by Tiffany Elaine ‧ RELEASE DATE: Feb. 18, 2018
An enjoyable and well-written supernatural tale, despite loose ends and a few missteps.
When a sixth-grade Florida girl is transformed into a 20-something woman, she and her friends search for a cure in this debut YA paranormal novel.
On the eve of her 12th birthday, blond-haired Tabitha “Tabby” Easterland tells her best friends, Kat Dorsett and Dolly Hargrave, that she has one wish: to go with Finn McKinna to the junior high dance next year. But when Tabby wakes up the next morning, she discovers that she seems to have aged more than 10 years. Luckily, she’s not at home with her Aunt Patti, but at Kat’s house for a sleepover. (Tabby’s mother is dead; her father is institutionalized.) Tabby can’t go home, for the somewhat flimsy reason that she might be jailed “for the kidnapping of...herself.” The girls manage to establish a new identity for Tabby (Elise Mulligan), who gets a teaching job at her own school while they look for a remedy. Her mother’s diary, strange dreams of two evil sisters, and odd experiences confuse Tabby until Mrs. Bumble, a fellow teacher whose spare room the young woman moves into, gives her the bad news: She’s under a curse. A school field trip leads to a dangerous, dramatic confrontation with the Black and White sisters, named for their hair color. Though Tabby learns more about her family, the curse, and other matters, much work remains; the tale will continue in a sequel. In her novel, Elaine mixes up an entertaining blend of middle school best friend shenanigans with the supernatural—witchcraft, curses, a mystical society founded by an ancient civilization—and a family mystery. These last two elements are complex and well thought out, offering several surprises along the way. Although the book feels slow at 300-plus pages, frustratingly so since the story isn’t finished, it could grapple more with the implications of Tabby’s adult body. She’s embarrassed by her new figure but any interest or exploration stops there. And while it’s understandable that young people don’t want to look ancient, must “old and ruined” go together? Nevertheless, readers will likely be eager for the sequel.An enjoyable and well-written supernatural tale, despite loose ends and a few missteps.
Pub Date: Feb. 18, 2018
Page Count: 326
Review Posted Online: Aug. 3, 2018
Review Program: Kirkus Indie
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by Hanya Yanagihara ‧ RELEASE DATE: March 10, 2015
The phrase “tour de force” could have been invented for this audacious novel.
Awards & Accolades
Best Books Of 2015
National Book Award Finalist
Four men who meet as college roommates move to New York and spend the next three decades gaining renown in their professions—as an architect, painter, actor and lawyer—and struggling with demons in their intertwined personal lives.
Yanagihara (The People in the Trees, 2013) takes the still-bold leap of writing about characters who don’t share her background; in addition to being male, JB is African-American, Malcolm has a black father and white mother, Willem is white, and “Jude’s race was undetermined”—deserted at birth, he was raised in a monastery and had an unspeakably traumatic childhood that’s revealed slowly over the course of the book. Two of them are gay, one straight and one bisexual. There isn’t a single significant female character, and for a long novel, there isn’t much plot. There aren’t even many markers of what’s happening in the outside world; Jude moves to a loft in SoHo as a young man, but we don’t see the neighborhood change from gritty artists’ enclave to glitzy tourist destination. What we get instead is an intensely interior look at the friends’ psyches and relationships, and it’s utterly enthralling. The four men think about work and creativity and success and failure; they cook for each other, compete with each other and jostle for each other’s affection. JB bases his entire artistic career on painting portraits of his friends, while Malcolm takes care of them by designing their apartments and houses. When Jude, as an adult, is adopted by his favorite Harvard law professor, his friends join him for Thanksgiving in Cambridge every year. And when Willem becomes a movie star, they all bask in his glow. Eventually, the tone darkens and the story narrows to focus on Jude as the pain of his past cuts deep into his carefully constructed life.The phrase “tour de force” could have been invented for this audacious novel.
Pub Date: March 10, 2015
Page Count: 720
Review Posted Online: Dec. 21, 2014
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2015
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More About This Book
by J.D. Salinger ‧ RELEASE DATE: June 15, 1951
A strict report, worthy of sympathy.
A violent surfacing of adolescence (which has little in common with Tarkington's earlier, broadly comic, Seventeen) has a compulsive impact.
"Nobody big except me" is the dream world of Holden Caulfield and his first person story is down to the basic, drab English of the pre-collegiate. For Holden is now being bounced from fancy prep, and, after a vicious evening with hall- and roommates, heads for New York to try to keep his latest failure from his parents. He tries to have a wild evening (all he does is pay the check), is terrorized by the hotel elevator man and his on-call whore, has a date with a girl he likes—and hates, sees his 10 year old sister, Phoebe. He also visits a sympathetic English teacher after trying on a drunken session, and when he keeps his date with Phoebe, who turns up with her suitcase to join him on his flight, he heads home to a hospital siege. This is tender and true, and impossible, in its picture of the old hells of young boys, the lonesomeness and tentative attempts to be mature and secure, the awful block between youth and being grown-up, the fright and sickness that humans and their behavior cause the challenging, the dramatization of the big bang. It is a sorry little worm's view of the off-beat of adult pressure, of contemporary strictures and conformity, of sentiment….A strict report, worthy of sympathy.
Pub Date: June 15, 1951
Page Count: -
Publisher: Little, Brown
Review Posted Online: Nov. 2, 2011
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1951
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