Told in a powerful rotating first-person style, the narrators in Lisa O’Donnell’s The Death of Bees (Harper, Jan.) circle in on this story like prey, drawing in the reader. Two teenage sisters from a dysfunctional family in Glasgow, Scotland, bury their dead parents in the backyard and carry on as if nothing happened, in hopes of making it to the elder sister’s 16th birthday, so as to avoid being taken into protective custody. The girls lives without their (no-good) parents look to outsiders much like they did when the parents were still alive, and it takes people, including their neighbor who takes them under his wing, a while to realize that the girls are living alone and fending for themselves. With characters and voices that remind me of other strong debut novels (like Fates Will Find Their Way and Vaclav and Lena), this book will appeal to readers who like a strong voice, dark humor, and compelling story lines told in a literary yet accessible way. Possibly good for YA crossover as well.