Paranormal fun for readers who have imagined going behind the scenes of ghost-hunting shows.

DEAD DUDES

Three dudes are on a mission to prove ghosts are real.

Trev, Kent, and Brian are the stars of a failing, low-budget, ghost-hunting cable TV show, aptly named Ghost Bros. After being informed of their cancellation, Trev (the ambitious mastermind of the trio) decides it’s time to visit the ultimate ghost grounds: Edgeway Penitentiary in Montana. Kent, an actor hoping to land a bigger gig, and Brian, the tech guy hoping for more, reluctantly follow Trev’s shady plan, which includes their producer Janelle’s locking them in the facility for the weekend despite her hesitations. Anticipating the chance to explore the legendary prison and its accompanying psych ward, the guys antagonize the ghosts to get their attention, resulting in their swift demise. Now they are ghosts learning how to harness their abilities while dealing with rival factions among the residents. On the anniversary of their deaths, TV rivals—the Parawarriors—arrive to solve the mystery of what happened. Now the Ghost Bros must protect the living while proving to the world that ghosts are real. The colloquial, often humorous, frat-dude lingo makes for a quick read. The hard, blocky linework and cool color palette create an edgy reading experience fitting with the gory, creepy narrative. Trev, Kent, and Brian are White; Janelle is Black.

Paranormal fun for readers who have imagined going behind the scenes of ghost-hunting shows. (Graphic fantasy. 14-18)

Pub Date: Sept. 15, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-62010-778-2

Page Count: 136

Publisher: Oni Press

Review Posted Online: July 27, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2020

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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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Heart-pounding.

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CEMETERY BOYS

A gay, transgender brujo with burgeoning powers seeks answers about his cousin’s death.

Sixteen-year-old Yadriel also wishes for acknowledgement from his community but unexpectedly finds himself entangled in the unresolved wishes of a strong-willed, good-looking spirit. He descends from a long line of brujx who have been granted magic power by Lady Death to heal the living and to guide spirits into the afterlife. Although he’s grown up surrounded by a close-knit community, Yadriel feels alone, excluded indefinitely from a sacred rite of passage because he is transgender. When he senses that his cousin Miguel has died suddenly but the family can’t locate him, Yadriel sees an opportunity to prove to everyone he’s a true brujo by solving the mystery and releasing his cousin’s lost spirit. His plan quickly falls apart, as he accidentally summons the spirit of Julian Diaz, a boy with unfinished business who died the same day as Miguel. Both the romance and mystery burn slow and hot until the climax. Stakes begin high, and the intensity only increases with a looming deadline and a constant risk that Julian might lose himself, turning maligno. The cast of characters represents a diversity of Latinx identities sharing a community in East Los Angeles. Julian is Colombian while Yadriel is Cuban and Mexican. Their romance provides joyful, ground-breaking representation for gay, transgender boys.

Heart-pounding. (Fantasy. 14-18)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-250-25046-9

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Swoon Reads/Macmillan

Review Posted Online: June 25, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2020

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