cover image Lockjaw


Matteo L. Cerilli. Tundra, $17.99 (328p) ISBN 978-1-77488-230-6

Cerilli delivers a stunning debut in this gripping paranormal horror novel about queer teens growing up in a community that doesn’t accept them and the insidious danger of apathy. Paz Espino is considered a “weirdo” in her hometown of Bridlington—and most Bridlington denizens don’t like weirdos. Not the ones like Paz, who’s often blamed for anything and everything that goes wrong around town, and not the ones like Chuck Warren, whose parents often ignore or don’t notice how neighbor kids constantly bully him. When Chuck turns up dead at the old paper mill, however, local authorities rally behind the Warren family, who claim that Paz is responsible for Chuck’s death. But Paz knows the truth: it wasn’t an accident. Chuck was killed by a monster, and if Paz can’t prove its existence, she fears that it will return to tear the town apart. Without eschewing how self-preservation instincts can sometimes perpetuate harm within queer communities, Cerilli blends present-day events, flashbacks, and supernatural happenings via multiple third-person perspectives to explore myriad queer experiences. Characters are intersectionally diverse. Ages 14–up. (June)