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This week two very depressing but beautiful YA novels came out, a dystopian novel to rival all others and finally something new to read by Rachel Kushner!
Three early stories about myth, power, and sex by the acclaimed author of The Flamethrowers.
An explorer’s unknown whereabouts keep a queen in anticipation; a faith healer’s illegal radio broadcasts give hope to an oppressed people; a president’s offer of ice cream surprises a prostitute expecting to turn a trick—the three short fictions gathered in The Strange Case of Rachel Kbuild into a vision that is black-humored, brutal, and beautiful. Written prior to the publication of Kushner’s acclaimed debut novel Telex From Cuba, these stories, like Roberto Bolaño’s Antwerp, burst forth with the genesis of her fictional universe. From the mythical “Great Exception,” to the ominous “Debouchment”—originally published in her too-short-lived journal Soft Targets—to the sexy and noirish title story, Kushner saddles up for a journey into the wilds of modern fiction.
Sixteen-year-old physics nerd Aysel is obsessed with plotting her own death. With a mother who can barely look at her without wincing, classmates who whisper behind her back, and a father whose violent crime rocked her small town, Aysel is ready to turn her potential energy into nothingness.
There’s only one problem: she’s not sure she has the courage to do it alone. But once she discovers a website with a section called Suicide Partners, Aysel’s convinced she’s found her solution: a teen boy with the username FrozenRobot (aka Roman) who’s haunted by a family tragedy is looking for a partner.
Even though Aysel and Roman have nothing in common, they slowly start to fill in each other’s broken lives. But as their suicide pact becomes more concrete, Aysel begins to question whether she really wants to go through with it. Ultimately, she must choose between wanting to die or trying to convince Roman to live so they can discover the potential of their energy together. Except that Roman may not be so easy to convince.
In the aftermath of a devastating plague, a fearless young heroine embarks on a dangerous and surprising journey to save her world in this brilliantly inventive thriller
In the ruins of a future America, fifteen-year-old Ice Cream Star and her nomadic tribe live off the detritus of a crumbled civilization. Theirs is a world of children; before reaching the age of twenty, they all die of a strange disease they call Posies–a plague that has killed for generations. There is no medicine, no treatment; only the mysterious rumor of a cure.
When her brother begins showing signs of the disease, Ice Cream Star sets off on a bold journey to find this cure. Led by a stranger, a captured prisoner named Pasha who becomes her devoted protector and friend, Ice Cream Star plunges into the unknown, risking her freedom and ultimately her life. Traveling hundreds of miles across treacherous, unfamiliar territory, she will experience love, heartbreak, cruelty, terror, and betrayal, fighting to protect the only world she has ever known.
There’s death all around us.
We just don’t pay attention.
Until we do.
The last time Lex was happy, it was before. When she had a family that was whole. A boyfriend she loved. Friends who didn’t look at her like she might break down at any moment.
Now she’s just the girl whose brother killed himself. And it feels like that’s all she’ll ever be.
As Lex starts to put her life back together, she tries to block out what happened the night Tyler died. But there’s a secret she hasn’t told anyone-a text Tyler sent, that could have changed everything.
Lex’s brother is gone. But Lex is about to discover that a ghost doesn’t have to be real to keep you from moving on.
Were you lucky enough to get your hands on these books? Send us your review at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can share your thoughts!