Readers will be left craving more.

READ REVIEW

FATED

This stand-alone prequel provides a robust backstory for the dystopian world of the Slated trilogy.

In a chaotic post-Brexit Britain, political parties unite to form an authoritarian government to quell a youth rebellion. The new regime institutes draconian measures—curfew, imprisonment, and, shockingly, “the death penalty…for perpetrators of crimes of terror and treason.” Samantha Gregory, the vibrant 15-year-old daughter of the powerful Deputy Prime Minister, finds herself at the center of the violence and intrigue surrounding the government takeover. Strongly opposing her cold, distant father and the policies of his office, she gives her minders the slip and runs away to join other rebel youth of London in a peaceful protest. Daringly coming out in public as a rebel, Sam uses social media to publicize the cause and finds herself at the center of a full-blown riot. A final surprising plot twist promises another volume. This dark story of rebellious youth in Britain may resonate with teens trending toward activism. Sam and her upper-crust friends are crisply drawn, as is her budding lesbian relationship with her humble tutor, Ava, a scholarship student at her school. The central characters present white; a few secondary characters’ names suggest diversity. This accessible story provides a robust backstory for the dystopian world of the trilogy but will appeal even to those unfamiliar with the earlier books.

Readers will be left craving more. (Dystopian. 12-18)

Pub Date: April 28, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-40835-066-9

Page Count: 464

Publisher: Orchard/Hachette UK

Review Posted Online: March 15, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2020

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A lackluster take on a well-worn trope.

THE TWIN

After a family tragedy, 16-year-old Ivy Mason hopes to reconnect with her aloof identical twin sister, Iris—but Iris has other plans.

When Ivy’s parents divorced 10 years ago, Ivy stayed with her father while Iris went to live with their mother. When their mother dies after falling off a bridge while jogging, Iris comes to live with Ivy and their father. Narrator Ivy is reeling (she even goes to therapy), but Iris seems strangely detached, only coming to life when Ivy introduces her to her best friends, Haley and Sophie, and her quarterback boyfriend, Ty. However, Ivy isn’t thrilled when Iris wants to change her class schedule to match hers, and it’s not long before Iris befriends Ivy’s besties and even makes plans with them that don’t include Ivy. Iris even joins the swim team where Ivy is a star swimmer. As Iris’ strange behavior escalates, Ivy starts to suspect that their mother’s death might not have been an accident. Is Iris up to no good, or is Ivy just paranoid? In the end, readers may not care. There are few surprises to be found in a narrative populated by paper-thin characters stuck fast in a derivative plot. Even a jarring final twist can’t save this one. Most characters seem to be white, but there is some diversity in secondary characters.

A lackluster take on a well-worn trope. (Thriller. 13-18)

Pub Date: March 3, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-593-12496-3

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: Jan. 23, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2020

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A treat for mystery readers who enjoy being kept in suspense.

A GOOD GIRL'S GUIDE TO MURDER

Everyone believes that Salil Singh killed his girlfriend, Andrea Bell, five years ago—except Pippa Fitz-Amobi.

Pip has known and liked Sal since childhood; he’d supported her when she was being bullied in middle school. For her senior capstone project, Pip researches the disappearance of former Fairview High student Andie, last seen on April 18, 2014, by her younger sister, Becca. The original investigation concluded with most of the evidence pointing to Sal, who was found dead in the woods, apparently by suicide. Andie’s body was never recovered, and Sal was assumed by most to be guilty of abduction and murder. Unable to ignore the gaps in the case, Pip sets out to prove Sal’s innocence, beginning with interviewing his younger brother, Ravi. With his help, Pip digs deeper, unveiling unsavory facts about Andie and the real reason Sal’s friends couldn’t provide him with an alibi. But someone is watching, and Pip may be in more danger than she realizes. Pip’s sleuthing is both impressive and accessible. Online articles about the case and interview transcripts are provided throughout, and Pip’s capstone logs offer insights into her thought processes as new evidence and suspects arise. Jackson’s debut is well-executed and surprises readers with a connective web of interesting characters and motives. Pip and Andie are white, and Sal is of Indian descent.

A treat for mystery readers who enjoy being kept in suspense. (Mystery. 14-18)

Pub Date: Feb. 4, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9848-9636-0

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2019

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