Tuesday, January 3, 2012

School Library Journal on UNFORSAKEN

Nice new review of UNFORSAKEN at School Library Journal...

Gr 9 Up–This companion to Banished (Delacorte, 2010) is fast paced and disturbingly vivid. Hailey Tarbell, 16, is descended from the Banished, a group of Irish healers, and has inherited the power to heal, but it only works if a wounded person is still alive; otherwise, it turns the deceased into the living dead. Hailey is all too familiar with this chilling reality after escaping her hometown and those who wanted to exploit her power to create an army of zombies. Now she has a second chance at a normal life with her Aunt Prairie and adopted four-year-old brother, Chub. However, a new identity and a modicum of safety cannot make her forget who she left behind. When Hailey secretly talks to her boyfriend, Kaz, she inadvertently alerts the enemy to her location and ruins all illusions of safety. After Prairie and Chub go missing, Hailey and Kaz must find and rescue them from the men who will stop at nothing in their quest to build a zombie army. In this sequel, Hailey is still figuring out her powers but is more confident, aggressive, and willing to risk everything to save those she loves. While at times the inclusion of backstory seems to overwhelm the current narrative, it is helpful for remembering elements that could easily be forgotten. Littlefield wraps things up a little too neatly, but readers will still experience nail-biting moments of zombie attacks and heart-fluttering moments of romance that will keep them reading to the very end.–Elizabeth C. Johnson, Fort Vancouver Regional Library, WA

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