A thriller chiller with some hot moments.

FIND ME

Wicket Tate kicks into high gear with her hacking skills when her little sister is threatened following another girl’s suicide.

Wick and Lily’s father is an abuser and a criminal, and it’s been up to Wick to protect the naïve Lily ever since their mother jumped to her death; well-to-do foster parents Bren and Todd have given the girls a second chance, but Wick is still in survival mode. Classmate Tessa’s death becomes personal when Wick finds a copy of Tessa’s diary on her front porch in the middle of the night. Carson, the cop who’s still looking for her dad, and Griff, an attractive fellow student, are pulled into the plot, along with Tessa’s parents and sister. It’s clear from the diary that Tessa was in an abusive relationship with an older man, but how to identify him and why there are threats against Lily remain murky. Wick’s hacking activities are integral to the plot but are not as fully fleshed out as they should be, resulting in some telling rather than showing, distancing readers. Romance blossoms between Griff and Wick despite her resistance, adding a vulnerability to Wick’s tough-cookie persona. The pace is so swift that there’s no time for readers to examine minor inconsistencies or to wonder why such a smart hacker would sometimes give up so easily.

A thriller chiller with some hot moments. (Suspense. 12-16)

Pub Date: Sept. 24, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-06-222903-8

Page Count: 320

Publisher: HarperTeen

Review Posted Online: June 12, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2013

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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

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Rags to riches with a British twist.

HELLO, CRUEL HEART

Penniless 16-year-old orphan Estella dreams of becoming a famous fashion designer but survives by robbing rich tourists in swinging 1960s London.

After her mother died in a freak accident, Estella moved to the city, bunking down in the Lair, a grimy pad in a bombed-out building, with her chosen family of fellow thieves Horace and Jasper. Although she flunked out of school, Estella has exceptional design talent and is determined to excel in the field. A pair of well-connected trust-fund twins dazzle her with their carefree, affluent lifestyle and groovy circle of friends, and they ultimately exploit her by bartering her fashion skills for accommodation and friendship. Estella soon learns that their glamorous lifestyle is shallow and their friendships, fickle, and she realizes that she will have to find her own way in life. Estella’s complete naïveté in the face of wealth and sophistication is convincingly drawn, and her fashionista ability is fun and engaging; the ending brings a twist that readers may not see coming. The story contains peripheral references to One Hundred and One Dalmatians: Estella has Cruella de Vil black-and-white hair, which she disguises with red dye, and a Cruella alter ego who pops up in her head in moments of crisis and helps her remain true to herself. All characters present White.

Rags to riches with a British twist. (Fiction. 12-16)

Pub Date: April 6, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-368-05776-9

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Disney Press

Review Posted Online: Jan. 26, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2021

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