An inspired, cluttered, wholly original tale.

THE TENTH GIRL

Following the death of her mother at the hands of the military government, an 18-year-old Argentinian girl escapes to desolate Patagonia, finding refuge in a finishing school besieged by hostile spirits.

The year is 1978. Mavi ends up teaching at the infamous Vaccaro School, led by the enigmatic Carmela De Vaccaro. Marred by a curse that wiped out its inhabitants 60 years before, and surrounded by an icy hellscape, the school sits atop land seized from the fictional Zapuche people. As she grows closer to her nine students (the 10th girl is missing), Mavi, whose father had Zapuche roots, uncovers more about the school’s grisly origins, its eccentric occupants, and the ghastly Otros (Others) who feed on the inhabitants as they sleep. She soon befriends Carmela’s son, Domenico, a cruel, handsome boy who seems to change overnight thanks in part to Angel, a benevolent Other who’s curious about Mavi—and the mysterious 10th girl. The story delivers numerous twists and turns, each a deliriously unreal blow. Though the narrative drags at times and some quieter moments feel needlessly long, debut author Faring spins a deceptively simple haunted tale via the alternating viewpoints of Mavi and Angel. Anachronistic hints gesture toward what’s really happening at Vaccaro School, culminating in an unanticipated final twist that’s sure to be divisive. While the author draws attention to the oppression of Indigenous peoples, the treatment of this subject is cursory.

An inspired, cluttered, wholly original tale. (Gothic horror. 14-19)

Pub Date: Sept. 24, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-250-30450-6

Page Count: 464

Publisher: Imprint

Review Posted Online: July 13, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2019

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

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

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

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

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