A strong infusion of magic and wonder distinguish this debut novel.

OUT OF THE BLUE

When angelic Beings inexplicably start plummeting to Earth, humans everywhere read meaning into these events.

While religious cults form in the wake of the Beings’ arrival, those dubbed “Wingdings” join ranks online to share sightings, auction off wing feathers, and plot how to capture one alive and reap a reward. Jaya Mackenzie, a 17-year-old from rural Scotland, is grieving the recent death of her Sri Lankan–British mother and worrying about her father, a white Scottish man consumed by Being mania. Believing the next colorful, metallic, gender-neutral angel will fall in Edinburgh, he quits his job and takes Jaya and her younger sister, Rani, to live in a run-down student flat in the city. After meeting local twins Allie and Calum, who are protesting the commodification and exploitation of the Beings, Jaya falls hard for Allie while also missing her girlfriend, who has been incommunicado since her mother whisked her out of town. She also needs to decide whether she can trust the twins—not to mention her own family—when she happens upon the first Being to survive a crash landing on Earth. Touches of humor (Jaya names “her” Being Teacake due to her sweet tooth) lighten the story, and the expert pacing is complemented by well-rounded character development.

A strong infusion of magic and wonder distinguish this debut novel. (Magical realism. 12-18)

Pub Date: May 15, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-250-14991-6

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Roaring Brook

Review Posted Online: March 5, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2018

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Engrossing, contemplative, and as heart-wrenching as the title promises.

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THEY BOTH DIE AT THE END

What would you do with one day left to live?

In an alternate present, a company named Death-Cast calls Deckers—people who will die within the coming day—to inform them of their impending deaths, though not how they will happen. The End Day call comes for two teenagers living in New York City: Puerto Rican Mateo and bisexual Cuban-American foster kid Rufus. Rufus needs company after a violent act puts cops on his tail and lands his friends in jail; Mateo wants someone to push him past his comfort zone after a lifetime of playing it safe. The two meet through Last Friend, an app that connects lonely Deckers (one of many ways in which Death-Cast influences social media). Mateo and Rufus set out to seize the day together in their final hours, during which their deepening friendship blossoms into something more. Present-tense chapters, short and time-stamped, primarily feature the protagonists’ distinctive first-person narrations. Fleeting third-person chapters give windows into the lives of other characters they encounter, underscoring how even a tiny action can change the course of someone else’s life. It’s another standout from Silvera (History Is All You Left Me, 2017, etc.), who here grapples gracefully with heavy questions about death and the meaning of a life well-lived.

Engrossing, contemplative, and as heart-wrenching as the title promises. (Speculative fiction. 13-adult).

Pub Date: Sept. 5, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-06-245779-0

Page Count: 384

Publisher: HarperTeen

Review Posted Online: June 5, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2017

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

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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