A dark, twisted stand-alone.



A homeless girl with a dark secret is taken into a “Home for Burgeoning Entertainers.”

After white teenager Domino loses her closest friend to the cops, she desperately needs money to spring him from jail. In steps Ms. Karina, a white woman offering Domino employment at an establishment for promising girls. Soon Domino travels with her new employer from Detroit to Texas and the large, secluded farmhouse where Karina—Madam Karina—runs her establishment. But also along for the ride is Wilson—possibly an alternate personality created by Domino’s past traumas, possibly something more. Wilson likes violence. A lot. The home is a brothel where girls are billed for everything and must entertain their way up the ranks (from “Carnation” through “Daisy” to “Tulip”) before offering sexual services sans intercourse at “Lily” and finally reaching “Violet.” Each rank garners a larger cut of earnings, but the hazing is tough and progression depends on the manipulative desires of the unhinged Madam Karina, who never wants her girls to abandon her. While uncovering dangerous secrets, present-tense narrator Domino befriends sweet, white Poppet and brown-skinned Cain, a mysterious male servant who’s rumored to have a violent past. But his past has nothing on Domino’s, which is long alluded to and teased out; but when it—and the delightful Wilson—strikes, it’s a doozy. Domino’s trenchant, colloquial voice makes a great, grounding foil for Wilson’s threat.

A dark, twisted stand-alone. (Thriller. 14-adult)

Pub Date: May 2, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-63375-687-8

Page Count: 374

Publisher: Entangled Teen

Review Posted Online: March 6, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2017

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Riveting, brutal and beautifully told.

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A devastating tale of greed and secrets springs from the summer that tore Cady’s life apart.

Cady Sinclair’s family uses its inherited wealth to ensure that each successive generation is blond, beautiful and powerful. Reunited each summer by the family patriarch on his private island, his three adult daughters and various grandchildren lead charmed, fairy-tale lives (an idea reinforced by the periodic inclusions of Cady’s reworkings of fairy tales to tell the Sinclair family story). But this is no sanitized, modern Disney fairy tale; this is Cinderella with her stepsisters’ slashed heels in bloody glass slippers. Cady’s fairy-tale retellings are dark, as is the personal tragedy that has led to her examination of the skeletons in the Sinclair castle’s closets; its rent turns out to be extracted in personal sacrifices. Brilliantly, Lockhart resists simply crucifying the Sinclairs, which might make the family’s foreshadowed tragedy predictable or even satisfying. Instead, she humanizes them (and their painful contradictions) by including nostalgic images that showcase the love shared among Cady, her two cousins closest in age, and Gat, the Heathcliff-esque figure she has always loved. Though increasingly disenchanted with the Sinclair legacy of self-absorption, the four believe family redemption is possible—if they have the courage to act. Their sincere hopes and foolish naïveté make the teens’ desperate, grand gesture all that much more tragic.

Riveting, brutal and beautifully told. (Fiction. 14 & up)

Pub Date: May 13, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-385-74126-2

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: March 17, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2014

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An emotionally engaging closer that fumbles in its final moments.

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From the To All the Boys I've Loved Before series , Vol. 3

Lara Jean prepares for college and a wedding.

Korean-American Lara Jean is finally settled into a nice, complication-free relationship with her white boyfriend, Peter. But things don’t stay simple for long. When college acceptance letters roll in, Peter and Lara Jean discover they’re heading in different directions. As the two discuss the long-distance thing, Lara Jean’s widower father is making a major commitment: marrying the neighbor lady he’s been dating. The whirlwind of a wedding, college visits, prom, and the last few months of senior year provides an excellent backdrop for this final book about Lara Jean. The characters ping from event to event with emotions always at the forefront. Han further develops her cast, pushing them to new maturity and leaving few stones unturned. There’s only one problem here, and it’s what’s always held this series back from true greatness: Peter. Despite Han’s best efforts to flesh out Peter with abandonment issues and a crummy dad, he remains little more than a handsome jock. Frankly, Lara Jean and Peter may have cute teen chemistry, but Han's nuanced characterizations have often helped to subvert typical teen love-story tropes. This knowing subversion is frustratingly absent from the novel's denouement.

An emotionally engaging closer that fumbles in its final moments. (Romance. 14-17)

Pub Date: May 2, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4814-3048-7

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: March 29, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2017

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