The start of something that can only be described as “greater-than.” (Paranormal suspense. 14 & up)

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NIGHT SKY

From the Night Sky series , Vol. 1

Best-selling author Brockmann teams up with daughter Melanie to launch an exciting new series for teens interested in being more than just “normal.”

Skylar’s mother has always urged her to fit in, and Sky has always complied, even while chafing at the restrictions. But when Sasha, a little girl she babysits, is kidnapped, Sky can’t just stand by anymore. With her bestie Calvin by her side, she starts to push the boundaries of her circumscribed life, and she finds that the bizarre surrounds her—and that she is not so “normal” herself. Newfound abilities to smell emotions, to run faster than a fine-tuned athlete and to react to danger with strength as well as speed are just some of the changes happening to her. When she meets Dana, she realizes she’s a Greater-Than, as are Dana and Sasha. Sasha has been taken by criminals who want her blood to make the hottest new drug on the market, Destiny. Sky, Calvin, Dana and Dana’s mysterious friend Milo take to the streets in a quest where time is running out. With a little something for everyone and a hip sense of humor, dialogue and teen angst, this is a gripping page-turner from first to last. Particularly nice is the full integration of wheelchair-bound Calvin, who is far more than his disability.

The start of something that can only be described as “greater-than.” (Paranormal suspense. 14 & up)

Pub Date: Oct. 7, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4926-0144-9

Page Count: 496

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Review Posted Online: July 16, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2014

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A riveting tour de force.

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SADIE

Sadie is seeking her sister’s killer; months later, podcast producer West McCray seeks to learn why Sadie abandoned her car and vanished.

When Mattie was born to Claire, a white, drug-addicted, single mother, Sadie, 6, became her de facto parent. Her baby sister’s love filled a hole in Sadie’s fiercely protective heart. Claire favored Mattie, who remained attached to her long after Claire disappeared from their grim, trailer-park home in rural Colorado. Sadie believes that Mattie’s determination to find Claire—which Sadie opposed—led to her brutal murder at age 13. Now 19, Sadie sets out to find and kill the man she holds responsible for her sister’s murder. Interwoven with Sadie’s first-person account is the transcript of McCray’s podcast series, The Girls, tracking his efforts to learn what’s happened to Sadie, prompted and partly guided by the sisters’ sympathetic neighbor. West’s off-the-record conversations are also included. Sadie is smart, observant, tough, and at times heartbreakingly vulnerable, her interactions mediated by a profound stutter. In the podcast, characters first seen through Sadie’s ruthless eyes further reveal (or conceal) their interactions and motives. Like Salla Simukka’s Lumikki Andersson, Sadie’s a powerful avatar: the justice-seeking loner incarnated as a teenage girl. Sadie exempts no one—including herself—from her unsparing judgment. Conveyed indirectly through its effect on victims, child sexual abuse permeates the novel as does poverty’s intergenerational legacy.

A riveting tour de force. (Thriller. 14-18)

Pub Date: Sept. 4, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-250-10571-4

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Wednesday Books

Review Posted Online: June 18, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2018

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A sophisticated and suspenseful debut.

THEY WISH THEY WERE US

Things haven’t been the same for high school senior Jill Newman since her best friend was murdered.

Three years ago, Graham Calloway confessed to killing his girlfriend, Shaila Arnold. Now he’s in a juvenile facility, and Jill is starting senior year at Long Island’s Gold Coast Prep without her dearest friend. Luckily, Jill has Nikki Wu, whom she’s grown close to since Shaila’s death; her sweet boyfriend, Henry; and, of course, the Players, an exclusive club that all but guarantees an easy ride to a successful future. Jill, an aspiring astronomer who attends Gold Coast on a scholarship, must help choose the next round of freshman Player recruits while also securing desperately needed scholarship money for college. When Graham’s sister, Rachel, texts Jill with claims of Graham’s innocence, Jill reluctantly agrees to help. What if he actually is innocent? As Jill digs for the truth, she must come to terms with her own complicity in the Players’ culture of misogyny and casual cruelty and realizes that Shaila might have been keeping explosive secrets. Goodman deftly explores the complex nature of friendship, privilege, grief, and the often crushing expectations placed on teens, all of which dovetails neatly with a twisty murder mystery. Most characters seem to be white except for Nikki, who emigrated with her family from Hong Kong; Jill is Jewish. There is queer representation in the supporting cast.

A sophisticated and suspenseful debut. (Mystery. 14-18)

Pub Date: Aug. 4, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-593-11429-2

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Razorbill/Penguin

Review Posted Online: May 16, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2020

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