Perceptive and sincere.

READ REVIEW

THIS IS HOW I FIND HER

A teenage girl attempts to separate her life from that of her bipolar mother in this introspective debut.

“On the fourth day of junior year, sometime between the second bell…and the time I got home from school, my mother tried to kill herself.” Sophie is left adrift after her mother is rushed to the hospital for treatment to medically regulate the bipolar disorder that caused her suicide attempt. Sophie’s constant attention to her single mother’s moods and medication has meant sacrificing friends and a social life, and now she feels completely alone. She withdraws even further when she is forced to live with her estranged aunt, uncle and cousin. But soon she begins making tenuous connections at school and with her new family, and she finds she is secretly relieved not to be just her mother’s caregiver. She enjoys having the freedom to help out at her uncle’s architectural firm after school or go on a random drive with her new friend, Natalie. But will she be able to ask for the help she needs when her mother finally comes home? Or will her feelings of guilt and shame keep her from reaching out? This quiet novel provides honest insight about the conflicting emotions felt by families struggling with bipolar disorder. Sophie’s inner journey from resignation to hopefulness is authentically portrayed and will provide great comfort to any teen contending with a parent’s affliction.

Perceptive and sincere. (Fiction. 12 & up)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-8075-7877-3

Page Count: 262

Publisher: Whitman

Review Posted Online: June 15, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2013

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A carefully researched, precisely written tour de force; unforgettable and wrenching.

CODE NAME VERITY

Breaking away from Arthurian legends (The Winter Prince, 1993, etc.), Wein delivers a heartbreaking tale of friendship during World War II.

In a cell in Nazi-occupied France, a young woman writes. Like Scheherezade, to whom she is compared by the SS officer in charge of her case, she dribbles out information—“everything I can remember about the British War Effort”—in exchange for time and a reprieve from torture. But her story is more than a listing of wireless codes or aircraft types. Instead, she describes her friendship with Maddie, the pilot who flew them to France, as well as the real details of the British War Effort: the breaking down of class barriers, the opportunities, the fears and victories not only of war, but of daily life. She also describes, almost casually, her unbearable current situation and the SS officer who holds her life in his hands and his beleaguered female associate, who translates the narrative each day. Through the layers of story, characters (including the Nazis) spring to life. And as the epigraph makes clear, there is more to this tale than is immediately apparent. The twists will lead readers to finish the last page and turn back to the beginning to see how the pieces slot perfectly, unexpectedly into place.

A carefully researched, precisely written tour de force; unforgettable and wrenching. (Historical fiction. 14 & up)

Pub Date: May 15, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-4231-5219-4

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Hyperion

Review Posted Online: Feb. 15, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2012

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Second installments in trilogies sometimes slump—here’s hoping the third book is a return to the vibrancy of the...

CHILDREN OF VIRTUE AND VENGEANCE

From the Legacy of Orisha series , Vol. 2

In this follow-up to Children of Blood and Bone (2018), Zélie and company are back, and the future of Orïsha hangs in the balance.

Zélie, now a maji Reaper, has achieved her goal and brought magic back to Orïsha, but at great cost. Grief and loss are strong themes throughout the book, compounded by guilt for Zélie, who feels responsible for her father’s death. Zélie and her older brother, Tzain, try to help Princess Amari ascend the throne, believing her family dead—but Queen Nehanda, Amari’s mother, is very much alive and more formidable than they could imagine. The trio join the Iyika, a band of rebel maji working to protect their persecuted people from threats new and old. Though the characters’ trauma reads as real and understandable, their decisions don’t always feel sensible or logical, often stemming from a lack of communication or forethought, which may leave readers frustrated. Though still commendable for its detailed worldbuilding, with an ending compelling enough to keep fans interested in the next installment, much of the book feels like navigating minefields of characters’ ill-advised decisions. All characters are black except for a secondary character with silky black hair, tan skin, and gray eyes “like teardrops.”

Second installments in trilogies sometimes slump—here’s hoping the third book is a return to the vibrancy of the first. (Fantasy. 14-18)

Pub Date: Dec. 3, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-250-17099-6

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: Nov. 24, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more