Shadowshaper by Daniel José Older
The young urban teen characters in this novel feel and sound authentic — they are the artsy crowd and use their talents to navigate their lives. Mural art is highlighted and so is spoken word poetry. The blend of the real world with the spiritual/ghosty world also feel convincing with much respect paid to the cultural traditions and family ties with some vividly creepy scenes. This is not a epic fantasy but a story of urban magic, much like a fairy tale where chance meetings and helpful beings are common devices to advance the plot and solve the protagonist’s problems. And thank goodness we have a wonderful strong young woman, who is not white, whose full face is shown to the readers on the beautifully designed cover!