cover image (Don’t You) Forget About Me

(Don’t You) Forget About Me

Kate Karyus Quinn. HarperTeen, $17.99 (352p) ISBN 978-0-06-213596-4

Gardnerville is “equal parts monstrous and miraculous,” a place where no one gets sick, where no one is allowed to leave, and where every four years, its teenagers kill themselves and others in fits of dreamlike madness. Flowers grow like weeds across the town, and the people who move there are seeking paradise: “No sickness, no disease.... These are the perks of living in Gardnerville, but they do not come for free.” Skylar Gardner is mourning the absence of her older sister, Piper, who led some of the town’s children to a watery death four years earlier and now lives in a reformatory. Skylar’s voice is alternately despairing and cynical; like nearly everyone else in town, she exists in a near-constant drug-addled state, with flower-based drugs helping calm residents’ demons. Quinn (Another Little Piece) is a gifted writer, her prose requiring perseverance and attentiveness. Understanding the rules of Gardnerville and what keeps its cycles of madness turning is like deciphering an intricate puzzle or being locked in a dream—sometimes nightmarish, sometimes beautiful, and sometimes like one long, strange hallucination. Ages 13–up. [em](June) [/em]