A timely and necessary read for all communities to reflect upon.

MISFIT IN LOVE

While helping with her brother Muhammad’s wedding, Egyptian and Indian American Janna Yusuf prepares her heart to confess to her crush in this sequel to Saints and Misfits (2017).

Though originally planned as a small, intimate nikah ceremony, Janna’s Indian father has turned Muhammad and Syrian American Sarah’s katb el-kitab into an elaborate affair. Also attending is Janna’s friend Nuah, with whom she recently realized she is in love. But while trying to find a moment to confess, she discovers that her father doesn’t approve of Nuah because he is Black. Disturbed and angered by her father’s racist views, Janna becomes increasingly aware of other instances of anti-Black discrimination and racism among Muslims in her family and community. This complicates her feelings about her relationships as her realization grows of how these views have affected other Muslims as well as her own budding romance. Ali’s narrative of a Muslim teen navigating life, heartbreak, and romance also explores larger issues with depth and texture. Janna works through cognitive dissonance as she examines principles of justice, equity, and committing to everyday anti-racist action while also considering the degree to which boys have been at the center of her attention. The cast of the first book returns, and Zayneb and Adam from Love From A to Z (2019) make a cameo appearance, but new readers will find the story accessible.

A timely and necessary read for all communities to reflect upon. (Fiction. 12-18)

Pub Date: May 25, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-5344-4275-7

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Salaam Reads/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: March 13, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2021

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Riveting, brutal and beautifully told.

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    Best Books Of 2014

  • 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 lush and darkly twisted modern fairy tale.

HOUSE OF HOLLOW

Ten years ago, the three Hollow sisters disappeared from an Edinburgh street while on holiday. A month later, they came back.

When Iris, Vivi, and Grey returned, they couldn’t remember anything of their ordeal. Their dark hair turned white, and their blue eyes became black. They sported identical hook-shaped scars on their necks. Despite their altered appearances, their parents were elated to return home to London with them. However, their father soon began to believe that they were not really his daughters, a conviction that led to his suicide. Since then, the story of now 17-year-old Iris and her older sisters has been like catnip to online sleuths, and their ethereal beauty and uncanny ability to bend people to their wills and intoxicate them with dangerous desire add to their mystique. When Grey, now an internationally famous fashion designer and model, goes missing, Iris and Vivi, with help from Grey’s Korean British boyfriend, Tyler, set out to find her and the truth behind their disappearance. Their search takes on a new urgency when they find a decomposing body blooming with white flowers in Grey’s apartment and they are pursued by a murderous man wearing a horned bull’s skull mask. Iris’ smart and assured narration easily carries a fast-paced story entwining themes of grief and loss with elements of folklore and some very inventive body horror. The pervasive feeling of dread builds to a shocking twist.

A lush and darkly twisted modern fairy tale. (Horror. 13-18)

Pub Date: April 6, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-593-11034-8

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: Jan. 26, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2021

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