Takes readers on an unforgettable emotional journey.

ALL MY RAGE

Seniors Salahudin and Noor, both 18, are caught in the throes of life in the small California desert town of Juniper, where being a working-class person of color means being treated differently.

With pervasive racism coming from everyone from classmates to police officers and doctors, Juniper is a sinkhole that the estranged best friends are desperate to leave. But instead of worrying about college and his future career prospects, Salahudin is preoccupied with his mother’s kidney failure, his father’s alcoholism, his family’s deteriorating motel, and Noor, who hasn’t spoken to him in months. Orphaned Noor’s dreams of college are slowly waning; her malicious Pakistani immigrant uncle, who hates all things Pakistani, has made it clear that Noor’s future involves working behind the counter of his liquor store. Life was easier when she had Salahudin and his kind mother, Misbah, in her life, but a fight has left her unable to forgive him, at least for now. Chapters alternate between Noor’s and Salahudin’s perspectives, with snippets of Misbah’s past sprinkled throughout. This novel confronts head on the complicated realities of life in a world that is not designed for the oppressed to thrive in. Tahir brilliantly shows how interconnected societal forces shape communities and people’s lives through the accumulated impact of circumstances beyond their control: Substance abuse, debt, racism, trauma, and poverty are intricately woven together to tell a deeply moving, intergenerational story.

Takes readers on an unforgettable emotional journey. (Fiction. 14-18)

Pub Date: March 1, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-593-20234-0

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Razorbill/Penguin

Review Posted Online: Dec. 15, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2022

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Riveting, brutal and beautifully told.

Reader Votes

  • Readers Vote
  • 29

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • Kirkus Reviews'
    Best Books Of 2014

  • New York Times Bestseller

WE WERE LIARS

A devastating tale of greed and secrets springs from the summer that tore Cady’s life apart.

Cady Sinclair’s family uses its inherited wealth to ensure that each successive generation is blond, beautiful and powerful. Reunited each summer by the family patriarch on his private island, his three adult daughters and various grandchildren lead charmed, fairy-tale lives (an idea reinforced by the periodic inclusions of Cady’s reworkings of fairy tales to tell the Sinclair family story). But this is no sanitized, modern Disney fairy tale; this is Cinderella with her stepsisters’ slashed heels in bloody glass slippers. Cady’s fairy-tale retellings are dark, as is the personal tragedy that has led to her examination of the skeletons in the Sinclair castle’s closets; its rent turns out to be extracted in personal sacrifices. Brilliantly, Lockhart resists simply crucifying the Sinclairs, which might make the family’s foreshadowed tragedy predictable or even satisfying. Instead, she humanizes them (and their painful contradictions) by including nostalgic images that showcase the love shared among Cady, her two cousins closest in age, and Gat, the Heathcliff-esque figure she has always loved. Though increasingly disenchanted with the Sinclair legacy of self-absorption, the four believe family redemption is possible—if they have the courage to act. Their sincere hopes and foolish naïveté make the teens’ desperate, grand gesture all that much more tragic.

Riveting, brutal and beautifully told. (Fiction. 14 & up)

Pub Date: May 13, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-385-74126-2

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: March 17, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2014

Did you like this book?

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

Reader Votes

  • Readers Vote
  • 21

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?

more