THE EXTRAORDINARY SECRETS OF APRIL, MAY & JUNE

Emotionally bruised by their parents’ divorce, three California sisters move from Orange County to the Valley with their mother. In chapters narrated alternately by each sister, the girls discover and exercise their magical gifts while coming to terms with the family breakup. Risk-averse April, a high-school junior, sees the future; sophomore-rebel May can disappear; status-hungry freshman June reads minds. April’s visions of impending catastrophe and the girls’ efforts to prevent it drive the plot, but the breezy, chick-lit tone works against depth, and too much tiresome sibling bickering slows the pace. The gifts’ provenance and purpose are unclear; the rules governing them shift. May’s tendency to disappear inadvertently when stressed is supposed to tell readers something about her, but because she disappears volitionally whenever the plot requires it, that message is lost. Lurking in this half-baked paranormal romance are ingredients for a first-rate fantasy with engaging characters. Weak plot infrastructure and slapdash execution prevent them from coalescing into a satisfying whole. Mature elements include teen drinking, drug use, impaired driving and casual sex. (Paranormal romance. 14 & up)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-1-59514-286-3

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Razorbill/Penguin

Review Posted Online: July 1, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2010

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

This grittily provocative debut explores the horrors of self-harm and the healing power of artistic expression.

Reader Votes

  • Readers Vote
  • 10

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • New York Times Bestseller

GIRL IN PIECES

After surviving a suicide attempt, a fragile teen isn't sure she can endure without cutting herself.

Seventeen-year-old Charlie Davis, a white girl living on the margins, thinks she has little reason to live: her father drowned himself; her bereft and abusive mother kicked her out; her best friend, Ellis, is nearly brain dead after cutting too deeply; and she's gone through unspeakable experiences living on the street. After spending time in treatment with other young women like her—who cut, burn, poke, and otherwise hurt themselves—Charlie is released and takes a bus from the Twin Cities to Tucson to be closer to Mikey, a boy she "like-likes" but who had pined for Ellis instead. But things don't go as planned in the Arizona desert, because sweet Mikey just wants to be friends. Feeling rejected, Charlie, an artist, is drawn into a destructive new relationship with her sexy older co-worker, a "semifamous" local musician who's obviously a junkie alcoholic. Through intense, diarylike chapters chronicling Charlie's journey, the author captures the brutal and heartbreaking way "girls who write their pain on their bodies" scar and mar themselves, either succumbing or surviving. Like most issue books, this is not an easy read, but it's poignant and transcendent as Charlie breaks more and more before piecing herself back together.

This grittily provocative debut explores the horrors of self-harm and the healing power of artistic expression. (author’s note) (Fiction. 14 & up)

Pub Date: Aug. 30, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-101-93471-5

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: May 4, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2016

Did you like this book?

Black is building a complex mythology; now is a great time to tune in.

Reader Votes

  • Readers Vote
  • 11

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • New York Times Bestseller

THE CRUEL PRINCE

From the Folk of the Air series , Vol. 1

Black is back with another dark tale of Faerie, this one set in Faerie and launching a new trilogy.

Jude—broken, rebuilt, fueled by anger and a sense of powerlessness—has never recovered from watching her adoptive Faerie father murder her parents. Human Jude (whose brown hair curls and whose skin color is never described) both hates and loves Madoc, whose murderous nature is true to his Faerie self and who in his way loves her. Brought up among the Gentry, Jude has never felt at ease, but after a decade, Faerie has become her home despite the constant peril. Black’s latest looks at nature and nurture and spins a tale of court intrigue, bloodshed, and a truly messed-up relationship that might be the saving of Jude and the titular prince, who, like Jude, has been shaped by the cruelties of others. Fierce and observant Jude is utterly unaware of the currents that swirl around her. She fights, plots, even murders enemies, but she must also navigate her relationship with her complex family (human, Faerie, and mixed). This is a heady blend of Faerie lore, high fantasy, and high school drama, dripping with description that brings the dangerous but tempting world of Faerie to life.

Black is building a complex mythology; now is a great time to tune in. (Fantasy. 14-adult)

Pub Date: Jan. 2, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-316-31027-7

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Sept. 26, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2017

Did you like this book?

more