A well-paced supernatural mystery that entertains but never quite explains.

READ REVIEW

LIGHT AS A FEATHER

From the Light as a Feather series , Vol. 1

“What about Light as a Feather, Stiff as a Board? Have you guys ever played that?”

Grim fates were sealed the night the popular girls of Willow High gathered for Olivia Richmond’s 16th birthday sleepover. McKenna Brady, the story’s narrator, believes the creepy levitation game is nothing more than group hypnosis, but the mysterious newcomer to their school, Violet Simmons, unnerves the partygoers with a detailed story describing Olivia’s death as she returns from shoe shopping at the mall. McKenna has recently shed glasses, braces, and 20 pounds to discover a newfound “power of being pretty” after being bullied for her appearance. It was supposed to be a fabulous junior year, but while the girls get ready for the Fall Fling dance, Olivia heads out to the mall to find a perfect pair of shoes—and meets a gruesome death on her way home. Was it just a strange coincidence? Luckily, McKenna can turn to her handsome neighbor to hold her hand during the ghostly visitations she begins to experience and to figure out the mystery before tragedy strikes again. An irreverent mashup of mean, teen-queen comedy and supernatural ghost horror story, readers looking for light, spooky fun will enjoy the pace and romance, but others may find the characters superficially flat without any salvaging wit. Most characters are assumed white; some are indeterminate.

A well-paced supernatural mystery that entertains but never quite explains. (Horror. 13-16)

Pub Date: Oct. 9, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5344-4402-7

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Simon Pulse/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Sept. 17, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2018

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Skip this uninspired entry into the world of medieval love and court intrigue.

THE BETROTHED

From the Betrothed series , Vol. 1

In an imagined setting evoking medieval England, King Jameson of Coroa pursues Hollis Brite.

The independent teenager makes Jameson laugh, but she lacks the education and demeanor people expect in a queen. Her friend Delia Grace has more knowledge of history and languages but is shunned due to her illegitimate birth. Hollis gets caught up in a whirl of social activity, especially following an Isolten royal visit. There has been bad blood between the two countries, not fully explained here, and when an exiled Isolten family also comes to court, Jameson generously allows them to stay. Hollis relies on the family to teach her about Isolten customs and secretly falls in love with Silas, the oldest son, even though a relationship with him would mean relinquishing Jameson and the throne. When Hollis learns of political machinations that will affect her future in ways that she abhors, she faces a difficult decision. Romance readers will enjoy the usual descriptions of dresses, jewelry, young love, and discreet kisses, although many characters remain cardboard figures. While the violent climax may be upsetting, the book ends on a hopeful note. Themes related to immigration and young women’s taking charge of their lives don’t quite lift this awkwardly written volume above other royal romances. There are prejudicial references to Romani people, and whiteness is situated as the norm.

Skip this uninspired entry into the world of medieval love and court intrigue. (Historical romance. 13-16)

Pub Date: May 5, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-06-229163-9

Page Count: 320

Publisher: HarperTeen

Review Posted Online: Feb. 5, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2020

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Fans of the familiar will find this an unchallenging goth-and-glitter pleasure

CITY OF LOST SOULS

From the Mortal Instruments series , Vol. 5

What with the race to save Jace from the new Big Bad, wonderful secondary characters get short shrift.

Clary's long-lost brother Sebastian, raised to be an evil overlord by their father (and Jace's foster father), has kidnapped Jace. While the many young (or young-appearing) protagonists want Jace back, only Clary swoons in constant self-absorption; her relationship angst, resolved two books ago, can't carry volume five the way it did earlier installments. The heroic, metaphysical and, yes, romantic travails of Simon, the daylight-walking, Jewish vampire with the Mark of Cain, would have made a more solid core for a second trilogy then Clary's continuing willingness to put her boyfriend ahead of the survival of the entire planet. The narrative zips from one young protagonist to another, as they argue with the werewolf council, summon angels and demons, fight the "million little paper cuts" of homophobia, and always, always negotiate sexual tension thick enough to cut with an iratze. Only the Clary perspective drags, focusing on her wardrobe instead of her character development, while the faux-incestuous vibes of earlier volumes give way to the real thing. The action once again climaxes in a tense, lush battle sequence just waiting for digital cinematic treatment. Clever prose is sprinkled lightly with Buffy-esque quips ("all the deadly sins....Greed, envy, gluttony, irony, pedantry, lust, and spanking").

Fans of the familiar will find this an unchallenging goth-and-glitter pleasure . (Fantasy. 13-16)

Pub Date: May 8, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-4424-1686-4

Page Count: 544

Publisher: McElderry

Review Posted Online: May 30, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2012

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more