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THE END OF OUR STORY

A slightly philosophical love story for readers who want a little edge to their romance.

Nothing, not even murder, will sway Bridget from her determination to reunite with her ex-boyfriend.

Despite having loved each other since early childhood, Wil is so hurt by Bridget’s drunken behavior at a party one night that they haven’t spoken in a year. Their senior year of high school is drawing to a close, and Wil still won’t respond to any of Bridget’s apologies or attempts at reconciliation. Then Wil and his mother are witness to the murder of his father in a robbery gone awry. Drawn together again for solace and love, Bridget and Wil, both white, haltingly begin to open up to each other even as it becomes clear that Wil cannot talk about the night of the ghastly event and is, perhaps, harboring secrets. Adorned with the occasional fancy metaphor (“But my words are feathery, and they don’t land”), this is a lackluster intrigue. Their story unfolds almost entirely from Bridget’s first-person perspective, with a few chapters narrated by Wil. The pervasive line of inquiry here isn’t that of the detectives trying to catch the killer but what elements make up the essential self: are people merely the sums of their deeds and lists of adjectives? Eventually, with unwavering love, Bridget must let Wil make his own decision about the man he wants to be.

A slightly philosophical love story for readers who want a little edge to their romance. (Romance. 12-18)

Pub Date: April 4, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-06-233577-7

Page Count: 288

Publisher: HarperTeen

Review Posted Online: Jan. 16, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2017

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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

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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.

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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

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