Kirkus: When death stops working, avoiding a dead ex-best friend becomes impossible. Dino DeLuca and July Cooper were best friends. Then Dino started dating perfect—and perfectly handsome—Rafi Merza, and their duet dissolved, an end punctuated by July’s unexpected death. Kind of. As Dino is grieving privately by her corpse (the DeLuca’s have a funeral home) July wakes up from death as vocal as ever. Tandem with trying to keep her revenant status secret is analyzing why their once strong pact devolved into dislike. His answer: her jealousy. Her answer: his boyfriend. The truth: somewhere in the middle. Rafi is trans and has a group of friends diverse in ethnicity and sexual orientation who school brash, brassy July on sensitivities to marginalized people (her struggle with being labeled without nuance as “dead” lightheartedly mirrors that of the LGBTQ+ community). The quasi-linear overlap of Dino’s and July’s narratives demonstrate the difficulty in finding the reality between the two sides. Their voices (him: think the dry intellect of Juno circa 2007, her: the audience who rolled their eyes at Juno circa 2007) are as distinctly different as their perceived versions of the truth. Dino and July are both white, while Rafi is of Pakistani descent. The explanation of why deaths cease is underdeveloped but doesn’t stop this from being a decent romp. Unfortunately for Dino, Rafi outranks him in narrative allure. The dissection of a fractured friendship with a pretty fun post-mortem.
Robert Jackson Bennett’s VIGILANCE, a novella about an America that has permanently surrendered to paranoia, distrust, and gun violence, to Brian Sweany at Recorded Books, at auction, by Katie Shea Boutillier, for Cameron McClure.
Shaun David Hutchinson’s BRAVE FACE, to Tom Spain at Simon & Schuster Audio, by Katie Shea Boutillier.
Russian rights to NYT bestselling author Robert McCammon’s BOY’S LIFE, SWAN SONG, THE BORDER, THE LISTENER and SPEAKS THE NIGHTBIRD, to Azbooka-Atticus, in a five-book deal, by Igor Korzhenevski at Alexander Korzhenevski Agency on behalf of Katie Shea Boutillier for Cameron McClure.
Hungarian rights to Brent Weeks’s THE BLOOD MIRROR and THE BLACK PRISM renewal rights, to Konyvmolykepzo, by Milena Kaplarevic at Prava I Prevodi on behalf of Katie Shea Boutillier for Donald Maass.
Emily Wibberley and Austin Siegemund-Broka’s ALWAYS NEVER YOURS, to Planeta Mexico, for world Spanish rights, by Amaiur Fernandez at International Editors’ on behalf of Katie Shea Boutillier.
Korean rights to Martha Wells’ Nebula and Hugo Award-winning ALL SYSTEMS RED (Book 1 of The Murderbot Diaries series), to Alma Publishing Co., by Jackie Yang at the Eric Yang Agency in association with Michael Curry for Jennifer Jackson.
Booklist: Get ready, because Hutchinson is going to knock your socks off with this new, deliciously bizarre novel. . . His intelligent writing will seduce readers with its complex and spunky characters, lively dialogue, offbeat humor, and emotional depth.
Italian rights to NYT bestselling author Skye Warren’s The Endgame series, to Triskell Edizioni, in a three-book deal, at auction, by Stefania Fietta at Donzelli Fietta on behalf of Katie Shea Boutillier.
French renewal rights to NYT bestselling author Jim Butcher’s CURSOR’S FURY, the 3rd book in the Codex Alera series, to Bragelonne, by Robin Batet at the Anna Jarota Agency in association with Jennifer Jackson.
French renewal rights to NYT bestselling author Jim Butcher’s CAPTAIN’S FURY, the 4th book in the Codex Alera series, to Bragelonne, by Robin Batet at the Anna Jarota Agency in association with Jennifer Jackson.
German renewal rights to NYT bestselling author Jim Butcher’s Codex Alera series, FURIES OF CALDERON, ACADEM’S FURY, CURSOR’S FURY, CAPTAIN’S FURY, PRINCEPS’ FURY, and FIRST LORD’S FURY, to Blanvalet, by Nina Sievers at the Thomas Schlueck Agency in association with Jennifer Jackson.
French rights to Nnedi Okorafor’s BINTI NOVELLA TRILOGY, to ActuSF, in a three-book deal, by Robin Batet at Anna Jarota Agency, on behalf of Katie Shea Boutillier for Donald Maass.
