FICTION

The Black Coats

400p. HarperCollins/HarperTeen. Feb. 2019. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780062679628.
COPY ISBN
Gr 8 Up—Mindy McGinnis's The Female of the Species meets Ally Carter's "Gallagher Girls" in this thriller with deeper themes about grief and justice. Thea Soloman's junior year has been spent running track and grieving for her cousin Natalie until she gets a mysterious invitation. The secret group is called The Black Coats. They are dedicated to the punishment of those who hurt women and they want Thea as a trainee. In return for participation in Balancings, which range from blackmail to beatings, Thea is promised justice for Natalie. As she is drawn deeper in the group, she learns that the Black Coats are not what they seem and that justice is never simple. Thea has a chance to make things right, but not without giving up knowing the truth about Natalie's murder. This is a perfectly paced thriller, even stronger for Thea's grief remaining real and present despite the continuous action. Thea is a complex protagonist who has a clear and relatable motivation, making it much easier to buy into the secret society of women vigilantes. The female friendships far outshine the rather quick-moving romance, easily the weakest part of the book. While there is a fair amount of violence, it's present to serve the plot and themes rather than for shock value.
VERDICT This timely page-turner has a strong hook and will not sit on shelves for long. Recommended for all libraries.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.


RELATED 

TOP STORIES

LIBRARY EDUCATION

Kids are using VR to explore worlds and create new ones

COMMUNITY FORM

Kids are using VR to explore worlds and create new ones

COLLECTION DEVELOPMENT

Kids are using VR to explore worlds and create new ones

Get connected. Join our global community of more than 200,000 librarians and educators.