be a hospital room and stabs her 6-year-old sis Jessa in the heart with a syringe. Predicted crimes like these usually lead to arrest, but a sympathetic guard at the Future Memory Agency lets Callie escape. Callie thinks that Jessa’s psychic ability is the reason that she’s eventually headed for a hospital, so she struggles to keep her future memory a secret from both FuMA and the psychic-hunting Technology Research Agency. However, Callie hopes that she can somehow alter her future. There’s a whirlwind of plot in this novel: an imprisoned Callie later tries to stop FuMA from forcibly retrieving her future memory, and she eventually teams with the Underground, a group of people with psychic abilities who are hiding from TechRA. There’s also an abundance of mystery: Jessa is a precognitive but may also be capable of much more, and a seedy FuMA doctor, Bellows, claims to have known Callie’s father, who left her when she was young. Romance comes in the form of Callie’s enigmatic schoolmate Logan, who inexplicably ended his friendship with her five years ago. Their love, however, may be doomed from the start, as Logan is the Underground’s contact in Eden City, which Callie is avoiding in order to steer clear of Jessa. However, that doesn’t impede many moments of the couple kissing or swoon-worthy lines such as, “I don’t think I’ll ever be any good at leaving Logan.” Hints of FuMA’s ultimate goal amp up the story’s tension considerably, as the obviously deceitful agency may be working toward a significantly grimmer future. Dunn leaves numerous questions unanswered, particularly the origins of future memory, which could potentially be explored in future books.

A YA adventure with ethereal prose and appealing characters.

Pub Date: Nov. 3, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-63375-238-2

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Entangled Teen

Review Posted Online: Nov. 11, 2015

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A love letter to fans who will forgive (and even revel in) its excesses and indulgences.

MIDNIGHT SUN

From the Twilight series , Vol. 5

A long-awaited Twilight (2005) companion novel told from vampire Edward’s point of view.

Edward Cullen, a 104-year-old vampire (and eternal 17-year-old), finds his world turned upside down when new girl Bella Swan’s addictive scent drives a primal hunger, launching the classic story of vampire-meets-girl, vampire-wants-to-eat-girl, vampire-falls-in-love-with-girl. Edward’s broody inner monologue allows readers to follow every beat of his falling in love. The glacial pace and already familiar plot points mean that instead of surprise twists, characterization reigns. Meyer doesn’t shy away from making Edward far less sympathetic than Bella’s view of him (and his mind reading confirms that Bella’s view of him isn’t universal). Bella benefits from being seen without the curtain of self-deprecation from the original book, as Edward analyzes her every action for clues to her personality. The deeper, richer characterization of the leads comes at the expense of the secondary cast, who (with a few exceptions) alternate primarily along gender lines, between dimwitted buffoons and jealous mean girls. Once the vampiric threat from James’ storyline kicks off, vampire maneuvering and strategizing show off the interplay of the Cullens’ powers in a fresh way. After the action of the climax starts in earnest, though, it leans more into summary and monologue to get to the well-known ending. Aside from the Quileutes and the occasional background character, the cast defaults to White.

A love letter to fans who will forgive (and even revel in) its excesses and indulgences. (Paranormal romance. 12-adult)

Pub Date: Aug. 4, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-316-70704-6

Page Count: 672

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Aug. 8, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2020

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A bit of envelope-pushing freshens up the formula.

HOCUS POCUS AND THE ALL-NEW SEQUEL

In honor of its 25th anniversary, a Disney Halloween horror/comedy film gets a sequel to go with its original novelization.

Three Salem witches hanged in 1693 for stealing a child’s life force are revived in 1993 when 16-year-old new kid Max completes a spell by lighting a magical candle (which has to be kindled by a virgin to work). Max and dazzling, popular classmate Allison have to keep said witches at bay until dawn to save all of the local children from a similar fate. Fast-forward to 2018: Poppy, daughter of Max and Allison, inadvertently works a spell that sends her parents and an aunt to hell in exchange for the gleeful witches. With help from her best friend, Travis, and classmate Isabella, on whom she has a major crush, Poppy has only hours to keep the weird sisters from working more evil. The witches, each daffier than the last, supply most of the comedy as well as plenty of menace but end up back in the infernal regions. There’s also a talking cat, a talking dog, a gaggle of costumed heroines, and an oblique reference to a certain beloved Halloween movie. Traditional Disney wholesomeness is spiced, not soured, by occasional innuendo and a big twist in the sequel. Poppy and her family are white, while Travis and Isabella are both African-American.

A bit of envelope-pushing freshens up the formula. (Fantasy. 10-15)

Pub Date: July 10, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-368-02003-9

Page Count: 528

Publisher: Freeform/Disney

Review Posted Online: June 17, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2018

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