GHOSTGIRL

HOMECOMING

Undead underdog Charlotte Usher is resurrected in this sloppy, piecemeal follow-up to 2008’s sleeper hit GhostGirl. Petula, the vapid, snotty, über–it-girl sister of her best friend in the world of the living, Scarlet, goes into a coma after a pedicure goes dangerously awry. Using tricks she and Charlotte discovered in book one, Scarlet self-induces a coma and enters the world of the dead to bring back her sister’s soul. Jealousy, guy drama, back-stabbing and bitchery all run amok, especially in the guise of Maddy, Charlotte’s new frenemy from the world of the dead. As in the first installment, Hurley knows how teen girls talk and scores big on smart, snarky jabs and stabs that are sure to make their way onto the tongues of her readers. Her plotting, however, feels flimsily sewn and reads more like a series of brief episodes strung together than a fully fleshed novel. Despite these faults, there are moments of genuine, laugh-out-loud humor that should keep fans dying to read more about Charlotte, Scarlet and their ghostly entourage. (Fantasy. YA)

Pub Date: July 1, 2009

ISBN: 978-0-316-11359-5

Page Count: 296

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2009

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Only marginally intriguing.

REDEMPTION PREP

In a remote part of Utah, in a “temple of excellence,” the best of the best are recruited to nurture their talents.

Redemption Preparatory is a cross between the Vatican and a top-secret research facility: The school is rooted in Christian ideology (but very few students are Christian), Mass is compulsory, cameras capture everything, and “maintenance” workers carry Tasers. When talented poet Emma disappears, three students, distrusting of the school administration, launch their own investigation. Brilliant chemist Neesha believes Emma has run away to avoid taking the heat for the duo’s illegal drug enterprise. Her boyfriend, an athlete called Aiden, naturally wants to find her. Evan, a chess prodigy who relies on patterns and has difficulty processing social signals, believes he knows Emma better than anyone. While the school is an insidious character on its own and the big reveal is slightly psychologically disturbing, Evan’s positioning as a tragic hero with an uncertain fate—which is connected to his stalking of Emma (even before her disappearance)—is far more unsettling. The ’90s setting provides the backdrop for tongue-in-cheek technological references but doesn’t do anything for the plot. Student testimonials and voice-to-text transcripts punctuate the three-way third-person narration that alternates among Neesha, Evan, and Aiden. Emma, Aiden, and Evan are assumed to be white; Neesha is Indian. Students are from all over the world, including Asia and the Middle East.

Only marginally intriguing. (Mystery. 15-18)

Pub Date: April 14, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-06-266203-3

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Katherine Tegen/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Jan. 19, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2020

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ECLIPSE

From the Twilight series , Vol. 3

It’s the countdown to graduation and immortality for Bella, since the events of New Moon (2006) have convinced boyfriend Edward to let her join him in vampirism. While Bella desires only to leave this mortal coil, Edward wants her to try college and marriage first. Bella knows that becoming a vampire will forever sever her ties to best friend Jake, who’s a werewolf and therefore an ancient racial enemy of all things vampiric. Luckily—and predictably—a gathering of bloodthirsty, vengeful vampires is headed straight for Bella. To protect her, the vegetarians of Edward’s vamp coven need to stop trading racial epithets with the werewolves and work with them, instead. Bella wants the villains to be defeated so she can return to her everyday life of high school, anticipating immortality and fighting Edward’s determination to avoid premarital sex. Unsettling racially charged characterizations are offset by messages of overcoming difference and working together. Fans of Bella’s angst-drenched love triangle will gobble this entry up, and the open-ended conclusion paves the way for Jake’s story to come. (Fantasy. YA)

None None

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2007

ISBN: 978-0-316-16020-9

Page Count: 640

Publisher: Megan Tingley/Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2007

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