Korean rights to World Fantasy, Nebula and Hugo Award-winning author Nnedi Okorafor’s BINTI, to Alma, by Jackie Yang at the Eric Yang Agency on behalf of Katie Shea Boutillier for Donald Maass.
German rights to NYT bestselling author Annika Martin’s THE BILLIONAIRE’S WAKE-UP-CALL GIRL, to Lyx, by Sarah Knofius at Thomas Schlueck Agency on behalf of Katie Shea Boutillier.
German rights to Martha Wells’ Hugo and Nebula Award-winning The Murderbot Diaries series (ALL SYSTEMS RED, ARTIFICIAL CONDITION, ROGUE PROTOCOL, and EXIT STRATEGY), to Heyne, at auction, by Sarah Knofius at the Thomas Schlueck Agency in association with Jennifer Jackson and Michael Curry.
Carissa Ann Lynch’s MY SISTER IS MISSING, when a young woman returns home so that her sister can share secret that needs to be told in-person, she disappears, leaving her alone with her niece and nephew, and as clues start to unravel it makes her wonder if her sister is not only the victim of a crime, but also the perpetrator, to Charlotte Ledger at Killer Reads, in a two-book deal, for publication in Summer 2019, by Katie Shea Boutillier.
Pretty and popular, seventeen-year-old Brooke Emerson is the envy of her classmates—and even some of her closest friends. But while she seems to have it all, Brooke has never felt so lost.
Ever since she sustained a head injury during a cheerleading stunt the previous year, she’s suffered from a disorder that causes her to fly into uncontrollable, sometimes violent rages. As hard as she tries to keep it together, she finds herself in danger of jeopardizing her seemingly perfect life.
It isn’t until Brooke meets Jake, a handsome and charismatic stranger, that she feels like she’s found someone who not only understands her, but accepts her for who she is. As tempting as it is to get swept up in the romance, she can’t help but feel like something in their relationship isn’t quite right.
When her best friend is brutally murdered, Brooke has no choice but to depend on her new love…especially because she’s worried that she might be the killer.
VOYA: Bold flirt and theatre director Megan prefers to be behind the scenes, but must take one acting credit to get into her dream college. Hoping to get the smallest part in her schools’ performance of Romeo and Juliet, she is stunned to find herself cast as the lead—and Romeo is not only her ex, but also her best friend’s current boyfriend.
Like a modern-day Rosaline, Megan tends to be the girl that guys date right before they find true love. Megan agrees to help budding playwright Owen Okita with his latest play in exchange for his help getting the attention of hot stagehand Will. Time with Owen becomes an increasingly enjoyable respite from school, family, and social stress. With her divorced father’s new family growing, it seems his new life does not include her. Her constant flirting with Owen could turn the newfound friendship into something bigger—but at what cost?
There are plenty of Romeo and Juliet-inspired YA books that only use the device as an initial hook. Always Never Yours, however, entwines the play throughout the plot, the characters, and the settings. It is refreshing to see a female character portrayed as fearless and comfortable with her own physicality. Glimpses into her vulnerability help keep Megan from being over the top. Supporting characters include a realistically diverse group of friends, and their interactions are authentic. Fans of Jenny Han and Kasie West will root for Megan’s happiness
Entertainment Weekly: The book is a love letter to high school drama classes, Shakespeare (Romeo and Juliet most especially), the power of friendship, first love, and the empowering act of recognizing one’s own self-worth. Every page bursts with humor, squee-inducing romance, and an abiding sense of the deep love and joy of its two writers.
Designed to induce both heart-warming bursts of happiness and a sense of recognition and pangs of empathy for Megan’s struggles, Always Never Yours is a necessary, feel-good addition to the YA canon.
Living in the shadow of a decades-old crime that stole his children from him, reclusive Lars Jorgensen is an unlikely savior. But when a stranger walks onto the ice of a frozen Minnesota lake, her intentions are brutally clear, and the old man isn’t about to let her follow through.
Jenna Shaw didn’t ask for Lars’s help, nor does she want it. After he pulls her from the brink, however, Jenna finds her desire to give up challenged by their unlikely friendship. In Jenna, Lars recognizes his last chance for redemption. And in her quest to solve the mysteries of Lars’s past and bring him closure, Jenna may find the way out of her own darkness.
But the truth that waits threatens to shatter it all. When secrets are surrendered and lies are laid bare, Jenna and Lars may find that accepting the past isn’t their greatest challenge. Can they afford the heartbreaking price of forgiveness?