The Getaway

Black teen's face in shadow with blood red background and lettering. His eyes and mouth are gruesomely stitched closed.It’s the very near future and the US has been devastated by wildfires, drought and floods. Food shortages and riots have become the norm, with very few places designated as safe cities. Karloff Country Resort  offers the very wealthy an escape from this broken world. It is “the funnest place around,” according to the owners. Once inside the walls of Karloff Country’s theme park, nothing in the outside world matters. The staff – all BIPOC – live onsite in an area separate from the guests and consider themselves lucky. They live and breathe the Karloff Country motto, “service and joy.”

Teens Jay, Zeke and Connie work and go to school there. Seychelle Karloff is part of their friend group. Despite being heir to the Karloff empire, she is more connected to the teens than her family. She has always been treated like an outsider. She’s biracial and her grandfather never forgave her mother for bringing a half-Black child into the family.

Things start to get troubling when Jay and Zeke notice some of their neighbors are going missing. At the same time wealthy families are moving into the Karloff vacation mansions but aren’t leaving. Guests become more demanding and treatment of the staff becomes more callous. Jay tries to find logical answers, while Zeke follows conspiracy chat rooms and realizes they might be on to something. Seychelle uses her Karloff family connections to get more information. As the three friends uncover the startling truth, they work together to find a way out.

It’s clear early on that things aren’t quite right; but as the story progresses, the intensity ratchets up quickly, in a frighteningly believable way. Horror stems from the world the Karloffs and their peers created both inside and outside the walls of Karloff Country. The teens’ relationships aren’t without conflict but each in their own way uses their skills and resources to help each other out.

The most frightening thing about The Getaway is how many storylines in the book are playing out in our world right now.

Clear your calendar because once you start this book you will not be able to put it down. And can we talk about that cover? The book is scary before you even open it!

Find The Getaway at your local bookstore

Black Enough?

What does that mean? Who gets to decide?

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This collection of stories by some of the best young adult authors writing today examines what it means to be a young black person. Are you still black if you’re a Star Wars nerd? Into tech? A fan of Harry Potter and Percy Jackson? A debate champ who’s also a metalhead? Are open about mental health issues?  Love the outdoors? Wonder if you have to code switch within the black community? These are just a few of the issues teens confront here. As in real life, the young people in these stories are privileged, poor, queer, straight, artistic, insecure, confident, have families that are Afrocentric, and families where blackness is not at the forefront. Black youth coming from all types of backgrounds deal with questions of legitimacy. Although they have different experiences and expectations, they often feel judged against some vague set of standards, making it difficult to feel like they’re “doing it right.”  This raises an important question – is judging a person’s blackness actually buying into stereotypes about ourselves? Regardless, I have no doubt a wide variety of young people will find themselves in these stories. This will also resonate with a lot of adults as one of those “I wish I had this when I was a teen” books.

If you aren’t black, read this book anyway. Anyone from a culture where people feel free to call your authenticity into question will relate to the stories in this collection.

In case you’re still wondering, Ibi Zoboi, editor of this collection, answers the question. She hopes that “…Black Enough will encourage all black teens to be their free, uninhibited selves without the constraints of being black, too black or not black enough.” In other words, the answer is yes, you, in all your nerdy, swaggerific, techy, metal music loving, sneakerheaded, privileged, struggling, code switching self, are black enough.
Click here to buy Black Enough from an independent bookstore!