From School Library Journal
Grade 9 Up—Kit and Fancy Cordelle, the only children of the terrifying Bonesaw Killer of Portero, know that it's only a matter of time before they follow in his footsteps. Their dad was caught and imprisoned due to forensic evidence, but his teenage daughters are determined not to fall into the same trap. With careful planning and control, Fancy knows that she can make sure nothing ties them to the crimes, as long as her impulsive sister avoids a public killing spree. Scouting out the perfect location, she retrieves the missing crank to the old kinetoscope that lived in her father's killing cellar. The old motion-picture device transports Fancy to a brightly colored world where she and her sister can kill those who deserve it and keep the bodies away from the police. However, even as the sisters embark on their murderous spree, forces are tearing them apart. Kit has become obsessed with Gabriel, the youngest son of the last man their father killed, while Fancy has attracted the attention of Gabriel's brother, Ilan. Reeves, experimenting with a much darker side of magical realism, definitely has plenty of ideas. The vividly created fantasy world in which buried victims grow into beautiful trees is fully engaging. Though the oddball humor is somewhat lacking, Kit and Fancy are likable enough. While the dual boyfriends feels shoehorned in as an unnecessary contrivance, it fits within the overall small-town mindset. Mostly without gore, the subject matter is enough to raise an eyebrow or two in any community. Fans of Showtime's Dexter
series will be thoroughly engrossed, though this dark horror novel will never be a staple in most collections.—Chris Shoemaker, New York Public Library
(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
"Brutally beautiful — not like anything else you'll read this year, or any other."
- Cassandra Clare, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Clockwork Angel
Slice of Cherry
Simon Pulse, 2011 [512p] R* Gr. 9-12
Always close, sisters Kit and Fancy bond even more tightly after the Bonesaw Killer, their father, is convicted of multiple murders. They rarely even notice the fact that they are outsiders (even in the wacked-out town of Portero, where portals let in monsters and the townsfolk are never surprised by anything) as they fill their days with increasingly violent acts. Those acts seem to feed something in each of them, even though they also rid the town of bad guys (though occasionally their standards slip to include someone who could, perhaps, have done just fine with a stern talking to rather than . . . death). In come two brothers with enough secrets of their own to rival the girls’, and suddenly romance mixes with gore, and love threatens to separate the sisters. The use of entries in Fancy’s dream journal as chapter starts is a bit contrived, but it nevertheless works well to add insight into Fancy’s brain, revealing her to be less obviously violent than Kit but much more disturbed overall. While the girls quietly use a parallel universe to perform horrific murders, their mother, a strong, proud woman who both loves her girls and occasionally fears them, keeps them in check and attempts, in her own eloquently mysterious ways (some supernatural, some strict maternal) to save her girls from whatever it is they need saving from. Reeves’ women are stunning—brazening through life on a mixture of sexuality, vulnerability, instability, and brilliance that serves them well as they encounter monsters literal and figurative, internal and external. Fans of Reeves’ first novel, Bleeding Violet (BCCB 3/10), will relish a second, though no more complete, glimpse at the deeply fascinating town of Portero and its bizarre, memorable residents. AS
--Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, January 2011
"Twisted and creepy, this book is not for the faint of heart. Reeves sets no boundaries for herself, as readers witness the strange mind of a serial killer, possibly changing all perceptions of love and murder. Horrifyingly beautiful, the small, monster-driven town of Portero is rendered in the most captivating way. " --Romantic Times
"Reeves returns to her fictional East Texas town of Portero for a tale more gruesome, disturbing and shamelessly enjoyable than Bleeding Violet...Somehow, in this orgy of gore, a touching coming-of-age tale emerges, as the two emotionally stunted young women connect with community. The warm, fuzzy moral—that it's fine to be a serial killer as long as you're doing it to help others—will delight and entertain readers mature enough to appreciate that fictional morals needn't always coincide with real-life didacticism. This gleeful page-turner is a winner." - KIRKUS
"This is a memorable and utterly twisted coming-of-age story that reads like Dexter for (mature) teens, soaked in the paranormal--and blood."--Publishers Weekly