Kirino writes lyrically as she spins a magical and ethereal tale.


Kirino recounts the beauty and terror of a traditional Japanese myth, one reminiscent of Demeter and Persephone.

The opening of the narrative is both realistic and dreamlike. Kirino introduces us to Namima and her older sister Kamikuu, the latter of whom is particularly beautiful. On her 6th birthday, Kamikuu finds out she is destined to become an Oracle, and from that moment, the fates of the two sisters diverge, for Namima begins to wait upon her sister daily, carrying a basket of food in honor of Kamikuu’s sacred and privileged life. Although Kamikuu never finishes each day’s meal, Namima is forbidden to touch the food, an irony in that many of the islanders are in want. As time passes, a handsome young man named Mahito becomes enamored of Namima and persuades her to eat some of the sacred food. He also impregnates Namima and convinces her to leave the island. Shortly after giving birth to a daughter, Namima is startled to find Mahito choking her. In fact, he murders her and sends her to the underworld, where she assists Izanami, goddess of the Realm of the Dead. Burning with desire to know what has happened in the land of the living since her death, Namima returns as a wasp, only to find that Mahito has married Kamikuu. In a rage, Namima stings her lover between the eyes, sending him to the land of the dead. Kirino continues with a narrative about Izanami and Izanaki, gods of male and female desire, whose lives (insofar as gods have mortal lives) intertwine with the fates of Namima and Kamikuu.

Kirino writes lyrically as she spins a magical and ethereal tale.

Pub Date: Aug. 6, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-8021-2109-7

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Grove

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2013

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With frank language and patient plotting, this gangly teen crush grows into a confident adult love affair.


Eleven years ago, he broke her heart. But he doesn’t know why she never forgave him.

Toggling between past and present, two love stories unfold simultaneously. In the first, Macy Sorensen meets and falls in love with the boy next door, Elliot Petropoulos, in the closet of her dad’s vacation home, where they hide out to discuss their favorite books. In the second, Macy is working as a doctor and engaged to a single father, and she hasn’t spoken to Elliot since their breakup. But a chance encounter forces her to confront the truth: what happened to make Macy stop speaking to Elliot? Ultimately, they’re separated not by time or physical remoteness but by emotional distance—Elliot and Macy always kept their relationship casual because they went to different schools. And as a teen, Macy has more to worry about than which girl Elliot is taking to the prom. After losing her mother at a young age, Macy is navigating her teenage years without a female role model, relying on the time-stamped notes her mother left in her father’s care for guidance. In the present day, Macy’s father is dead as well. She throws herself into her work and rarely comes up for air, not even to plan her upcoming wedding. Since Macy is still living with her fiance while grappling with her feelings for Elliot, the flashbacks offer steamy moments, tender revelations, and sweetly awkward confessions while Macy makes peace with her past and decides her future.

With frank language and patient plotting, this gangly teen crush grows into a confident adult love affair.

Pub Date: April 10, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5011-2801-1

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Gallery Books/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Jan. 23, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2018

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The emotions run high, the conversations run deep, and the relationships ebb and flow with grace.


When tragedy strikes, a mother and daughter forge a new life.

Morgan felt obligated to marry her high school sweetheart, Chris, when she got pregnant with their daughter, Clara. But she secretly got along much better with Chris’ thoughtful best friend, Jonah, who was dating her sister, Jenny. Now her life as a stay-at-home parent has left her feeling empty but not ungrateful for what she has. Jonah and Jenny eventually broke up, but years later they had a one-night stand and Jenny got pregnant with their son, Elijah. Now Jonah is back in town, engaged to Jenny, and working at the local high school as Clara’s teacher. Clara dreams of being an actress and has a crush on Miller, who plans to go to film school, but her father doesn't approve. It doesn’t help that Miller already has a jealous girlfriend who stalks him via text from college. But Clara and Morgan’s home life changes radically when Chris and Jenny are killed in an accident, revealing long-buried secrets and forcing Morgan to reevaluate the life she chose when early motherhood forced her hand. Feeling betrayed by the adults in her life, Clara marches forward, acting both responsible and rebellious as she navigates her teenage years without her father and her aunt, while Jonah and Morgan's relationship evolves in the wake of the accident. Front-loaded with drama, the story leaves plenty of room for the mother and daughter to unpack their feelings and decide what’s next.

The emotions run high, the conversations run deep, and the relationships ebb and flow with grace.

Pub Date: Dec. 10, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5420-1642-1

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Montlake Romance

Review Posted Online: Oct. 14, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2019

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