The dangers are real and many die—which is why the twist ending works: happiness is sobered by sacrifice in a fulfilling...

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FROST LIKE NIGHT

From the Snow Like Ashes series , Vol. 3

Meira returns in this final installment in the Snow Like Ashes trilogy.

Chapters alternating Meira’s, Mather’s, and Ceridwen’s perspectives pick up moments after the end of Ice Like Fire (2015). Meira, Winter’s queen, left Mather, her soldier and friend, and his Thaw warriors imprisoned in Ventralli to follow an unknown man, Rares. In a refreshing divergence from fantasy norms, Rares teaches Meira that her ability to understand and utilize her powers is tied to her achieving emotional balance, making the speed of her mastery both believable and satisfying. The truths Meira unravels on her own, as well as those shared by Rares, are conveyed in beautifully poetic prose. Meanwhile, King Angra persists in using his magic to conquer and spread the damaging Decay. Meira accepts that she loves Mather and that she must die in order to destroy magic—and the Decay with it—to ensure that her world is truly safe. Raasch could easily slip into the maudlin with the prospect of Meira’s martyrdom, but she resists, putting characters and readers alike through the emotional wringer as they confront love and loss with honor and dedication to principle.

The dangers are real and many die—which is why the twist ending works: happiness is sobered by sacrifice in a fulfilling conclusion. (Fantasy. 14 & up)

Pub Date: Sept. 20, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-06-228698-7

Page Count: 496

Publisher: Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: June 22, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2016

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Riveting, brutal and beautifully told.

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  • 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

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A riveting tour de force.

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    Best Books Of 2018

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SADIE

Sadie is seeking her sister’s killer; months later, podcast producer West McCray seeks to learn why Sadie abandoned her car and vanished.

When Mattie was born to Claire, a white, drug-addicted, single mother, Sadie, 6, became her de facto parent. Her baby sister’s love filled a hole in Sadie’s fiercely protective heart. Claire favored Mattie, who remained attached to her long after Claire disappeared from their grim, trailer-park home in rural Colorado. Sadie believes that Mattie’s determination to find Claire—which Sadie opposed—led to her brutal murder at age 13. Now 19, Sadie sets out to find and kill the man she holds responsible for her sister’s murder. Interwoven with Sadie’s first-person account is the transcript of McCray’s podcast series, The Girls, tracking his efforts to learn what’s happened to Sadie, prompted and partly guided by the sisters’ sympathetic neighbor. West’s off-the-record conversations are also included. Sadie is smart, observant, tough, and at times heartbreakingly vulnerable, her interactions mediated by a profound stutter. In the podcast, characters first seen through Sadie’s ruthless eyes further reveal (or conceal) their interactions and motives. Like Salla Simukka’s Lumikki Andersson, Sadie’s a powerful avatar: the justice-seeking loner incarnated as a teenage girl. Sadie exempts no one—including herself—from her unsparing judgment. Conveyed indirectly through its effect on victims, child sexual abuse permeates the novel as does poverty’s intergenerational legacy.

A riveting tour de force. (Thriller. 14-18)

Pub Date: Sept. 4, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-250-10571-4

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Wednesday Books

Review Posted Online: June 18, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2018

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