A powerful, unforgettable story of loneliness and belonging.

FULL FLIGHT

What happens when you find someone who truly sees you as you are?

In her small Texas town, Anna James wears Christmas socks year-round and secretly worries she’s never going to be good enough. She’s struggling to perform her part of a marching band duet and risks having it assigned to someone else. But Weston Ryan—the other half of the duet and a social outcast accused of destroying the school’s memorial tree—reluctantly agrees to help her practice. Weston excels in music but, distracted and upset by his parents’ recent divorce, has trouble keeping his grades up. As Weston and Anna grow closer and inevitably fall for each other, Anna lies to her parents about where she’s spending time, knowing they wouldn’t approve of her seeing him. Echoing beautifully throughout the novel is Weston’s imagining of the last Kauaʻi ʻōʻō bird, the final survivor of his species who in 1987 flew toward a scientist’s recording of a bird call, searching for family who would never come. Schumacher’s gorgeous writing immerses readers in the aching emotions of close friendship and first love before delivering a gut punch of an ending. Told in alternating first-person perspectives, the narrative memorably portrays anxiety and depression without explicitly naming either, weaving these subjects into well-drawn everyday scenes. Main characters are implied White.

A powerful, unforgettable story of loneliness and belonging. (Fiction. 12-18)

Pub Date: Feb. 22, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-250-77978-6

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Wednesday Books

Review Posted Online: Dec. 15, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2022

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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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A crackerjack thriller done in by its own dopey protagonist.

LOCK THE DOORS

A blended family seeks a fresh start in a new home.

Tom’s mother believes that the family may have finally found happiness. After years of dating losers, she’s finally settled down with a nice guy—and that nice guy, Jay, happens to have a daughter, Nia, who is just a little older than Tom. The new family has moved into a nice new house, but Tom can’t shake the feeling that something’s wrong. They discover a strange message written on the wall when they are stripping the old wallpaper, and there’s clear evidence that the previous owners had installed locks on the exteriors of the bedroom doors. Those previous owners happen to live a little farther down the street, and Tom quickly becomes obsessed with their teenage daughter, Amy, and the secrets she’s hiding. This obsession unfortunately becomes a repetitive slog involving many pages of Tom’s brooding and sulking over the same bits of information while everyone tells him to move on. Readers will be on everyone’s side. But then, a blessed breath of fresh air: The perspective shifts to Amy, and readers learn in spectacularly propulsive fashion exactly what she’s hiding. Regret and intrigue blend perfectly as Amy divulges her secrets. Alas, we return to navel-gazing Tom for the book’s final pages, and everything ends with a shrug. Main characters default to White.

A crackerjack thriller done in by its own dopey protagonist. (Thriller. 14-18)

Pub Date: March 1, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-72823-189-1

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Review Posted Online: Dec. 15, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2022

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