Kevin Brooks is officially a young-adult powerhouse. He's a writer who takes on dark subjects, and Candy may be his darkest and most intriguing book yet.

Joe meets Candy and realizes instantly that there's something irresistible about her. Against his better judgment, Joe continues to see Candy and learns that she's caught up in drugs and prostitution. Joe needs to save her, but he's in way over his head and may be risking his life.

This is neither a thriller nor a love story; it's not about Joe's rock band or a lesson about drugs. It's something completely different and wonderful. Brooks writes a novel about all these things while not locking himself into one genre. Some readers may find the ending too sensational, but it's beautiful and tragic, just like Candy. (Mar., 368 pp., $16.95)
Reviewed by: 
Taylor Morris