Unresolved situations, especially Becca’s missing mother, leave the door open for at least one more entry in the Whidbey...

THE EDGE OF THE LIGHT

From the Edge of Nowhere series , Vol. 4

The fourth entry in the bestselling mystery author’s series for teens continues the story of a group of young people living on Whidbey Island in Washington state.

The previous books in the series introduced a huge cast of characters, both teen and adult. The introductory chapters of this story reintroduce all these characters and their backgrounds, with 36 people and two dogs introduced in the first 100 pages. This volume weaves several plot strands together, with a bit of mystery, some romance, drug issues, and a dash of paranormal abilities exercised by Becca, a high school student in hiding from her evil stepfather. She is still involved with her boyfriend, Derric, who was adopted from Uganda, as was his birth sister, Rejoice, adopted by a family living in another town in Washington. Becca is now a live-in caretaker for her friend Seth’s grandfather, who is recovering from a stroke and trying to hang onto his house and land. Seth is in love with Prynne, a talented musician with drug issues, including heroin. Jenn is a talented soccer player who gets a job, makes the select soccer team, and explores her sexuality with another young woman on the soccer team. All of these teens are searching for distinct identities and stable lives, and all make progress in the course of the novel. Intriguing details of Northwest island life continue to draw readers in, while the style and plotting have improved from earlier entries in the series.

Unresolved situations, especially Becca’s missing mother, leave the door open for at least one more entry in the Whidbey Island saga. (Paranormal mystery. 12 & up)

Pub Date: Aug. 15, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-670-01299-2

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: May 14, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 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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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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