Our Crooked Hearts: A Novel (Hardcover)
July/August 2022 Kids Indie Next List
“In a tale of magic and betrayal reminiscent of The Craft, Melissa Albert masters blending magic and reality yet again. Two storylines — past and present — converge into one when a mother’s past mistakes come back to hunt her daughter.”
— Megan Irland, The River's End Bookstore, Oswego, NY
The New York Times bestselling author of The Hazel Wood returns with a darkly gripping, contemporary fantasy full of secrets, lies, mystery, and witchcraft
The suburbs, right now . . .
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 burning question: What if 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.
About the Author
Melissa Albert is the New York Times and indie bestselling author of the Hazel Wood series (The Hazel Wood, The Night Country, Tales from the Hinterland) and a former bookseller and YA lit blogger. Her work has been translated into more than twenty languages and included in the New York Times list of Notable Children’s Books. She lives in Brooklyn with her family.
A Most Anticipated Book of the Year (USA Today, 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)
"Melissa Albert, author of the sublimely creepy "The Hazel Wood," spins another mesmerizing enchantment in this exquisitely written, disturbing novel of a mother and daughter, and of secrets, magic, betrayal and revenge. . . . This skillfully plotted page-turner offers gripping suspense, unsettling scenes of magic unleashed, and a surprising love story." —The Buffalo News
"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 the Graceling Realm series
“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