But credibility probably has no place at Fairyland Kingdom….Wow!™ anyway.

HOW ZOE MADE HER DREAMS (MOSTLY) COME TRUE

Lured by the promise of a large cash prize and the opportunity to work as a costumed intern at a destination fairy-tale theme park, 17-year-old Zoe Kiefer struggles to earn the approval of the eccentric and manipulative Queen of the park.

Zoe's duties as lady-in-waiting seem straightforward: obey Her Majesty’s orders to the letter; improve her mood with compliments and by slipping sugar secretly into her strict diet; take good care of Tinker Bell, her minute, caviar-guzzling, fluffball mutt; excise from the Queen’s reading material all mention of the hated “Mouse” (of the Mickey variety). But try as she does to do her job well and abide by the rules of Fairyland (all 270 of them), events get away from Zoe. She finds herself in several compromising and angst-ridden situations, mostly brought about by her well-meaning desire to promote her cousin Jess’ interests. In spite of the efforts of various princes, charming and nefarious, to aid or thwart her desires, she wins out in the end. The chatty tone of Zoe’s narration is pitch-perfect, laced as it is with teen humor and obsessions with relationships, clothing and makeup. The narrative, always hard to follow, ends in a madcap maelstrom of conflicting interests, improbable revelations and multiple personality changes in which believability is cheerfully sacrificed in the interest of allowing Zoe’s dreams to (mostly) come true.

But credibility probably has no place at Fairyland Kingdom….Wow!™ anyway. (Fiction. 12-18)

Pub Date: April 23, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-06-218745-1

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Jan. 7, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2013

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Part cautionary tale, part juicy love story, this will appeal to action and adventure fans who aren't yet sick of the genre.

SHATTER ME

A dystopic thriller joins the crowded shelves but doesn't distinguish itself.

Juliette was torn from her home and thrown into an asylum by The Reestablishment, a militaristic regime in control since an environmental catastrophe left society in ruins. Juliette’s journal holds her tortured thoughts in an attempt to repress memories of the horrific act that landed her in a cell. Mysteriously, Juliette’s touch kills. After months of isolation, her captors suddenly give her a cellmate—Adam, a drop-dead gorgeous guy. Adam, it turns out, is immune to her deadly touch. Unfortunately, he’s a soldier under orders from Warner, a power-hungry 19-year-old. But Adam belongs to a resistance movement; he helps Juliette escape to their stronghold, where she finds that she’s not the only one with superhuman abilities. The ending falls flat as the plot devolves into comic-book territory. Fast-paced action scenes convey imminent danger vividly, but there’s little sense of a broader world here. Overreliance on metaphor to express Juliette’s jaw-dropping surprise wears thin: “My mouth is sitting on my kneecaps. My eyebrows are dangling from the ceiling.” For all of her independence and superpowers, Juliette never moves beyond her role as a pawn in someone else’s schemes.

Part cautionary tale, part juicy love story, this will appeal to action and adventure fans who aren't yet sick of the genre. (Science fiction. 12 & up)

Pub Date: Nov. 15, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-06-208548-1

Page Count: 352

Publisher: HarperTeen

Review Posted Online: April 5, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2011

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

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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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