Thirteen years ago, the way to this shared world was closed after four anthologies (The Essential Bordertown, 1998, etc.)...

WELCOME TO BORDERTOWN

NEW STORIES AND POEMS OF THE BORDERLANDS

Bordertown: where the human and faerie worlds intersect, a place populated by runaways and the lost, powered by an unreliable mix of magic and technology.

Thirteen years ago, the way to this shared world was closed after four anthologies (The Essential Bordertown, 1998, etc.) and three novels (Elsewhere, 1991, etc.). Now, Kushner (one of the original contributors) and Black (who grew up reading the original tales) have reopened the way, and once again teens uncomfortable in the world—or just looking for excellent fantasy fiction—can escape to it. This is punk-rock, DIY fantasy, full of harsh reality and incandescent magic. “Noobs” will be quickly acclimated by the introductory “Bordertown Basics,” an irreverent tour-guide’s view with everything the visitor needs to know. Many of the stories echo with loss and discomfort; standouts include “Crossings” by Janni Lee Simner, a chilling look at the difference between dreams and reality, and “A Tangle of Green Men,” Charles De Lint’s heartbreaking examination of love, loss and life. Poems and songs (from Patricia A. McKillip, Neil Gaiman and Jane Yolen, among others) balance the fiction, and if some of the songs don’t play so great to tone-deaf readers, they still bring the importance of music home. A few stories fall a little flat, but these tiny flaws don’t detract from a masterful anthology.

Pub Date: May 24, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-375-86705-7

Page Count: 544

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: April 5, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2011

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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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Engrossing, contemplative, and as heart-wrenching as the title promises.

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THEY BOTH DIE AT THE END

What would you do with one day left to live?

In an alternate present, a company named Death-Cast calls Deckers—people who will die within the coming day—to inform them of their impending deaths, though not how they will happen. The End Day call comes for two teenagers living in New York City: Puerto Rican Mateo and bisexual Cuban-American foster kid Rufus. Rufus needs company after a violent act puts cops on his tail and lands his friends in jail; Mateo wants someone to push him past his comfort zone after a lifetime of playing it safe. The two meet through Last Friend, an app that connects lonely Deckers (one of many ways in which Death-Cast influences social media). Mateo and Rufus set out to seize the day together in their final hours, during which their deepening friendship blossoms into something more. Present-tense chapters, short and time-stamped, primarily feature the protagonists’ distinctive first-person narrations. Fleeting third-person chapters give windows into the lives of other characters they encounter, underscoring how even a tiny action can change the course of someone else’s life. It’s another standout from Silvera (History Is All You Left Me, 2017, etc.), who here grapples gracefully with heavy questions about death and the meaning of a life well-lived.

Engrossing, contemplative, and as heart-wrenching as the title promises. (Speculative fiction. 13-adult).

Pub Date: Sept. 5, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-06-245779-0

Page Count: 384

Publisher: HarperTeen

Review Posted Online: June 5, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2017

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