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Our Crooked Hearts: A Novel

Our Crooked Hearts: A Novel

by Melissa Albert

Narrated by Chloe Cannon, Emma Galvin

Unabridged — 9 hours, 51 minutes

Melissa Albert

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Secrets. Lies. Super-bad choices. Witchcraft. This is Our Crooked Hearts, a darkly gripping contemporary fantasy from Melissa Albert, the New York Times bestselling author of The Hazel Wood

"Every line reads like an incantation, and the result is a book pulsing with magic, one that holds the reader firmly under its spell.” -V.E. Schwab, author of The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue

"An intense and fun listen" -- Buzzfeed on Our Crooked Hearts

“A riveting story that grips you like a spell until you're too deep to emerge unscathed.” -Angeline Boulley, author of Firekeeper's Daughter

The suburbs, right now . . .
Seventeen-year-old Ivy's summer break kicks off with an accident, a punishment, and a mystery: a stranger whose appearance in the middle of the road, in the middle of the night, heralds a string of increasingly unsettling events. As the days pass, Ivy grapples with eerie offerings, corroded memories, and a secret she's always known-that there's more to her mother than meets the eye.

The city, back then . . .
Dana has always been perceptive. And the summer she turns sixteen, with the help of her best friend and an ambitious older girl, her gifts bloom into a heady fling with the supernatural. As the trio's aspirations darken, they find themselves speeding toward a violent breaking point.

Years after it began, Ivy and Dana's shared story will come down to a reckoning among a daughter, a mother, and the dark forces they never should've messed with.

A Macmillan Audio production from Flatiron Books

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

★ 04/18/2022

Ivy Chase, 17, is on her way home from a party when the car in which she’s riding nearly hits a naked young woman standing in the road. A bizarre encounter ensues, and unsettling events follow: a decapitated rabbit appears in Ivy’s suburban driveway, and someone else’s face flashes in her mirror. After Ivy discovers inexplicable inconsistencies in her childhood memories, she decides to confront her mother, Dana, and honorary aunt, Fee, both of whom seem capable of “unnatural things.” Upon arriving at the women’s herbal remedies shop, however, Ivy finds the business closed and a surface bloody. Albert (The Hazel Wood) skillfully interweaves Ivy’s increasingly urgent search for answers with chapters from Dana’s perspective, recounting her and Fee’s 16th summer. While at the teens’ fathers’ fish fry, the motherless, rudderless girls meet Marion Peretz, a lonely 17-year-old who’s fond of punk rock and dark magic. Tension and terror mount as the intelligently crafted, viscerally plotted story lines converge. Atmospherically tense prose and vividly sketched, true-to-life characters add depth, resulting in a tale both spellbinding and bingeworthy. Most characters cue as white. Ages 14–up. Agent: Faye Bender, Book Group. (June)

From the Publisher

A Most Anticipated Book of the Year (Tor.com, BuzzFeed, PopSugar, LitHub, Bustle, Publishers Weekly, and more)!
#1 Indie Next Pick

"A tale both spellbinding and bingeworthy. " —Publishers Weekly, starred review

"Riveting, creepy, and utterly bewitching; do not miss this one." —Kirkus Reviews, starred review

"A standalone novel so precise and enthralling that the only possible explanation is that Albert herself is a witch . . . a novel that will be devoured as well as savored. It takes risks and, magically, succeeds. And whether or not Albert is in fact a witch, one thing is for sure: her words are magic." —Booklist, starred review

"A multi-genre, coming-of-age story that explores diverse relationships that teens will relate to. Albert’s fast-paced storytelling is both thrilling and accessible, with her descriptive similes, knowledge of the occult, and imaginative spells. Teens who enjoy drama, secrets, romance, and mysteries with a twist of magic will love this one.” — SLJ, starred review

"Haunting and beautiful, full of messy girls drunk on messier magic and told with electric prose brimming with sharp metaphors.” —The Bulletin, starred review

"This book is like a puzzle box that somehow contains a more interesting version of The Craft. . . . It all boils down to the roiling cauldron of mother/daughter issues at the core of this story, and the twisting mystery of it all is very satisfying to unravel. It's clever and sharp and there's a reveal that really tore my heart out. All that plus teen witches — what more could you ask for?” —NPR.org (Best New Book of Summer)

"This atmospheric, powerful YA fantasy is crammed with secrets, lies, and ferociously good writing.” —The Guardian (Best New Children’s Book)

"Sublimely creepy." —PopSugar

"In this paranormal young adult mystery, Albert creates a lyrical and creepy atmosphere that sucks you deep within the pages of the story.” —BuzzFeed (Best New Book of June)

"Albert's creativity and imagination shine through in her world-building and lush language, leaving readers with a spellbinding, skin-tingling sensation.” —Shelf Awareness

"Every gripping chapter of Our Crooked Hearts is packed with suspense, spellbinding prose and impossible decisions. Despite their otherworldly proclivities, Albert’s dimensional characters feel wholly believable as they grapple with questions of protection, betrayal, friendship and the price of power.” —BookPage

“Every line reads like an incantation, and the result is a book pulsing with magic, one that holds the reader firmly under its spell.” —V.E. Schwab, author of The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue

“Pulses with a bold, beguiling magic that feels brand new and classic at the same time. I couldn’t put it down.” —Karen McManus, author of One of Us Is Lying

“No one weaves fairy tale magic into the modern world like Melissa Albert. A truly masterful tale, Our Crooked Hearts comes with all the trappings of a classic: immaculate prose, a parallel generational story for the ages, and chills when you least expect them.” —David Arnold, author of The Electric Kingdom

“A riveting story that grips you like a spell until you’re too deep to emerge unscathed! Once again, Melissa Albert reveals the power of magic within a daughter's grasp and the love of imperfect mothers.” —Angeline Boulley, author of Firekeeper’s Daughter

