Click to receive personalized book recommendations daily.
Check Out These
21 Books You’ve Been Meaning to Read
See the List
Best Seller
Out of Salem by Hal Schrieve
Out of Salem by Hal Schrieve
Hardcover
Mar 26, 2019 | 448 Pages
See All Formats (1) +
  • Hardcover $19.95

    Mar 26, 2019 | 448 Pages | Young Adult

  • Ebook $11.99

    Mar 26, 2019 | 448 Pages | Young Adult

Product Details

Praise

“A genderqueer zombie and a lesbian werewolf resist a corrupt government that wants to incinerate them in this debut novel by Schrieve.
Any day now, Z, a white, 14-year-old zombie, might fall apart without the intervention of illegal necromancy to hold them together. Their whole family died in a car crash that should have killed them too. In their anti-monster small town of Salem, Oregon, Z’s only allies are their caretaker, Mrs. Dunnigan, an aging, brown-skinned lesbian whose health is failing, and Aysel Tahir, a fat, Turkish-American lesbian who faces life-threatening danger if anyone discovers she’s an unregistered werewolf. When a murder and accusations of werewolf terrorism shine a national spotlight on their town, Z and Aysel stand together to survive. Set in 1997, this darkly humored fantasy explores censorship, government surveillance, homelessness, and real-world (not just magical) forms of oppression. Chapters alternate between Aysel’s and Z’s points of view, winding their individual conflicts together. While classmates bully Aysel for her fatness, she owns her size and it makes her powerful. Schrieve depicts diversity among the queer and trans characters, highlighting how economic and racial privilege make the concerns of middle-aged, rich, white trans women different from those of a young, trans woman of color without access to medical care. Tension burns hot until the explosive conclusion, which begs for a sequel. On fire with magic and revolution.“ 
Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review)

Out of Salem is the best urban fantasy I’ve ever read. Hal Schrieve refurbishes old school world-building sensibilities into a note-perfect dysphoria metaphor that feels fresh and classic at the same time. Simultaneously nostalgic and forward looking, this book should set a new standard in the genre. Terrifying, beautiful, exhilarating.”
—April Daniels, author of The Nemesis trilogy 

“Schrieve’s queer vision of a monster-infested ’90s is rich in metaphor and rife with meaning.” 
—Kyle Lukoff, librarian and author of When Aidan Became A Brother

Out of Salem is the genderqueer, undead, anarchist Harry Potter replacement we have all been waiting for. Queer teen readers will fall in love with this gang of misfit magical monsters; not so much chosen ones as outcasts, and if you know a queer teen you should definitely buy it for them. However, in its political acuity, its sadness and, ultimately, its hope, Schrieve’s book is much more than just a good YA read. It is also, in the best possible sense, an educational experience.”
—Cat Fitzpatrick, editor of Meanwhile Elsewhere: Science Fiction & Fantasy from Transgender Writers  

“In Hal Schrieve’s YA novel Out of Salem, everyone is treading water with a secret to keep. . . It’s urban fantasy of just-a-minute-ago, the Nineties as they almost were, but it’s also YA for people who weren’t born yet in the year it takes place; it balances teenage passion neatly against the now-slightly-foreign world of our past, only slightly sideslipped into the fantastic. . . [T]he characters aren’t without teenage flaws. . . They reach for what small happiness they can find, they trust or mistrust, and none of it feels stilted or contrived. It all just feels like survival. . . I was consistently balancing between amused at the bluntness and impressed at the deftness when it came to the use of metaphor in the story. . . Even while all of society is insisting that the protagonists must be like them or die, even while most of the characters don’t see any way out but to run, the narrative suggests quietly that there’s another option. . .That building a community can build safety; that refusing to back down can protect someone else; that maybe you can transform the world into something new, something that has room for you in it, if only you are brave. [A] very rare-for-me five out of five stars.” —Genevra Littlejohn for Lesbrary

Looking for More Great Reads?
Download our Spring Fiction Sampler Now
Back to Top