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Buried in the Stacks by Allison Brook
A Cajun Christmas Killing by Ellen Byron Dark Waters by Katherine Arden
A Deadly Deletion by Lorna Barrett and Cassandra Campbell (Narrator) Death Gets a Time-Out by Ayelet Waldman
Devil in a Blue Dress by Walter Mosley
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Poison Ivy: Thorns by Kody Keplinger and Sara Kipin (Illustrations)
Purrder She Wrote by Cate Conte
Red Velvet Revenge by Jenn McKinlay
Samantha Spinner and the Spectacular Specs by Russell Ginns
A Spell for Trouble by Esme Addison and Emily Durante (Narrator)
The Tea Dragon Festival by Kay O'Neill
This Is Venice by Miroslav Sasek
The Turn of the Screw by Henry James
Turning Point by Paula Chase

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Poison Ivy: Thorns: 09/10/21

Poison Ivy: Thorns by Kody Keplinger

Poison Ivy: Thorns by Kody Keplinger and Sara Kipin (Illustrations) starts with a scene reminiscent of "Pretty Poison" (Batman the Animated Series, Season 1, Episode 9) and spins off to a story that reminds me a lot of the Shou Tucker arc in Fullmetal Alchemist.

We're introduced to yet to be Poison Ivy — a high schooler named Pamela as she sets off toxic gas to protect the roses and other plants growing in a city park. The park is closed, selected for redevelopment by a massive corporation.

The toxic gas throws into motion another series of events that essentially carry the graphic novel to its conclusion. Alice, a classmate, is sent to Pamela's house until it's safe to move back into the homes around the park.

Alice's presence adds to tensions at home. Pamela's father is very secretive, paranoid, unethical, and abusive. At school, Pamela's being stalked by a boy who will not take no for an answer. The school administration doesn't want to punish the boy, choosing instead to victim shame and blame.

All of this male toxicity in Pamela's life is sure to boil over. Her actions may seem extreme but at the same time in her world they're justifiable too. She's pushed into being a villain because there is no room for abused women to defend themselves.

As with many of these YA graphic novels the afterword includes resources for readers facing their own toxic situations at home.

Five stars

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