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The Year of the Beastsby Cecil Castellucci and Nate Powell
Synopses & Reviews
Every summer the trucks roll in, bringing the carnival and its infinite possibilities to town. This year Tessa and her younger sister Lulu are un-chaperoned and want to be first in line to experience the rides, the food... and the boys. Except this summer, jealousy will invade their relationship for the first time, setting in motion a course of events that can only end in tragedy, putting everyone's love and friendship to the test.
Alternating chapters of prose and comics are interwoven in this extraordinary novel that will break your heart and crack it wide open at the same time.
"Castellucci (First Day on Earth) and comics artist Powell (The Silence of Our Friends) mix narrative and graphic storytelling to produce an innovative, moody story about jealousy and grief. Through Castellucci's prose, readers learn about 15-year-old Tessa's growing rivalry with her younger sister, Lulu, who starts dating Tessa's crush, Charlie, and grabs the spotlight among Tessa's friends ('Tessa was a smoldering coal ready to light up at any moment.... Tessa believed that Lulu was stealing her place'). Meanwhile, in alternating chapters, Powell's skillful b&w panel art envisions Tessa's life through the lens of myth and monsters, with Tessa cast as Medusa, outcast and terrified by her ability to turn others to stone; her best friend Celina a mermaid; Charlie a centaur; and Jasper, a loner Tessa dates in secret, a minotaur. The story builds toward a tragedy that leaves Tessa devastated and sheds light on the themes of the graphic interludes. Readers will appreciate their access to Tessa's dark emotions throughout; this is a book teens will likely read and reread, gaining greater understanding as they piece together the two halves of this challenging coming-of-age story. Ages 12 – up." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Sophisticated readers will eat this...right up." Kirkus
"[A] poignant and entertaining mixture of storytelling and nightmare." VOYA
Alternating chapters of prose and comics are interwoven in this extraordinary YA novel about grief and how it cuts us off from the ones we love.
About the Author
Cecil Castellucci is the two-time MacDowell Colony fellow and award winning author of five books for young adults including Boy Proof (Candlewick, 2005), The Plain Janes (Minx/DC Comics, 2007), and Beige (Candlewick, 2007). This year she also accepted a position as YA and children's books editor of the Los Angeles Review of Books, a newly launched online magazine. Cecil Castellucci's books have been on the American Library Association's (ALA's) BBYA, Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers, Great Graphic Novels for Teens lists, as well as the NYPL Books for the Teen Age and the Amelia Bloomer list. Born in New York City, Cecil lives in Los Angeles.
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