Hits the spot for fans of dark, lush, sexy fantasy.

A COURT OF MIST AND FURY

From the Court of Thorns and Roses series , Vol. 2

After the events of A Court of Thorns and Roses (2015), Feyre struggles to pull herself back together while imminent threats loom.

In the months after defeating Amarantha and escaping hellish captivity Under the Mountain, Feyre hasn’t been doing well. She’s drowning in guilt over the prices she paid and unable to escape the feeling that she’s trapped. Tamlin is perhaps coping even worse—he’s consumed by the fear of failing to protect her and in denial. While their physical relationship is mutually pleasurable—and graphically hot—their happily-ever-after fairy-tale wedding is further derailed by Rhysand, the High Lord of the dreaded Night Court, who demands that Feyre fulfill their bargain by coming with him (one week a month). Rhys believes war is coming, and he needs Feyre for his dangerous scheme to win it. As Feyre travels between courts and explores the consequences of her resurrection, she learns more about Prythian, its history, and peoples (including its darkest sides: misogynistic cultures and tensions between High Fae and lesser faeries). Occasionally the characters fall too neatly into wholly good or completely bad boxes, which at its least subtle comes across as manipulative of readers, but the large cast provides relief from Feyre’s deep psychological wounds. The erotically charged lead-up to the romantic storyline’s climaxes (pun intended) adds stakes to the cliffhanger.

Hits the spot for fans of dark, lush, sexy fantasy. (Fantasy. 14 & up)

Pub Date: May 3, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-61963-446-6

Page Count: 640

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Review Posted Online: March 16, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2016

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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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Fans of empowering feminist fairy-tale retellings will love this.

THE GRIMROSE GIRLS

From the Grimrose Girls series , Vol. 1

Four reimagined fairy-tale heroines must confront their inner demons to break a curse.

Ella, Yuki, and Rory attend the prestigious Grimrose Académie for Elite Students in the Swiss Alps. They are currently grieving the death of one of their best friends, and while Ari’s death by drowning has been deemed either an accident or suicide, her closest friends have their doubts. When they find an old book of fairy tales hidden in Ari’s things, full of strange annotations in her handwriting, the girls start working—along with new student Nani—to investigate Ari’s suspicious death. As they put together the pieces and discover other deaths that happened at Grimrose, they start to wonder if there was magic involved in Ari’s death—magic that may also be at the core of their very lives, cursing them to unhappy endings. Grief, identity, and friendship intersect in this enthralling mystery with dark magical undertones that ingeniously plays with fairy-tale tropes to tell a feminist story about empowerment and grappling with how to break away from the confines of societal expectations of girls. Reminiscent of the works of Anna-Marie McLemore and Elana K. Arnold, this book ends with the promise of more to come. The main cast is queer and features diversity in disability and mental health. Rory and Ella default to White; Yuki’s name cues her as Japanese, and Nani is Black and Native Hawaiian.

Fans of empowering feminist fairy-tale retellings will love this. (Fantasy. 14-18)

Pub Date: Oct. 26, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-72822-887-7

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Review Posted Online: July 14, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2021

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