A necessary start, with intriguing hints at action and weirdness to come.

READ REVIEW

SPILL ZONE

From the Spill Zone series , Vol. 1

Taking photos of the dangers in the Spill Zone can be deadly, but it pays the bills.

Three years ago something happened to Poughkeepsie, New York. Nanotech outbreak? Nuclear accident? Alien invasion? Trans-dimensional breach? Anyone who knows isn’t saying. Most of the residents still exist, but they’re “meat puppets,” floating, glowing, and unresponsive. The rats might chase you, and the cats might sound like they’re speaking, but there are also nightmare beasts on the prowl. Addison sneaks past checkpoints on her motorbike to take pictures and sell them on the black market to support herself and her younger sister, Lexa, who hasn’t spoken since the spill. When a collector bypasses the tough-as-nails white teen’s middleman and reveals he’s been cheating her, Addison takes on a mission for the collector that will put her in extreme danger…but may pay enough to get her out of the game for good. Bestselling prose novelist Westerfeld kicks off a graphic-novel series of dark sci-fi adventures set in the very near future and sets up an interesting milieu. Another spill in North Korea, Lexa’s talking doll, and the effects of the spill on survivors are hinted at as the action progresses. Animator Puvilland’s full-color illustrations are appropriately wild, jagged, and threatening. Readers will be demanding the next installment as they close this one.

A necessary start, with intriguing hints at action and weirdness to come. (Graphic science fiction. 14-adult)

Pub Date: May 2, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-59643-936-8

Page Count: 224

Publisher: First Second

Review Posted Online: Feb. 14, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2017

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

This story is necessary. This story is important.

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • Kirkus Reviews'
    Best Books Of 2017

  • Kirkus Prize
  • Kirkus Prize
    finalist

  • New York Times Bestseller

THE HATE U GIVE

Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter is a black girl and an expert at navigating the two worlds she exists in: one at Garden Heights, her black neighborhood, and the other at Williamson Prep, her suburban, mostly white high school.

Walking the line between the two becomes immensely harder when Starr is present at the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend, Khalil, by a white police officer. Khalil was unarmed. Khalil’s death becomes national news, where he’s called a thug and possible drug dealer and gangbanger. His death becomes justified in the eyes of many, including one of Starr’s best friends at school. The police’s lackadaisical attitude sparks anger and then protests in the community, turning it into a war zone. Questions remain about what happened in the moments leading to Khalil’s death, and the only witness is Starr, who must now decide what to say or do, if anything. Thomas cuts to the heart of the matter for Starr and for so many like her, laying bare the systemic racism that undergirds her world, and she does so honestly and inescapably, balancing heartbreak and humor. With smooth but powerful prose delivered in Starr’s natural, emphatic voice, finely nuanced characters, and intricate and realistic relationship dynamics, this novel will have readers rooting for Starr and opening their hearts to her friends and family.

This story is necessary. This story is important. (Fiction. 14-adult)

Pub Date: Feb. 28, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-06-249853-3

Page Count: 464

Publisher: Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Dec. 6, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2016

Did you like this book?

An unpolished grab bag of incidents that tries to make a point about racial inequality.

I'M NOT DYING WITH YOU TONIGHT

Two teenage girls—Lena and Campbell—come together following a football game night gone wrong.

Campbell, who is white and new to Atlanta, now attends the school where Lena, who is black, is a queen bee. At a game between McPherson High and their rival, a racist slur leads to fights, and shots are fired. The unlikely pair are thrown together as they try to escape the dangers on campus only to find things are even more perilous on the outside; a police blockade forces them to walk through a dangerous neighborhood toward home. En route, a peaceful protest turns into rioting, and the presence of police sets off a clash with protestors with gruesome consequences. The book attempts to tackle racial injustice in America by offering two contrasting viewpoints via narrators of different races. However, it portrays black characters as violent and criminal and the white ones as excusably ignorant and subtly racist, seemingly redeemed by moments when they pause to consider their privileges and biases. Unresolved story arcs, underdeveloped characters, and a jumpy plot that tries to pack too much into too small a space leave the story lacking. This is not a story of friendship but of how trauma can forge a bond—albeit a weak and questionable one—if only for a night.

An unpolished grab bag of incidents that tries to make a point about racial inequality. (Fiction. 15-adult)

Pub Date: Aug. 6, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4926-7889-2

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Review Posted Online: May 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more