A good-humored romp with a series-opening unresolved ending; chances are good that goth mystery fans will be too buried in...

BURIED

From the Goth Girl Mysteries series , Vol. 1

Goth-girl teen with magical “finding” powers unravels the mystery of a dead baby in this first book in a new paranormal series.

The goth-tastic Thorn, from Singleton’s The Seer series, is forced to move from California when her father loses his job. Luckily, her minister mother finds a new gig. Only trouble is, it’s in Nevada, years-of-enlightenment from home. Thorn survives by befriending Rune, the one other goth at their ultra-conservative high school. When a random lost locket weirdly leads Thorn to a half-buried baby—OMG! She’s suddenly under suspicion. In defense, Thorn investigates contestants in the Nevada Bluff High Singing Star contest, while drama swirls around NBH-alum musician Philippe, the angel-wing-wearing Amerie, the Cotton Candy Cowgirls and the mysterious vigilante dude who disguises himself as “the Grin Reaper.” Thorn believably struggles with her judgmental father and community disapproval of her controversial identity (“As a rule, I don’t follow rules”). Will the hullabaloo cost her mother her job? At a quick pace with layered plotting, narrator Thorn unearths her true self, coming to appreciate her own musical gifts and even her all-too-human mother (“I’m a minister, not a saint”).

A good-humored romp with a series-opening unresolved ending; chances are good that goth mystery fans will be too buried in zany clues to notice . (Paranormal mystery. 12 & up)

Pub Date: March 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-7387-1958-0

Page Count: 264

Publisher: Flux

Review Posted Online: Jan. 4, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2012

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Cracking page-turner with a multiethnic band of misfits with differing sexual orientations who satisfyingly, believably jell...

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SIX OF CROWS

Adolescent criminals seek the haul of a lifetime in a fantasyland at the beginning of its industrial age.

The dangerous city of Ketterdam is governed by the Merchant Council, but in reality, large sectors of the city are given over to gangs who run the gambling dens and brothels. The underworld's rising star is 17-year-old Kaz Brekker, known as Dirtyhands for his brutal amorality. Kaz walks with chronic pain from an old injury, but that doesn't stop him from utterly destroying any rivals. When a councilman offers him an unimaginable reward to rescue a kidnapped foreign chemist—30 million kruge!—Kaz knows just the team he needs to assemble. There's Inej, an itinerant acrobat captured by slavers and sold to a brothel, now a spy for Kaz; the Grisha Nina, with the magical ability to calm and heal; Matthias the zealot, hunter of Grishas and caught in a hopeless spiral of love and vengeance with Nina; Wylan, the privileged boy with an engineer's skills; and Jesper, a sharpshooter who keeps flirting with Wylan. Bardugo broadens the universe she created in the Grisha Trilogy, sending her protagonists around countries that resemble post-Renaissance northern Europe, where technology develops in concert with the magic that's both coveted and despised. It’s a highly successful venture, leaving enough open questions to cause readers to eagerly await Volume 2.

Cracking page-turner with a multiethnic band of misfits with differing sexual orientations who satisfyingly, believably jell into a family . (Fantasy. 14 & up)

Pub Date: Sept. 29, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-62779-212-7

Page Count: 480

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: June 29, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2015

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An eerie thriller reminiscent of summer horror movies that will keep readers on edge.

THE LAKE

Two teens with a dark secret return to their old summer camp.

Childhood friends Esme and Kayla can’t wait to return to Camp Pine Lake as counselors-in-training, ready to try everything they couldn’t do when they were younger: find cute boys, stay up late, and sneak out after hours. Even Andy, their straight-laced supervisor, can’t dampen their excitement, especially after they meet the crushworthy Olly and Jake. An intuitive 17-year-old, Esme is ready to jump in and teach her cute little campers. But when a threatening message appears, Esme and Kayla realize the secret they’ve kept hidden for nearly a decade is no longer safe. Paranoia and fear soon cause Esme and Kayla to revisit their ominous secret and realize that nobody in the camp can be trusted. The slow buildup of suspense and the use of classic horror elements contrast with lighthearted camp activities, bonding with new friends, and budding romance. Similarly, Esme’s first-person point of view allows for increased tension and action as well as offering insight into her emotional and mental well-being. Discussions of adulthood, trauma, and recovery are subtle and realistic, but acts of sexism and machismo aren’t fully analyzed. While the strong buildup of action comes late, it leads to a shockingly satisfying finale. Major characters are White.

An eerie thriller reminiscent of summer horror movies that will keep readers on edge. (Thriller. 12-16)

Pub Date: March 2, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-593-12497-0

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: Dec. 10, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2021

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