Lightweight, but the story has some thrills, and the aforementioned genre addicts will enjoy it.

FORBIDDEN

Yet another paranormal romance, this time with an assortment of angels in a chick-lit setting, that will appeal to those addicted to the genre if few others.

Sixteen-year-old Claire has lived life on the run with her mother. She attends a private L.A. high school, where she meets new student Alec, a young-looking Scot with a delightful accent. Alec reveals Claire’s history to her: She’s half-angel and may be killed if the angel Elders find her. Alec himself is a full angel, but he has gone AWOL and also risks death if discovered. The two fall in love. Claire receives visions from Helena, who commands her to tell no one about her new psychic powers. Claire, of course, instantly tells all of her friends. The Jameses weave in some quite effective paranormal suspense and intense-but-quixotic high-school romance through their extremely lengthy tale. All characters remain superficial, including Claire, although charming Alec stands out. The plot becomes too intricate at times to work properly, as when Claire envisions that she will be killed if she steps out alone from the homecoming dance and the authors then tortuously explain why she does precisely that.

Lightweight, but the story has some thrills, and the aforementioned genre addicts will enjoy it. (Paranormal romance. 12 & up)

Pub Date: Jan. 24, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-06-202789-4

Page Count: 416

Publisher: HarperTeen

Review Posted Online: Oct. 12, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2011

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

An inventive, character-driven twist breathes new life into tired fantasy trends.

RED QUEEN

From the Red Queen series , Vol. 1

Amid a war and rising civil unrest, a young thief discovers the shocking power within her that sparks a revolution.

At 17, Mare knows that without an apprenticeship or job, her next birthday will bring a conscription to join the war. She contributes to her poor family’s income the only way she can, stealing from the Silvers, who possess myriad powers and force her and her fellow Reds into servitude. The Silvers literally bleed silver, and they can manipulate metal, plants and animals, among many other talents. When Mare’s best friend, Kilorn, loses his job and is doomed to conscription, she is determined to change his fate. She stumbles into a mysterious stranger after her plan goes awry and is pulled out of her village and into the world of Silver royalty. Once inside the palace walls, it isn’t long before Mare learns that powers unknown to red-blooded humans lie within her, powers that could lead a revolution. Familiar tropes abound. Mare is revealed as a great catalyst for change among classes and is groomed from rags to riches, and of course, seemingly kind characters turn out to be foes. However, Aveyard weaves a compelling new world, and Mare and the two men in her life evolve intriguingly as class tension rises. Revolution supersedes romance, setting the stage for action-packed surprises.

An inventive, character-driven twist breathes new life into tired fantasy trends. (Fantasy. 13 & up)

Pub Date: Feb. 10, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-06-231063-7

Page Count: 400

Publisher: HarperTeen

Review Posted Online: Nov. 11, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2014

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

An eerie thriller reminiscent of summer horror movies that will keep readers on edge.

THE LAKE

Two teens with a dark secret return to their old summer camp.

Childhood friends Esme and Kayla can’t wait to return to Camp Pine Lake as counselors-in-training, ready to try everything they couldn’t do when they were younger: find cute boys, stay up late, and sneak out after hours. Even Andy, their straight-laced supervisor, can’t dampen their excitement, especially after they meet the crushworthy Olly and Jake. An intuitive 17-year-old, Esme is ready to jump in and teach her cute little campers. But when a threatening message appears, Esme and Kayla realize the secret they’ve kept hidden for nearly a decade is no longer safe. Paranoia and fear soon cause Esme and Kayla to revisit their ominous secret and realize that nobody in the camp can be trusted. The slow buildup of suspense and the use of classic horror elements contrast with lighthearted camp activities, bonding with new friends, and budding romance. Similarly, Esme’s first-person point of view allows for increased tension and action as well as offering insight into her emotional and mental well-being. Discussions of adulthood, trauma, and recovery are subtle and realistic, but acts of sexism and machismo aren’t fully analyzed. While the strong buildup of action comes late, it leads to a shockingly satisfying finale. Major characters are White.

An eerie thriller reminiscent of summer horror movies that will keep readers on edge. (Thriller. 12-16)

Pub Date: March 2, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-593-12497-0

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: Dec. 10, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2021

Did you like this book?

more