Intriguing and entertaining.

HANGING BY A THREAD

Clare’s paranormal ability to experience the past when she touches clothing involves her in a murder mystery.

A serial killer may be stalking Winston, Clare’s tiny northern California beach town. A boy may have been murdered during the Fourth of July holiday last year. Now, a girl, Amanda, has disappeared. Clare and her mom have returned to their ancestral home in Winston, where Clare has made one friend. Rachel helps sell the outfits Clare designs from bits of vintage clothing. The more she learns about Rachel, however, the more Clare wonders if the girl is stable. Clare’s isolation continues within her own family, as she quarrels with her mom. Meanwhile, other families appear to be breaking up all over town. When Clare acquires a torn jacket, she touches it and has an alarming vision that she’s certain will somehow lead her to Amanda. She also falls for Jack, Amanda’s old boyfriend, who was accused of the crime at the time. Can she trust him? As Clare delves more deeply into the tangled relationships of the townsfolk, she pieces the mystery together just as she pieces old clothing together, and she thinks she knows whodunit. If she’s wrong, though, she may become the next victim. Littlefield writes a nifty little mystery and hits the right buttons for the current paranormal craze. Throwing in fashion design and a hot romance with a hunky bad-boy type also boosts interest, but well-drawn family and friend relationships form the heart of this story. The author plays fair by sprinkling in some teensy but real clues that should steer alert readers toward the solution.

Intriguing and entertaining. (Paranormal mystery. 12 & up)

Pub Date: Sept. 11, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-385-74104-0

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: June 13, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2012

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This story is necessary. This story is important.

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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

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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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