54 Booklist December 1, 2016 www.booklistreader.com
with Paolo and their pun-filled, sarcastic banter, and the chases and escapes keep the pages
turning. Denton’s struggle to connect to his
biological mother and his ambivalence over
the ethics of her plans adds some thought-provoking depth as well. Fans of the first book
will be happy to know more about Denton’s
ultimate fate. —Sarah Hunter
Everything Beautiful Is Not Ruined.
By Danielle Younge-Ullman.
Feb. 2017. 368p. Viking, $17.99 (9780425287590).
Ingrid used to travel all over Europe and
watch her vivacious opera-star mother,
Margot-Sophia, headline shows and dazzle
audiences. So why, at 17, is she now at a
wilderness camp for at-risk teens, in the
middle of nowhere, just trying to keep her-
self warm and dry? After surgery on her vocal
cords forces Margot-Sophia to leave her op-
era career behind, she turns her back on
music completely, despite Ingrid’s attempts
to draw her back to singing. When Ingrid
gets the lead in her school’s musical, their
already fraught relationship almost breaks,
as Ingrid is treading in artistic waters that
Margot-Sophia has chosen to leave behind.
Younge-Ullman’s expert pacing and narra-
tive style of alternating perspectives between
Ingrid’s younger self and present-day diary
entries guide readers to understanding, along
with Ingrid, that rather than being at the
wilderness camp to prove something to her
mother, she is there for herself. Ultimately
a book about complicated family relation-
ships and depression, this will speak to fans
of Sarah Dessen. —Caitlin Kling
By Josanne La Valley.
Jan. 2017. 272p. Clarion, $17.99 (9780544699472).
How far would you go to save your family?
For 16-year-old Roshen, a Muslim Uyghur
girl from northwestern China, that question
brings her thousands of miles away from her
tight-knit family, close friends, and quiet
life to a soulless uniform factory in southern China. When she and a group of other
sheltered Uyghur girls are sold into years
of indentured servitude to keep their family’s farms in Uyghur possession, Roshen
must leave behind her shy nature and become a leader, keeping hope alive for girls
withstanding brutal factory conditions, including 14-hour work days, tea mixed with
stimulants, starvation, no wages, and, finally,
forced sexual situations to save their own
lives. A harsh and provocative look at oppression, this novel brings to light the tense,
yet infrequently discussed, relationship between the Uyghur people and the people of
mainland China. La Valley’s time spent with
the Uyghur, traveling across the Taklamakan
Desert, adds an impressive layer of emotion and authenticity, reminding readers of
the ultimate power of words to change one’s
world. —Rebecca Kuss
By Mary Jennifer Payne.
Feb. 2017. 200p. Dundurn, paper, $12.99
(9781459735002). Gr. 7–10.
When they were 10 years old, Jasmine Guz-man’s twin sister, Jade, was abducted right in
front of her. Jasmine has since learned to live
with the guilt and grief, struggling to help her
ailing mother suffering from lupus. But when
she gets assigned to a bizarre new school
where many students are twin girls, her past
comes flooding back. It turns out that she
and Jade—who was abducted into another
realm entirely—are Seers, teenagers with psychic and physical powers, from mind reading
to time travel. The final battle approaches,
dark forces gain power, and Seers are the only
hope to save humankind. This first book in
the Daughters of Light series combines dystopia (it’s 2030, but already dark with climate
change and water shortage) and time-warping
(the Toronto subway system transports them
into a realm that morphs from bomb-threat-ened WWII London to the time of the Black
Plague). The rules of the Demon world can
be hard to follow, and some of the results feel
anticlimactic, but overall this is an inventive read with thought-provoking themes.
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