Good fun for readers willing to surrender to it.

PILGRIMS DON'T WEAR PINK

Readers willing to put aside literary qualms will find themselves set for a summer afternoon with this undemanding romance.

History-obsessed fashion maven Libby is thrilled at the prospect of spending her summer at the Camden Harbor 18th-century living-history museum in Maine. But her insane roommate never leaves character, and electronics are forbidden, so when a museum employee is needed to chaperone a cub reporter investigating ghost sightings on one of the museum's ships, she jumps at the opportunity. Garrett may be a Star Trek–loving nerd, but she'll be able to use her cell phone when she's off duty. Libby enjoys her job as counselor for Girls of Long Ago Camp, and she loves the attention she's getting from hot demo sailor Cam. References aplenty to Jane Austen and Scooby-Doo will clue readers in to the resolutions of both the romance and the mystery, but it's a breezy ride despite the total lack of suspense. Strohm has a good sense of slapstick and an ear for one-liners. In describing her Fourth-of-July costume, Libby remarks that "[i]t looked like America had thrown up on me." While Libby's air-headedness never quite jibes with her professed love of history, she is nevertheless likable, if pretty one-dimensional.

Good fun for readers willing to surrender to it. (Chick lit. 12 & up)

Pub Date: May 8, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-547-56459-3

Page Count: 208

Publisher: Graphia

Review Posted Online: March 7, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2012

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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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A resounding success.

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CONCRETE ROSE

This literary DeLorean transports readers into the past, where they hope, dream, and struggle alongside beloved characters from Thomas’ The Hate U Give (2017).

The tale begins in 1998 Garden Heights, when Starr’s parents, Maverick and Lisa, are high school seniors in love and planning for the future. Thomas proves Game of Thrones–esque in her worldbuilding ability, deepening her landscape without sacrificing intimacy or heart. Garden Heights doesn’t contain dragons or sorcerers, but it’s nevertheless a kingdom under siege, and the contemporary pressures its royalty faces are graver for the realness that no magic spell can alleviate. Mav’s a prince whose family prospects are diminished due to his father’s federally mandated absence. He and his best friend, King, are “li’l homies,” lower in status and with everything to prove, especially after Mav becomes a father. In a world where masculinity and violence are inextricably linked to power, the boys’ very identities are tied to the fathers whose names they bear and with whose legacies they must contend. Mav laments, “I ain’t as hard as my pops, ain’t as street as my pops,” but measuring up to that legacy ends in jail or the grave. Worthy prequels make readers invest as though meeting characters for the first time; here they learn more about the intricate hierarchies and alliances within the King Lord gang and gain deeper insight into former ancillary characters, particularly Mav’s parents, King, and Iesha. Characters are Black.

A resounding success. (Fiction. 13-18)

Pub Date: Jan. 12, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-06-284671-6

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Nov. 9, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2020

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