A frothy little stand-alone fairy tale.

THE SIREN

A chaste forbidden romance between a siren and a human in this re-edited rerelease from The Selection (2012) author Cass.

When the ship that Kahlen and her wealthy, white family are passengers on is hit by siren song, luring everyone overboard to their deaths, Kahlen’s desperate prayers for life are answered—by the Ocean. Three sirens explain the deal: Kahlen will live for 100 years as a siren, serving the Ocean by singing humans to their deaths, and then go free; if she refuses the deal, she dies. Eighty years later and in the thoroughly wired present, Kahlen grieves the lives she takes while loving the Ocean as a mother. With her multicultural-in-name-only siren sisters (Japanese, African, and Indian characters alongside a number of white ones), Kahlen interacts with humans carefully (with feigned muteness, as their voices are dangerous). Then she meets sweet, slightly goofy Akinli, a blond, white college boy, and they fall hard for each other. While the romance comes on fast, it’s based on more than physical attraction. All Kahlen ever wanted was love and to be a bride, but she still has 20 years of service before she can rejoin humanity. The value she places on heterosexual romance coexists with her sisters’ differing priorities, character-specific rather than universal. Still, despite their more varied life interests, between pretty dresses and endless pining, this one is best for hopeless romantics.

A frothy little stand-alone fairy tale. (Paranormal romance. 12 & up)

Pub Date: Jan. 26, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-06-239199-5

Page Count: 336

Publisher: HarperTeen

Review Posted Online: April 30, 2016

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Black is building a complex mythology; now is a great time to tune in.

THE CRUEL PRINCE

From the Folk of the Air series , Vol. 1

Black is back with another dark tale of Faerie, this one set in Faerie and launching a new trilogy.

Jude—broken, rebuilt, fueled by anger and a sense of powerlessness—has never recovered from watching her adoptive Faerie father murder her parents. Human Jude (whose brown hair curls and whose skin color is never described) both hates and loves Madoc, whose murderous nature is true to his Faerie self and who in his way loves her. Brought up among the Gentry, Jude has never felt at ease, but after a decade, Faerie has become her home despite the constant peril. Black’s latest looks at nature and nurture and spins a tale of court intrigue, bloodshed, and a truly messed-up relationship that might be the saving of Jude and the titular prince, who, like Jude, has been shaped by the cruelties of others. Fierce and observant Jude is utterly unaware of the currents that swirl around her. She fights, plots, even murders enemies, but she must also navigate her relationship with her complex family (human, Faerie, and mixed). This is a heady blend of Faerie lore, high fantasy, and high school drama, dripping with description that brings the dangerous but tempting world of Faerie to life.

Black is building a complex mythology; now is a great time to tune in. (Fantasy. 14-adult)

Pub Date: Jan. 2, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-316-31027-7

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Sept. 26, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2017

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Sure to please fans of the author and of the vampire-romance genre.

THE BEAUTIFUL

From the Beautiful series , Vol. 1

Forbidden love is tested by suspicion and murder in this latest addition to YA vampire lore.

Celine Rousseau, a French and Asian (mother’s exact origins unknown) seamstress, sails from Europe to America in hopes of leaving her shadowy past behind. En route, she bonds with Pippa, a white English émigrée, and both girls find refuge in an Ursuline convent. Celine’s talent as a couturier leads to a commission from Odette, a beautiful member of the opulent-yet-mysterious Cour des Lions, where students of the occult practice their craft unmolested. Before long, Celine is swept up in a world of mystical forces centering around Sébastien Saint Germain, an enigmatic aristocrat to whom she is irresistibly attracted. When a fellow convent member is found murdered, Celine suspects all her acquaintances, including Sébastien. The novel, wading into the waters of forbidden romance between teenage girl and hunky immortal vampire previously navigated by Buffy Summers and Bella Swan, feels less magical than it should despite the lush Victorian-era New Orleans setting. At times the mounting attraction between Bastien and Celine is told rather than shown, which makes the central relationship feel forced rather than organic and passion filled. Ahdieh (Smoke in the Sun, 2018, etc.) brings New Orleans vibrantly to life, particularly when exploring the complicated racial and gender restrictions of high society through main and supporting characters of mixed-race origin.

Sure to please fans of the author and of the vampire-romance genre. (Fantasy. 12-adult)

Pub Date: Oct. 8, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5247-3817-4

Page Count: 448

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: July 24, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

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