IMMORTAL

From the Immortal series , Vol. 1

Evie, a motherless and lonely scholarship student at the very posh Wyldcliffe Abbey School for Young Ladies somewhere on unspecified moors of England, pursues a furtive and resolutely chaste late-night romance with Sebastian, whose good looks, dark moods, manipulative behavior and anachronistic speech will remind readers of Twilight’s Edward Cullen. The narrative alternates between the present and the Victorian diary of Lady Agnes Templeton, who is linked to both Sebastian and Evie. The diary reveals their connections to Agnes (to whom Evie bears a striking resemblance and whom she sees in visions), but only hints at the worst of Sebastian’s secret. Naturally, good must battle evil, while Evie must confront her demons and emerge damaged but victorious. Two-dimensional characters, overheated dialogue and a mishmash of predictable plotting cribbed from Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, Circle of Magic, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Twilight yield a profoundly derivative reading experience. The door is left open for a sequel, but with so much worthwhile source material to read instead, readers will ask, why? (Fantasy. 12 & up)

Pub Date: May 1, 2009

ISBN: 978-0-06-137580-4

Page Count: 368

Publisher: Katherine Tegen/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2009

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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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THE BOOK THIEF

When Death tells a story, you pay attention. Liesel Meminger is a young girl growing up outside of Munich in Nazi Germany, and Death tells her story as “an attempt—a flying jump of an attempt—to prove to me that you, and your human existence, are worth it.” When her foster father helps her learn to read and she discovers the power of words, Liesel begins stealing books from Nazi book burnings and the mayor’s wife’s library. As she becomes a better reader, she becomes a writer, writing a book about her life in such a miserable time. Liesel’s experiences move Death to say, “I am haunted by humans.” How could the human race be “so ugly and so glorious” at the same time? This big, expansive novel is a leisurely working out of fate, of seemingly chance encounters and events that ultimately touch, like dominoes as they collide. The writing is elegant, philosophical and moving. Even at its length, it’s a work to read slowly and savor. Beautiful and important. (Fiction. 12+)

Pub Date: March 14, 2006

ISBN: 0-375-83100-2

Page Count: 512

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

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