[NOTE: I originally posted this review on Speculative Chic]
Alaya Dawn Johnson
Love Is the Drug
Scholastic Arthur A. Levine (US & CA: 30th September 2014)
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Emily Bird is a scholarship student in a prestigious DC school, but her future is uncertain when she awakes in the hospital unable to remember why she’s there. But there’s more trouble to come: a deadly virus is spreading, putting the school in lockdown, and a Homeland Security agent is far too close for comfort. Bird’s only solace is the school’s conspiracy theorist and resident drug-dealer as they investigate what’s happening around them. But there are those who’d rather Bird NOT remember what she knows…
Love Is the Drug is like Jennifer Lynn Barnes’s The Fixer meets Malinda Lo’s Adaptation. I so hope Alaya Dawn Johnson writes more young adult novels, because this one and The Summer Prince are great reads. I particularly like her use of settings, which are thoroughly explored.
Alaya Dawn Johnson
The Summer Prince
Scholastic Arthur A. Levine (US: 29th July 2014)
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[NOTE: I first published this at Speculative Chic.]
June lives in futuristic Brazil, where she creates amazing art – including installing lights under her skin. But her best work is a secret project she’s collaborating on with Enki. They’ve known from the start that their time together is fleeting, so their deadline is tight. Like all Summer Kings before him, Enki is scheduled to be sacrificed.
The vivid lights and imagery should inspire some awesome fan-art by readers. Art, life, death, and the future combine in this memorable setting, as their society grapples with deciding how far they should take technology…and how much they should pare it back.