Vampire fans, sink your teeth into this satisfying collection.

VAMPIRES NEVER GET OLD

TALES WITH FRESH BITE

Fresh takes on a perennial paranormal favorite from leading YA authors.

The classic vampire archetype—“white, cisgender, straight, and able-bodied”—makes way for a diverse reimagining of the blood-drinking immortals in this anthology. In Tessa Gratton’s “Seven Nights for Dying,” an anonymous narrator is given a week to consider an offer while grappling with furious grief. A lonely teenage Latinx vampire makes an unexpected connection through his blog in Mark Oshiro’s “Mirrors, Windows & Selfies.” An Eternal woman and a Shadow Baron make a wager in Dhonielle Clayton’s “The House of Black Sapphires,” set in a dazzling alternate version of New Orleans. A gay Native teen summons an urban legend in Rebecca Roanhorse’s “The Boys From Blood River” but gets more than he bargained for. Themes of power, transformation, and agency weave through these 11 tales, which also feature a 19th-century grave robber, a cheerleading vampire slayer, and an Instagram-savvy elder vampire. The tone of the stories ranges from the playful narration of Samira Ahmed’s “A Guidebook for the Newly Sired Desi Vampire” to the simmering rage of Kayla Whaley’s disabled protagonist in “In Kind.” The cast, living and (un)dead, includes characters who represent multiple dimensions of diversity. Each story is followed by a brief commentary and thought-provoking questions from the editors.

Vampire fans, sink your teeth into this satisfying collection. (editors' note, author bios) (Paranormal fantasy. 14-18)

Pub Date: Sept. 22, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-250-23001-0

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Imprint

Review Posted Online: July 8, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2020

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An immersive tale of brave, vulnerable teens facing threats both real and fantastic.

ALL OUR HIDDEN GIFTS

An Irish teen grapples with past misdeeds and newfound ties to magic.

When 16-year-old Maeve discovers a deck of tarot cards stashed with a mixtape of moody indie music from 1990, she starts giving readings for her classmates at her all-girls private school. Though her shame over dumping her strange friend Lily during an attempt to climb the social ladder at St. Bernadette’s is still palpable, it doesn’t stop her from trying to use the tarot in her favor to further this goal. However, after speaking harsh words to Lily during a reading, Maeve is horrified when her former friend later disappears. As she struggles to understand the forces at play within her, classmate Fiona proves to be just the friend Maeve needs. Detailed, interesting characters carry this contemporary story of competing energy and curses. Woven delicately throughout are chillingly eerie depictions of the Housekeeper, a figure who shows up on an extra card in the deck, echoing the White Lady legend from Irish folklore. Even more disturbing is an organization of young people led by a homophobic but charismatic figurehead intent on provoking backlash against Ireland’s recent civil rights victories. Most characters are White; Fiona is biracial, with a Filipina mother and White Irish father. Roe, Maeve’s love interest and Lily’s sibling, is a bisexual, genderqueer person who is a target for intolerance in their small city of Kilbeg.

An immersive tale of brave, vulnerable teens facing threats both real and fantastic. (Paranormal. 14-18)

Pub Date: June 8, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-5362-1394-2

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Walker US/Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Dec. 10, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2021

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Brings much-needed inclusivity and contemporary flavor to the teen fantasy genre.

THIS POISON HEART

A teenager explores her magical connections to greenery and gods.

Briseis Greene is a Black high schooler with magical powers that she hides from most people save her adoptive mothers, Thandie and Angie. She has an innate connection to plants and is even able to grow them from seeds using just her mind and hands. Bri is curious about the source and extent of her powers, but after some mishaps, she is more fearful of the potential harm she could bring by tapping into them, so she refrains from exploring further. When she is surprised by news of an extensive estate near Rhinebeck that she has inherited from the recently deceased Circe Colchis, her late birth mother’s sister and someone whose existence she was previously unaware of, the three of them move from Brooklyn to upstate New York. Bri quickly grasps that her new home and the biological family she never knew have many more secrets in store for her—and in those secrets may lie answers to questions that she has had all her life. In this intriguing and well-paced novel, Bayron conjures a world filled with magic and mystery. Readers will share the protagonist’s curiosity about her powers and eagerness to uncover her history. Fans of retellings will enjoy this modern tale that reimagines stories of Greek gods and goddesses. Major characters are Black.

Brings much-needed inclusivity and contemporary flavor to the teen fantasy genre. (Fantasy. 14-18)

Pub Date: June 29, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-5476-0390-9

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Review Posted Online: April 27, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2021

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