A reminder, if one is still needed, that it doesn’t pay to be the interloper in a community of rich, upper-crust-society...

BE TRUE TO ME

In 1976, handsome and charming Gil’s arrival in an exclusive, white, summer-island community inflames two girls’ rivalry with disastrous results.

The novel’s opening scene reveals an unidentified girl on the verge of drowning and surprised that Gil isn’t there to save her. The rest of the novel is a flashback of Gil’s ultimately unsuccessful attempts to juggle the romantic attachments of two island girls. Jean’s family belongs on the island, as proven by the Junior Cup tennis trophy inscribed with her mother’s and sister’s names. So it was bitter for Jean to lose it the previous summer to Fritz, a working-class white girl invited to the island each year by her best friend’s family. Jean’s unhappiness grows when Gil, the long-lost nephew of a prominent islander, arrives and immediately begins dating Fritz, although he’d already met and kissed Jean in New York City. Determined to climb the social ladder using his rich family’s acceptance, Gil treats both girls callously. Even still, Jean constantly schemes to win his affections, poor Fritz falls in love with him, and readers await the approaching, seemingly inevitable tragedy, which unfolds in Griffin’s customarily meticulous prose.

A reminder, if one is still needed, that it doesn’t pay to be the interloper in a community of rich, upper-crust-society snobs. (Historical fiction. 14-18)

Pub Date: June 13, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-61620-675-8

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Algonquin

Review Posted Online: March 20, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2017

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Swoonworthy wish fulfillment that checks all the right boxes.

HERE'S TO US

Former boyfriends’ “big Broadway love story” gets a revival in this sequel to What If It’s Us (2018).

Two years after their flash romance, Ben Alejo and Arthur Seuss (both now in college) couldn’t have drifted further apart. But destiny intervenes when Arthur lands his “ultimate top-tier pie-in-the-sky dream job” interning at a queer off-Broadway theater for the summer. Their long-anticipated reunion comes with a small catch: Both boys are basically taken. Ben met Mario in his college creative writing class, and, while they aren’t boyfriends, the connection—and attraction—is definitely there. Arthur’s officially dating Mikey, whose sweetness and steadiness saved him from remaining a “Ben-addled mess.” Cue the confusion—and inevitable broken hearts—as Ben and Arthur contend with their pasts and presents while trying to figure out their futures. Who will end up with whom? Albertalli’s and Silvera’s voices blend seamlessly, balancing the complexities of the boys’ situations with heartfelt (and heartwarming) nostalgia. As in the previous book, the narrative alternates between Ben’s and Arthur’s perspectives with off-the-charts wit and chemistry. Lovable side characters have grown and matured, while new characters expand the world to create an even stronger sense of community. Loose ends are tied up believably with an epilogue. Arthur is Jewish; Ben and Mario are Puerto Rican, and Mikey is White.

Swoonworthy wish fulfillment that checks all the right boxes. (Fiction. 14-18)

Pub Date: Dec. 28, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-06-307163-6

Page Count: 448

Publisher: Quill Tree Books/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Oct. 13, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2021

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A stunning novel that exposes modern fascism and elevates human resilience. (author’s note, research and sources, glossary,...

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • Kirkus Reviews'
    Best Books Of 2019

  • New York Times Bestseller

THE FOUNTAINS OF SILENCE

The pitiless dictatorship of Francisco Franco examined through the voices of four teenagers: one American and three Spaniards.

The Spanish Civil War lasted from 1936-1939, but Franco held Spain by its throat for 36 years. Sepetys (Salt to the Sea, 2016, etc.) begins her novel in 1957. Daniel is a white Texan who wants to be a photojournalist, not an oilman; Ana is trying to work her way to respectability as a hotel maid; her brother, Rafael, wants to erase memories of an oppressive boys’ home; and Puri is a loving caregiver for babies awaiting adoption—together they provide alternating third-person lenses for viewing Spain during one of its most brutally repressive periods. Their lives run parallel and intersect as each tries to answer questions about truth and the path ahead within a regime that crushes any opposition, murders dissidents, and punishes their families while stealing babies to sell to parents with accepted political views. This formidable story will haunt those who ask hard questions about the past as it reveals the hopes and dreams of individuals in a nation trying to lie its way to the future. Meticulous research is presented through believable, complex characters on the brink of adulthood who personalize the questions we all must answer about our place in the world. 

A stunning novel that exposes modern fascism and elevates human resilience. (author’s note, research and sources, glossary, photographs) (Historical fiction. 15-adult)

Pub Date: Oct. 22, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-399-16031-8

Page Count: 512

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: July 21, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more