Next book

PRETTY FURIOUS

An underdeveloped and ultimately unsatisfying read.

A group of teenage girls takes social justice into their own hands.

Living in a small town comes with its challenges, and during their last year of high school, five best friends take action, using their birthday wishes to address the multitude of injustices they see in their community on a daily basis. Maddie Carter, Jenny Hoernig, Mags Sharpe, Louise Jantzi, and Jen Dalrymple, all of whom read white, go to school in Eganston, Ontario, and decide to use their privileged status as “good girls” to fight back against harassment, bullying, and intolerance. They start off by poisoning the grass at their local Catholic church in response to the church’s harsh treatment of an 18-year-old who had an abortion. Told in five separate perspectives, this is a true-to-life portrait of teen girls’ friendships; the portrayal of the ties that bind the protagonists is the highlight of the novel. Unfortunately, the premise is flimsy and not fully realized. While the concept of taking their town’s injustices into their own hands is commendable, and the friends mention issues ranging from the arrival of Syrian refugee families to efforts at Reconciliation with Indigenous communities, the surface-level feminism feels hollow, and the girls’ activist values aren’t explored in sufficient depth. Additionally, even though the novel opens with an annotated list of characters, the vast array of cast members is difficult to follow.

An underdeveloped and ultimately unsatisfying read. (Fiction. 14-18)

Pub Date: April 16, 2024

ISBN: 9781984816139

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Dutton

Review Posted Online: Jan. 19, 2024

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2024

Next book

IF HE HAD BEEN WITH ME

There’s not much plot here, but readers will relish the opportunity to climb inside Autumn’s head.

The finely drawn characters capture readers’ attention in this debut.

Autumn and Phineas, nicknamed Finny, were born a week apart; their mothers are still best friends. Growing up, Autumn and Finny were like peas in a pod despite their differences: Autumn is “quirky and odd,” while Finny is “sweet and shy and everyone like[s] him.” But in eighth grade, Autumn and Finny stop being friends due to an unexpected kiss. They drift apart and find new friends, but their friendship keeps asserting itself at parties, shared holiday gatherings and random encounters. In the summer after graduation, Autumn and Finny reconnect and are finally ready to be more than friends. But on August 8, everything changes, and Autumn has to rely on all her strength to move on. Autumn’s coming-of-age is sensitively chronicled, with a wide range of experiences and events shaping her character. Even secondary characters are well-rounded, with their own histories and motivations.

There’s not much plot here, but readers will relish the opportunity to climb inside Autumn’s head.   (Fiction. 14 & up)

Pub Date: April 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-4022-7782-5

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Review Posted Online: Feb. 12, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2013

Awards & Accolades

Likes

  • Readers Vote
  • 61


Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT


  • New York Times Bestseller

Next book

A GOOD GIRL'S GUIDE TO MURDER

From the Good Girl's Guide to Murder series , Vol. 1

A treat for mystery readers who enjoy being kept in suspense.

Awards & Accolades

Likes

  • Readers Vote
  • 61


Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT


  • New York Times Bestseller

Everyone believes that Salil Singh killed his girlfriend, Andrea Bell, five years ago—except Pippa Fitz-Amobi.

Pip has known and liked Sal since childhood; he’d supported her when she was being bullied in middle school. For her senior capstone project, Pip researches the disappearance of former Fairview High student Andie, last seen on April 18, 2014, by her younger sister, Becca. The original investigation concluded with most of the evidence pointing to Sal, who was found dead in the woods, apparently by suicide. Andie’s body was never recovered, and Sal was assumed by most to be guilty of abduction and murder. Unable to ignore the gaps in the case, Pip sets out to prove Sal’s innocence, beginning with interviewing his younger brother, Ravi. With his help, Pip digs deeper, unveiling unsavory facts about Andie and the real reason Sal’s friends couldn’t provide him with an alibi. But someone is watching, and Pip may be in more danger than she realizes. Pip’s sleuthing is both impressive and accessible. Online articles about the case and interview transcripts are provided throughout, and Pip’s capstone logs offer insights into her thought processes as new evidence and suspects arise. Jackson’s debut is well-executed and surprises readers with a connective web of interesting characters and motives. Pip and Andie are white, and Sal is of Indian descent.

A treat for mystery readers who enjoy being kept in suspense. (Mystery. 14-18)

Pub Date: Feb. 4, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9848-9636-0

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: Oct. 27, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2019

Close Quickview