Readers will relate to compassionate, confused Lizzy but might find the overloaded plot hard going.

TELL ME NO LIES

Sometimes secrets twist and turn, leading to mistrust and pain.

Lizzy Swift has epilepsy. She never speaks of it, even to those who know of her condition. She is always worried that she will have a full-blown seizure or that others will notice her petit mal lapses. She and her best friends, Gage and Mimi, are the nerds of the senior class at their all-girls school near Philadelphia. Claire is a new girl, eccentric and with her own mysterious secrets, who draws Lizzy into a different, sometimes-uncomfortable sphere, and Lizzy never knows how Claire will behave toward her. Her longtime secret crush, Matt, is now her boyfriend, and his secrets are even more subtle and hard for her to fathom. Confusing her further is her strong reaction to Mimi’s brother, Theo, who appears when he is needed. Divided into the three seasons of the 1988-89 school year, there are many references to the pop culture and musical groups of the era that modern readers might not recognize. Everything is told in Lizzy’s voice with her own flawed insights and limitations. Characters and events seem to float in and out of the plot, and a seemingly pat conclusion leaves one very important unanswered question. Major characters are white apart from Mimi and Theo, who are Korean-American.

Readers will relate to compassionate, confused Lizzy but might find the overloaded plot hard going. (Fiction. 14-18)

Pub Date: June 12, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-61620-676-5

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Algonquin

Review Posted Online: April 10, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2018

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

An entertaining story of forbidden love, family drama, and elegant couture.

THE LAST LEGACY

Since the moment Bryn was born, she was destined to take her place among the Roths.

Even after her parents died and she was taken to live with her great-aunt Sariah in Nimsmire, far away from the filth of the big city and the infamous Roth reputation, Bryn was destined to eventually become wrapped up in her family’s less-than-proper line of work—which was the cause of her parents’ deaths. When she returns to the city of Bastian on her 18th birthday, something she has eagerly anticipated after growing up in a small city under Sariah’s watchful eye, she is finally forced to come to terms with her identity and assume her rightful position in her family’s mysterious business. This feat would have been difficult enough on its own, for Bryn isn’t accustomed to her family members’ crude behavior, but she certainly isn’t prepared to meet the handsome, strong, brooding silversmith in her family’s employ; Ezra Finch definitely complicates things. This fast-paced tale with a Victorian feeling is filled with an abundance of scandal, high fashion, intrigue, and, of course, romance. While the large cast of characters is at times difficult to keep straight and the plot-driven prose would have benefited from more worldbuilding detail, the delightfully swoonworthy love story will keep readers engaged and the pages turning eagerly as they hurtle toward the book’s satisfying conclusion. Characters are White by default.

An entertaining story of forbidden love, family drama, and elegant couture. (family tree) (Fiction. 14-18)

Pub Date: Sept. 7, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-250-82372-4

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Wednesday Books

Review Posted Online: July 8, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2021

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Many teen novels touch on similar themes, but few do it so memorably.

Reader Votes

  • Readers Vote
  • 10

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

Google Rating

  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating
  • New York Times Bestseller

ALL THE BRIGHT PLACES

Two struggling teens develop an unlikely relationship in a moving exploration of grief, suicide and young love.

Violet, a writer and member of the popular crowd, has withdrawn from her friends and from school activities since her sister died in a car accident nine months earlier. Finch, known to his classmates as "Theodore Freak," is famously impulsive and eccentric. Following their meeting in the school bell tower, Finch makes it his mission to re-engage Violet with the world, partially through a school project that sends them to offbeat Indiana landmarks and partially through simple persistence. (Violet and Finch live, fortunately for all involved, in the sort of romantic universe where his throwing rocks at her window in the middle of the night comes off more charming than stalker-esque.) The teens alternate narration chapter by chapter, each in a unique and well-realized voice. Finch's self-destructive streak and suicidal impulses are never far from the surface, and the chapters he narrates are interspersed with facts about suicide methods and quotations from Virginia Woolf and poet Cesare Pavese. When the story inevitably turns tragic, a cast of carefully drawn side characters brings to life both the pain of loss and the possibility of moving forward, though some notes of hope are more believable than others.

Many teen novels touch on similar themes, but few do it so memorably. (Fiction. 14 & up)

Pub Date: Jan. 6, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-385-75588-7

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: Oct. 1, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2014

Did you like this book?

more