PAN'S LABYRINTH

THE LABYRINTH OF THE FAUN

A young girl is swept into the dangerous world of fairies and magic in war-torn Spain in a collaborative tale inspired by the noted film.

With the death of her father, her mother’s marriage to a stoic military captain, and the imminent arrival of a baby brother, 13-year-old Ofelia’s world has been turned upside down. But once upturned, Ofelia discovers a world beneath her own that seems straight out of her favorite fairy tales—an Underground Kingdom with magic, fairies, and a faun whose princess has been missing for centuries. The faun explains that Ofelia is their princess reincarnated, but to return to her throne, she must complete three tasks before the next full moon. But as her mother’s health rapidly declines and the captain’s cruelty spreads like a deadly fume, a giant toad and grotesque child eater aren’t the only monsters Ofelia must face. Charged with the monumental task of adapting an intricate film to the page, del Toro (The Shape of Water, 2018, etc.) and Funke (The Griffin’s Feather, 2018, etc.) have avoided merely describing the film and instead have elegantly recrafted the narrative. Brief, interspersed tales that stitch together several characters’ backstories deepen and add greater complexity to the plot while also shrinking the original story’s ambiguous gap between fantasy and reality. Spot art based on the film’s concept art accompanies each of the tales, helping to both offset and connect them.

Dark and mesmerizing. (Dark fantasy. 12-18)

Pub Date: July 2, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-06-241446-5

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Katherine Tegen/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: April 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2019

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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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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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