An emotionally honest, well-earned denouement brings this lively historical zombie trilogy to an honorable end

STRANGE AND EVER AFTER

From the Something Strange and Deadly series , Vol. 3

Eleanor Fitt, the Spirit-Hunters, her demon and her newly arrived frenemy from Philadelphia take to the skies in an airship in pursuit of the evil necromancer Marcus.

They head first to Marseille, where they hope to learn the secret location of the fabled, wealth-and-immortality–granting monster known as the Black Pullet and to rescue their friend Jie, under a compulsion spell and in the clutches of Marcus. From there, they speed on to Egypt in hopes of beating Marcus to the Black Pullet and putting an end to him once and for all. Readers of the series will not be surprised to find that the doughty heroes are beset by the Dead at nearly every turn; the Egyptian setting, at the height of the 19th-century invasion of Western archaeologists, makes especially fertile ground. (All those mummies!) Less satisfying is Eleanor’s constant struggle between the allure of her magic and the disapproval of everyone around her, including inventor love interest Daniel and, remarkably, her own demon, Oliver. Dissolute Oliver has easily become the most intriguing character in the series, with unplumbed depths, a deliciously snarky sense of humor and a singular sense of morality. Almost despite herself (it gets quite complicated there toward the end), Dennard wraps it all up with a satisfyingly apocalyptic conclusion.

An emotionally honest, well-earned denouement brings this lively historical zombie trilogy to an honorable end . (Paranormal historical fiction. 12 & up)

Pub Date: July 22, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-06-208332-6

Page Count: 400

Publisher: HarperTeen

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2014

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

There’s not much plot here, but readers will relish the opportunity to climb inside Autumn’s head.

IF HE HAD BEEN WITH ME

The finely drawn characters capture readers’ attention in this debut.

Autumn and Phineas, nicknamed Finny, were born a week apart; their mothers are still best friends. Growing up, Autumn and Finny were like peas in a pod despite their differences: Autumn is “quirky and odd,” while Finny is “sweet and shy and everyone like[s] him.” But in eighth grade, Autumn and Finny stop being friends due to an unexpected kiss. They drift apart and find new friends, but their friendship keeps asserting itself at parties, shared holiday gatherings and random encounters. In the summer after graduation, Autumn and Finny reconnect and are finally ready to be more than friends. But on August 8, everything changes, and Autumn has to rely on all her strength to move on. Autumn’s coming-of-age is sensitively chronicled, with a wide range of experiences and events shaping her character. Even secondary characters are well-rounded, with their own histories and motivations.

There’s not much plot here, but readers will relish the opportunity to climb inside Autumn’s head.   (Fiction. 14 & up)

Pub Date: April 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-4022-7782-5

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Review Posted Online: Feb. 13, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2013

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Han’s impressive ear for and pitch-perfect reproduction of the interactions between not-quite-adult older teens make this an...

WE'LL ALWAYS HAVE SUMMER

Can teenage love ever be forever?

Isabel (Belly) from The Summer I Turned Pretty (2009) and It’s Not Summer Without You (2010) finishes up her freshman year at college somewhat unconvincingly committed to Jeremiah Fisher, one of the two brothers with whom she has spent summers since she was small. Isabel becomes furious to learn that Jeremiah had sex with another girl from their college in Cabo on spring break, but he wins back her affections with a grand gesture: a proposal of marriage. Caught up in the idea—she will plan a summer wedding! they will attend college as a married couple!—Isabel tries ignores her misgivings about Jeremiah, the appalled silence of her mother and her own still-strong feelings for Jeremiah’s older brother, Conrad. It’s both funny and believable when Jeremiah insists he wants to dance the wedding dance to “You Never Can Tell” from the Pulp Fiction soundtrack. Han gives a satisfying nod to wedding-planning fantasies even while revealing their flimsy basis for an actual marriage. A final chapter in 23-year-old Isabel’s voice reveals the not-so-surprising happy ending.

Han’s impressive ear for and pitch-perfect reproduction of the interactions between not-quite-adult older teens make this an appealing conclusion to this trilogy romance among bright middle-class young people. (Fiction. 12 & up)

Pub Date: May 3, 2011

ISBN: 978-1-4169-9558-6

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: April 5, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2011

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more