Far too lengthy for any but the most avid fans

WAYFARER

From the Passenger series , Vol. 2

Star-crossed time-traveling lovers Etta and Nicholas, now separated, try to find each other in adventures across the world and history in this continuation of Passenger (2016).

Bracken plunges right in, filling in back story as she goes. Etta is a white violin prodigy who learns that she comes from a family of time travelers. She is in love with Nicholas, a biracial ex-slave. Both are searching for Cyrus Ironwood, master time traveler, who pursues the elusive astrolabe that will allow him complete control over time travel. Nicholas and Etta also want to find the astrolabe, but mostly they want to find each other again. They travel separately with various companions through such places as the Vatican in 1499 and Carthage in 148 B.C.E., experiencing real history. However, time travel can affect reality. They also visit New York in 1939, which turns out to be languishing in an alternate history of war and destruction, and Petrograd in 1919, in which Czar Nicholas II still lives. Nicholas’ bad deal with a witch injects some tension: if he doesn't kill Cyrus, he will eventually die by poison. After many trips to many different places and times, everyone meets to try to win the astrolabe. Despite the many historical sites and periods visited, Bracken focuses on the adventure and the romance, which mostly consists of the lovers pining for each other.

Far too lengthy for any but the most avid fans . (Fantasy. 12-18)

Pub Date: Jan. 3, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4847-1576-5

Page Count: 544

Publisher: Hyperion

Review Posted Online: Jan. 17, 2017

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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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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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