The Wild Ones

Nafiza Azad. S&S/McElderry, $18.99 (352p) ISBN 978-1-5344-8496-2

Azad (The Candle and the Flame) follows an intersectionally diverse group of 11 teen girls, “made of whimsy and lemon,” who are bound together by various traumas and the magic of the stars embedded in their palms. With this magic, they travel through the Between, a realm whose doors each lead “to a different city in the world,” and roam the Earth as Wild Ones to heal, save, and collect those who have also suffered. On one of their trips, they learn that Taraana—the Keeper of the Between, who first gave their leader Paheli their stars—is in grave danger, hunted by those who wish to harvest his tears, “the purest form of magic that can exist.” In order to protect their magic and the safe haven it has created, they must fight for Taraana. Mixing flowery prose in alternating, introspective first-person and collective narrations that sometimes prove confusing, Azad writes a sprawling feminist fantasy with themes of trauma, violence against women, and the importance of sisterhood. Ages 14–up. Agent: Katelyn Detweiler, Jill Grinberg Literary. (Aug.)