This sequel requires a read of its predecessor to understand what’s going on, and even then, the most dedicated fans will...

TELL ME NO LIES

From the Follow Me Back series , Vol. 2

It’s one month after the events of Follow Me Back (2017), and police think pop star Eric Thorn has been murdered by obsessed fangirl Tessa Hart.

The truth: Tessa and Eric, now a couple, are living in a VW van in Mexico after framing Tessa for Eric’s “murder.” Dismissing Tessa’s valid fear of social media as distorted thinking, Eric sets up an anonymous Snapchat account to communicate with formerly pretend-dead idol Dorian Cromwell, who says he can help them. He helps them—right back into the high-profile life Eric desperately wanted to escape. For several reasons, Tessa can’t publicly come out as Eric’s girlfriend, so the young lovers decide to communicate via Snapchat (because that turned out really well in Mexico), and chaos and confusion ensue. Tessa’s agoraphobia seems to have cleared up overnight (running away from home after staging a murder will do that to a person?), but she still suffers from extreme anxiety triggered by male stalker Blair, who is still on the loose. Tessa and Eric make one bad decision after the next, making it impossible to feel bad for them. The story is somewhat exciting at times, but its predictability and convoluted supporting plot elements don’t do it any favors. It seems everyone is white.

This sequel requires a read of its predecessor to understand what’s going on, and even then, the most dedicated fans will still be lost. (Fiction. 14-adult)

Pub Date: June 5, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-4926-4825-3

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Review Posted Online: April 3, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2018

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

IF HE HAD BEEN WITH ME

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. 13, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2013

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This grittily provocative debut explores the horrors of self-harm and the healing power of artistic expression.

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GIRL IN PIECES

After surviving a suicide attempt, a fragile teen isn't sure she can endure without cutting herself.

Seventeen-year-old Charlie Davis, a white girl living on the margins, thinks she has little reason to live: her father drowned himself; her bereft and abusive mother kicked her out; her best friend, Ellis, is nearly brain dead after cutting too deeply; and she's gone through unspeakable experiences living on the street. After spending time in treatment with other young women like her—who cut, burn, poke, and otherwise hurt themselves—Charlie is released and takes a bus from the Twin Cities to Tucson to be closer to Mikey, a boy she "like-likes" but who had pined for Ellis instead. But things don't go as planned in the Arizona desert, because sweet Mikey just wants to be friends. Feeling rejected, Charlie, an artist, is drawn into a destructive new relationship with her sexy older co-worker, a "semifamous" local musician who's obviously a junkie alcoholic. Through intense, diarylike chapters chronicling Charlie's journey, the author captures the brutal and heartbreaking way "girls who write their pain on their bodies" scar and mar themselves, either succumbing or surviving. Like most issue books, this is not an easy read, but it's poignant and transcendent as Charlie breaks more and more before piecing herself back together.

This grittily provocative debut explores the horrors of self-harm and the healing power of artistic expression. (author’s note) (Fiction. 14 & up)

Pub Date: Aug. 30, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-101-93471-5

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: May 4, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2016

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