An ambitious, action-filled adventure that chronicles one girl’s rebellion and the world-shaking revelations that follow

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LOTUS AND THORN

An outcast discovers new worlds in the old one’s wreckage.

With her parents taken by the last wave of hemorrhagic Red Death, 12-fingered Leica strives to protect her sisters, Lotus and Taschen. Citizens of Pleiades must exchange all Finds from the ruins of the Colony on planet Gabriel for food from the bio-suited Curadores, who live in the decadent but decaying Dome. Caught with contraband and banished to the wastelands, Leica encounters other exiles…and overhears a radio message that may be from Earth. Seeking redemption, reunion with her sisters, and answers about the Red Death, Leica infiltrates the Dome, posing as a Kisaeng (a sort of geisha/concubine) to the dashing but increasingly deranged black Curador Edison, rallying the women, and struggling with the consequences of revolt. Despite the requisite love triangle—here, among Leica, Edison, and Edison’s identical brother, Nikola—and Chosen-One agonizing, through adversity and new alliances, Leica emerges as a compelling, body-positive heroine of color who capitalizes on her strengths and celebrates diversity. Etienne delivers a dystopian tale that deftly dissects stories—fairy tales, religious creation myths, political conspiracies—and develops a richly layered world drawn from such disparate cultures as Korean and Mexican.

An ambitious, action-filled adventure that chronicles one girl’s rebellion and the world-shaking revelations that follow . (Science fiction. 14 & up)

Pub Date: June 7, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-399-25669-1

Page Count: 464

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: April 13, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2016

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Powerful, captivating, and raw—Adeyemi is a talent to watch. Exceptional

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CHILDREN OF BLOOD AND BONE

From the Legacy of Orisha series , Vol. 1

Seventeen-year-old Zélie and companions journey to a mythic island seeking a chance to bring back magic to the land of Orïsha, in a fantasy world infused with the textures of West Africa.

Dark-skinned Zélie is a divîner—someone with latent magical abilities indicated by the distinctive white hair that sets them apart from their countrymen. She saves Princess Amari, who is on the run from her father, King Saran, after stealing the scroll that can transform divîners into magic-wielding maji, and the two flee along with Zélie’s brother. The scroll vanished 11 years ago during the king’s maji genocide, and Prince Inan, Amari’s brother, is sent in hot pursuit. When the trio learns that the impending solstice offers the only chance of restoring magic through a connection to Nana Baruku, the maternal creator deity, they race against time—and Inan—to obtain the final artifact needed for their ritual. Over the course of the book allegiances shift and characters grow, change, and confront traumas culminating in a cliffhanger ending that will leave readers anxiously awaiting the next installment. Well-drawn characters, an intense plot, and deft writing make this a strong story. That it is also a timely study on race, colorism, power, and injustice makes it great.

Powerful, captivating, and raw—Adeyemi is a talent to watch. Exceptional . (Fantasy. 14-adult)

Pub Date: March 6, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-250-17097-2

Page Count: 544

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: Feb. 5, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2018

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An emotionally engaging closer that fumbles in its final moments.

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ALWAYS AND FOREVER, LARA JEAN

From the To All the Boys I've Loved Before series , Vol. 3

Lara Jean prepares for college and a wedding.

Korean-American Lara Jean is finally settled into a nice, complication-free relationship with her white boyfriend, Peter. But things don’t stay simple for long. When college acceptance letters roll in, Peter and Lara Jean discover they’re heading in different directions. As the two discuss the long-distance thing, Lara Jean’s widower father is making a major commitment: marrying the neighbor lady he’s been dating. The whirlwind of a wedding, college visits, prom, and the last few months of senior year provides an excellent backdrop for this final book about Lara Jean. The characters ping from event to event with emotions always at the forefront. Han further develops her cast, pushing them to new maturity and leaving few stones unturned. There’s only one problem here, and it’s what’s always held this series back from true greatness: Peter. Despite Han’s best efforts to flesh out Peter with abandonment issues and a crummy dad, he remains little more than a handsome jock. Frankly, Lara Jean and Peter may have cute teen chemistry, but Han's nuanced characterizations have often helped to subvert typical teen love-story tropes. This knowing subversion is frustratingly absent from the novel's denouement.

An emotionally engaging closer that fumbles in its final moments. (Romance. 14-17)

Pub Date: May 2, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4814-3048-7

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: March 29, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2017

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