We will not hold it against Jillian Kantor that she has an MFA, because The September Sisters was a good, if vaguely harrowing, read. Abby has never been overly fond of her younger sister, Becky, but she is devastated when her sister disappears. The effect on her family goes on for years-- her father becomes more brusque and detached, her mother finds comfort in unacceptable places, and Abby struggles through every day with a gnawing sense of absence. She is helped somewhat by her neighbor and her neighbor's grandson, Thomas, but not knowing what happened to her sister makes finally finding out a relief. This is a fairly long book, but it reads quickly, and yes, the prose is "lyrical". This works for this book, which will appeal to girls who want a sad read and aren't so much interested that "nothing happens". Will probably buy this one.
Also finished off Gregor and the Code of Claw. The appeal to students who want blood-and-gore fighting is indisputable-- Gregor has so many scars on him by the end of this that someone back in the Overland is sure to call Children's Services! In a final battle against the Bane and his forces, Gregor's sisters are both drawn in, trying to break the code. Gregor is more worried that usual-- one of the prophecies indicates that the warrior will die; isn't he the warrior? The romance with Luxa is a bit overplayed, and the ending is somehow very sad. Gregor hasn't had a good time in the Underland, but he's made a lot of good friends, and when the family moves to Virginia, he won't be able to go back. Sigh. Did like these much more than I thought I would, and will heartily recommend them to both fantasy and action fans.