Intricately plotted and heart-pounding.

AS GOOD AS DEAD

From the Good Girl's Guide to Murder series , Vol. 3

Everything comes full circle in this trilogy closer.

It’s not easy being Pippa Fitz-Amobi: Max Hastings, a teen rapist who was found not guilty, is suing her for defamation. She blames herself for the death of local journalist Stanley Forbes, who was revealed to be the child of a serial killer, but she also feels a kinship with his killer, Charlie Green, who is on the run. To cope with her PTSD, Pip takes Xanax purchased from drug dealer Luke Eaton, who indirectly supplied the late Andie Bell, the subject of her first case. Pip is used to online threats, but one message has been appearing again and again: “Who will look for you when you’re the one who disappears?” Someone is leaving dead pigeons in Pip’s front yard and mysterious chalk figures in her driveway, but Detective Hawkins doesn’t believe there’s a pattern and refuses to investigate. Research into her own stalker leads to an imprisoned serial killer who supposedly confessed, but the connections are striking, and Pip fears the police may have the wrong man. This volume centers on a psychologically traumatized Pip, whose actions inhabit morally gray areas till the very end. Her romance with Ravi Singh is a much-needed balm, but their love is tragically tested. A particular strength is the way elements in this novel connect with clues from earlier entries. Pip’s mother is cued as White and her father, as Black; Ravi is of Indian descent.

Intricately plotted and heart-pounding. (Mystery. 14-18)

Pub Date: Sept. 28, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-593-37985-1

Page Count: 464

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: Aug. 18, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2021

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Riveting, brutal and beautifully told.

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WE WERE LIARS

A devastating tale of greed and secrets springs from the summer that tore Cady’s life apart.

Cady Sinclair’s family uses its inherited wealth to ensure that each successive generation is blond, beautiful and powerful. Reunited each summer by the family patriarch on his private island, his three adult daughters and various grandchildren lead charmed, fairy-tale lives (an idea reinforced by the periodic inclusions of Cady’s reworkings of fairy tales to tell the Sinclair family story). But this is no sanitized, modern Disney fairy tale; this is Cinderella with her stepsisters’ slashed heels in bloody glass slippers. Cady’s fairy-tale retellings are dark, as is the personal tragedy that has led to her examination of the skeletons in the Sinclair castle’s closets; its rent turns out to be extracted in personal sacrifices. Brilliantly, Lockhart resists simply crucifying the Sinclairs, which might make the family’s foreshadowed tragedy predictable or even satisfying. Instead, she humanizes them (and their painful contradictions) by including nostalgic images that showcase the love shared among Cady, her two cousins closest in age, and Gat, the Heathcliff-esque figure she has always loved. Though increasingly disenchanted with the Sinclair legacy of self-absorption, the four believe family redemption is possible—if they have the courage to act. Their sincere hopes and foolish naïveté make the teens’ desperate, grand gesture all that much more tragic.

Riveting, brutal and beautifully told. (Fiction. 14 & up)

Pub Date: May 13, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-385-74126-2

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: March 17, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2014

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This grittily provocative debut explores the horrors of self-harm and the healing power of artistic expression.

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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