Race, class, fate and choice—they join Love and Death to play their parts in Brockenbrough’s haunting and masterfully...

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THE GAME OF LOVE AND DEATH

A lovingly realized Depression-era Seattle becomes the field of play for the latest round in the titular, age-old game.

In February 1920, Love and Death choose their newest pawns as infants: Love’s is Henry, a white boy of privilege (though influenza and grief rob him of much of it); Death’s is Flora, the soon-to-be-orphaned daughter of African-American jazz musicians. In spring of 1937, the game begins. Flora sings in—and actually owns part of—the family’s nightclub, but her heart is in the skies, where she flies a borrowed biplane and dreams of owning her own. Henry, a talented bass player, is poised to graduate from the tony private school he attends on scholarship with his best friend, Ethan, whose family took him in upon his father’s suicide. They meet when Henry and Ethan visit the airstrip where Flora works; the boys are in pursuit of a story for Ethan’s newspaper-magnate father. Brockenbrough’s precise, luscious prose cuts back and forth among the four protagonists, according each character equal depth, with Ethan playing a heartbreaking supporting role. The contrast between the youthful excitement of ardent Henry and pragmatic Flora and the ageless, apparent ennui of the immortals gains nuance as readers come to understand that Love and Death are not without their own complicated feelings.

Race, class, fate and choice—they join Love and Death to play their parts in Brockenbrough’s  haunting and masterfully orchestrated narrative. (Magical realism. 12 & up)

Pub Date: April 28, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-545-66834-7

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Levine/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Feb. 3, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2015

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A slow-building tale of deception and struggle against societal bounds.

PRIDE AND PREMEDITATION

From the Jane Austen Murder Mysteries series , Vol. 1

A young woman intent on a position in her father’s law firm plays sleuth in this mystery reworking of Pride and Prejudice.

When Charles Bingley, head of a local shipping firm, is accused of the murder of his brother-in-law, George Hurst, Lizzie Bennet inserts herself in the case in an effort to prove her worth beyond her potential success in securing a respectable marriage. Mr. Darcy, Wickham, Mr. Collins, Jane, Charlotte, and the extensive cast of source characters all appear here, altered and with different roles though generally retaining their personalities and idiosyncrasies. Readers familiar with Jane Austen’s work will get the most from this novel, but even for those who aren’t, the book stands on its own as a solid, if at times plodding, whodunit. Though not a modernization, there are modern sensibilities at play, discussed by Price in an author’s note and expressed in passages about class and sex roles that are much more expository than the original. This style of telling rather than showing extends across Lizzy’s relationships with both Wickham and Darcy, though descriptions of the former are also happily peppered with dryly witty dialogue. Most characters are White; Charlotte is biracial, with a White father and Black mother from the West Indies.

A slow-building tale of deception and struggle against societal bounds. (Mystery. 12-18)

Pub Date: March 9, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-06-288980-5

Page Count: 368

Publisher: HarperTeen

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2021

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Part cautionary tale, part juicy love story, this will appeal to action and adventure fans who aren't yet sick of the genre.

SHATTER ME

A dystopic thriller joins the crowded shelves but doesn't distinguish itself.

Juliette was torn from her home and thrown into an asylum by The Reestablishment, a militaristic regime in control since an environmental catastrophe left society in ruins. Juliette’s journal holds her tortured thoughts in an attempt to repress memories of the horrific act that landed her in a cell. Mysteriously, Juliette’s touch kills. After months of isolation, her captors suddenly give her a cellmate—Adam, a drop-dead gorgeous guy. Adam, it turns out, is immune to her deadly touch. Unfortunately, he’s a soldier under orders from Warner, a power-hungry 19-year-old. But Adam belongs to a resistance movement; he helps Juliette escape to their stronghold, where she finds that she’s not the only one with superhuman abilities. The ending falls flat as the plot devolves into comic-book territory. Fast-paced action scenes convey imminent danger vividly, but there’s little sense of a broader world here. Overreliance on metaphor to express Juliette’s jaw-dropping surprise wears thin: “My mouth is sitting on my kneecaps. My eyebrows are dangling from the ceiling.” For all of her independence and superpowers, Juliette never moves beyond her role as a pawn in someone else’s schemes.

Part cautionary tale, part juicy love story, this will appeal to action and adventure fans who aren't yet sick of the genre. (Science fiction. 12 & up)

Pub Date: Nov. 15, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-06-208548-1

Page Count: 352

Publisher: HarperTeen

Review Posted Online: April 5, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2011

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