Tautly written, tense, and evocative, this is a stunning YA novel by award-winning and critically acclaimed author Anna-Marie McLemore.
by Anna-Marie McLemore
Feiwel & Friends, May 2024
(via Dystel, Goderich & Bourret)
The Soler sisters are infamous in polite society―brazen, rebellious, and raised by their fashionable grandmother who couldn’t care less about which fork goes where. But their grandmother also knows the standards that two Latina young ladies will be held to, so she secures them two coveted places at the Alarie House, a prominent finishing school that turns out first ladies, princesses, and socialites.
Younger sister Isla is back home within a day. She refuses to become one of the eerily sweet Alarie girls in their prim white dresses. Older sister Renata stays. When she returns months later, she’s unfailingly pleasant, unnervingly polite, and, Isla discovers, possibly murderous. And the same night she returns home, she vanishes.
As their grandmother uses every connection she has to find Renata, Isla re-enrolls, intent on finding out what happened to her sister. But the Alarie House is as exacting as it is opulent. It won’t give up its secrets easily, and neither will a mysterious, conniving girl who’s either controlling the house, or carrying out its deadly orders.
Anna-Marie McLemore (they/them) writes magical realism and fairy tales that are as queer, Latine, and nonbinary as they are. Their books include The Weight of Feathers, a 2016 William C. Morris YA Debut Award Finalist; 2017 Stonewall Honor Book When the Moon Was Ours, which was longlisted for the National Book Award in Young People’s Literature and was the winner of the James Tiptree Jr. Award; Wild Beauty, a Kirkus, School Library Journal, and Booklist best book of 2017; Blanca & Roja, a New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice; ; Dark and Deepest Red, a Winter 2020 Indie Next List selection; The Mirror Season, which has recently received starred reviews from Kirkus, Publishers Weekly, Booklist and School Library Journal; Lakelore, on ALA’s 2023 Rainbow Book List, which has received starred reviews from Kirkus, Booklist, Publishers Weekly, and Shelf Awareness; and Self-Made Boys: A Great Gatsby Remix (Fall 2022), which was longlisted for the National Book Award. In 2023, they were a LAMBDA Lammy Award finalist.