FICTION

All of Us with Wings

Soho Teen. Jun. 2019. 360p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781641290340.
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Gr 10 Up–Seventeen-year-old Xochi’s life has never been easy. Her single mother abandoned her to a man who repeatedly raped her, her loving adopted grandmother has died from cancer, and she has no idea who her father is. Xochi ends up in San Francisco, where she meets 12-year-old Pallas. The two bond almost instantly, and Pallas takes Xochi home, where she is hired as a governess for the precocious girl. Pallas’s family and living situation are unusual, with unmarried parents who live together and “date” other people, a rock musician father, and various band members and friends all living there together. On the night of their annual Vernal Equinox party, Pallas and Xochi cast a spell for fun and accidentally bring forth two creatures whose mission is to punish anyone who has hurt Xochi. Chaos results as Xochi finds that she can never truly escape her past. This intricately constructed urban fantasy is complex and beautiful, blending folklore, San Franciscan history, the music scene, vampires, magic, and the intertwined lives of characters, including a cat named Peasblossom who sees and understands more than the humans. While some of the minor characters tend to blend together, the main characters are well developed and robust. The hippie “free love” atmosphere and various adult relationships make this a book for older teens that could also be a crossover for new adult and adult readers. This first book by Keil ends with the possibility of a welcome sequel.
VERDICT Fantasy fans will find this book appealing, fun, and hard to put down

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