“Utterly believable mothers, sisters, and daughters with their hands full of magic, making bad decisions because they have to. I love it. No one combines magic, darkness, and the realities of being a woman the way Melissa Albert does.” —Kristin Cashore, author of Graceling

“Melissa Albert’s inimitable and gritty take on magic is beautifully woven in this poignant and striking story of mothers and daughters, power and balance, and love and betrayal. Our Crooked Hearts feels like a freshly spun secret; electric, dangerous—and impossible to keep to yourself.” —Courtney Summers, author of Sadie

“Nobody writes like Melissa Albert. Her words are electric, sizzling; they crash through the bloodstream with the same force as the magic she conjures in her stories. Our Crooked Hearts is Albert at her very best; a sharp explosion of a book that’s taut, haunting, and potent as a witch’s brew.” —Krystal Sutherland, author of House of Hollow

“Melissa Albert’s signature storytelling is once again pure sorcery. This book has everything I love: girls with tremendous power at their fingertips, mothers with unforgivable secrets, horrors left on the doorstep, and best of all, writing that sings and stuns. To those with a crookedness inside you: You are about to be enthralled.” —Nova Ren Suma, author of The Walls Around Us

“The gravity of Albert's prose in Our Crooked Hearts is inescapable. I love the glint and grind of its magic—its tangled inheritance, the sacrifices it demands, the bonds it makes and breaks. This book will swallow you whole.” —Hannah Abigail Clarke, author of Scapegracers

“Ruthlessly enticing, Our Crooked Hearts is a story about fierce magic and even fiercer young women. It caught me in its web and held on tight. This book pulses with a bewitching darkness, and I loved it.” —Kat Ellis, author of Harrow Lake

“A story as thrilling, alluring, and harrowing as the magic it describes . . . This is a book that draws the reader in so cleverly, you won't think to ask how deep the water is until it's too late. An instant favorite.” —Sarah Gailey, author of The Echo Wife

“Visceral, bold, and eerie, Our Crooked Hearts took hold of me and refused to let go. With girls as fierce as the magic they wield and secrets looming heavy on every page, this book is utterly compelling the whole way through.” —Rachel Griffin, author of The Nature of Witches

Our Crooked Hearts is a glitter-edged razor of a book, sharp and keen. The magic here is real and visceral, with powerful consequences. I fell into this book like Alice falling into Wonderland, and I didn't want to leave.” —Kat Howard, author of An Unkindness of Magicians

“A dark, searing force burns at the core of Our Crooked Hearts, one that circles the reader as subtly, as inevitably as a hunter closing in on a rabbit before the kill. Deftly melding intoxicating witchcraft with the equally potent spell of trauma handed down from mother to daughter, Melissa Albert examines how far love and friendship can be twisted before they corrode into something else—and, in the aftermath, what it truly means to claim one’s power. An ominous and irresistibly compelling read.” —Shveta Thakrar, author of Star Daughter

Our Crooked Hearts is eerie, evocative, and electrifyingly brilliant. I was immediately gripped from the very first page and completely compelled throughout. I already can’t wait to reread it. Melissa Albert’s writing is magic made real.” —Katherine Webber, author of The Revelry

School Library Journal

★ 05/01/2022

Gr 9 Up—It's the beginning of summer, and 17-year-old Ivy (described as white) has been experiencing some weird and possibly supernatural encounters. On top of it all, her mother has been acting strange without explanation, and Ivy can't shake the feeling that she knows more than she should about the boy (also described as white) across the street. As Ivy tries to figure out what's going on, the story of her mother, Dana (again, described as white), unfolds from the past as she experiments with the occult. By the end, the two stories come to a head revealing the dark magic that the two women share and how they will bear this truth together. This is a multi-genre, coming-of-age story that explores diverse relationships that teens will relate to. Albert's fast-paced storytelling is both thrilling and accessible, with her descriptive similes, knowledge of the occult, and imaginative spells. Although the practice of magic is somewhat glorified in this fictional story, the risks and dangers of it are also discussed and acknowledged. Not recommended for younger teens due to underage drinking and smoking and coarse language. VERDICT Teens who enjoy drama, secrets, romance, and mysteries with a twist of magic will love this one. A great addition to young adult collections in public libraries.—Lacey Webster

Kirkus Reviews

★ 2022-03-16
A complicated history of witchcraft binds a mother and daughter.

One night, on their way home after a tempestuous breakup, 17-year-old Ivy and her wannabe-hipster ex, Nate, nearly run over a naked woman standing in the middle of a deserted road. This catalyzing moment propels Ivy down a semiliteral rabbit hole after she begins stumbling across the bodies of dead, mutilated rabbits and cannot seem to shake the feeling of being watched. In alternating chapters, readers meet tough-as-nails Dana and her best friend, Fee. The pair welcome into their circle Marion, a beguiling rich girl who entices them with promises of magic from a mysterious grimoire. When the trio attempt a dubious spell, the results are disastrous, changing the course of their—and Ivy’s—lives forever. Here, Dana’s and Ivy’s narratives intertwine, rocketing toward a nail-biting conclusion guaranteed to keep readers up all night. Albert’s tale of mothers and daughters examines fraught choices and forgiveness against a cleverly insidious backdrop that will leave readers unable to see rabbits the same way again. While a romance is present, love in all its forms—platonic, parental, and romantic—is thoughtfully explored with gravitas and nuance. Main characters are predominantly White.

Riveting, creepy, and utterly bewitching; do not miss this one. (Paranormal. 13-adult)

Product Details

BN ID: 2940176473933
Publisher: Macmillan Audio
Publication date: 06/28/2022
Edition description: Unabridged

Customer Reviews