The well-built world, vivid characters, and perfect blend of action and amour should have readers eagerly seeking the sequel.

THE GIRL AT MIDNIGHT

From the Girl at Midnight series , Vol. 1

Seventeen-year-old Echo is an odd bird, but she soars in this urban fantasy.

Echo lives by two rules—don’t get caught, and if caught, run—but breaking them brings life-changing adventures. Ten years ago, when the Ala caught Echo picking her pocket, she brought the young thief into the underground world of the Avicen—a race of long-lived, partly feathered people. Echo now flits among the Avicen, trading favors, learning magic, and even snagging a boyfriend, Rowan, but she never feels like part of the flock. Splitting time between her illicit home/book hoard in the New York Public Library and travel around the world via magic powder and portals, Echo is rarely at rest, as if aware of her mortality. When she gets caught again, this time by the dragonlike Drakharin—the opponents of the Avicen in a long-running war—she undertakes a perilous journey to find the legendary firebird and, hopefully, peace. Grey’s energetic debut offers a strong protagonist with a delightfully snarky voice. Echo’s street-honed burglary skills and survival instincts are well-balanced by her (typical) teenage hormones and boundless enthusiasm. Her companions, Avicen Ivy and Jasper and Drakharin Caius and Dorian, are also entertaining, gaining depth by sharing the narrative spotlight—though the initial ping-pong switches between Echo and Caius are disorienting.

The well-built world, vivid characters, and perfect blend of action and amour should have readers eagerly seeking the sequel. (Fantasy. 14 & up)

Pub Date: April 28, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-385-74465-2

Page Count: 368

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: Jan. 10, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2015

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This grittily provocative debut explores the horrors of self-harm and the healing power of artistic expression.

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GIRL IN PIECES

After surviving a suicide attempt, a fragile teen isn't sure she can endure without cutting herself.

Seventeen-year-old Charlie Davis, a white girl living on the margins, thinks she has little reason to live: her father drowned himself; her bereft and abusive mother kicked her out; her best friend, Ellis, is nearly brain dead after cutting too deeply; and she's gone through unspeakable experiences living on the street. After spending time in treatment with other young women like her—who cut, burn, poke, and otherwise hurt themselves—Charlie is released and takes a bus from the Twin Cities to Tucson to be closer to Mikey, a boy she "like-likes" but who had pined for Ellis instead. But things don't go as planned in the Arizona desert, because sweet Mikey just wants to be friends. Feeling rejected, Charlie, an artist, is drawn into a destructive new relationship with her sexy older co-worker, a "semifamous" local musician who's obviously a junkie alcoholic. Through intense, diarylike chapters chronicling Charlie's journey, the author captures the brutal and heartbreaking way "girls who write their pain on their bodies" scar and mar themselves, either succumbing or surviving. Like most issue books, this is not an easy read, but it's poignant and transcendent as Charlie breaks more and more before piecing herself back together.

This grittily provocative debut explores the horrors of self-harm and the healing power of artistic expression. (author’s note) (Fiction. 14 & up)

Pub Date: Aug. 30, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-101-93471-5

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: May 4, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2016

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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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