$15.99 / 15+
Release date: May 13, 2010
Madeleine and Rogan are more than just first cousins: they are best friends and each others first love. They live with their sprawling clan, all descendents of a famous actress, in Arden Terrace, a housing development dreamt up by their great-grandmother’s husband. It is their Aunt Kate who encourages Maddy and Rogan’s interest in the theater, taking them to shows in the city and gifting Maddy with a vintage velvet cape. When the two star in a school production of Shakespeare’s Twelth Night, they are forced to confront their passion and their future.
The initial description didn’t really grab me, but Liz Burns named Illyria as one of her favorite books of 2010, and since it’s a slight read, I decided to give it a shot anyway. I’m glad I did. Illyria is a story that wastes no time in grabbing your attention, instantly pulling you into the world of a once-wealthy family in 1970′s Yonkers. While the relationship between Maddy and Rogan requires a certain amount of maturity from the reader (this is not a book I would suggest to just any YA reader), those who can read the story with sensitivity will be rewarded with a compelling and magical tale. Recommend to fans of Francesca Lia Block’s lyrical prose and tightly woven stories; Wasteland in particular will pair nicely.