Like the works of Ursula K. LeGuin, inside this lyrically written, suspenseful tale is a deeply humane thematic core.

READ REVIEW

YOUR ONE & ONLY

Humans, now extinct, used their DNA to create Vispera’s nine clone models, and subsequent generations eliminated human diseases and defects; the choice to create Jack, 17, genetically human, gray-eyed, with asthma, is a troubling and intriguing mystery to Althea-310.

Gestated in tanks and born 10 years apart, each 10-member generation of the nine models appears identical. (After centuries of genetic manipulation, racial characteristics vary among models, but all have brown eyes.) Rarely, minor differences affect individual appearance, like the tiny scar on her wrist that Althea-310 covers. She wonders how Jack, barred from their games and ceremonies, can bear life without the constant presence and comfort of nine identical siblings. She intervenes when the Carsons bully him, and she provokes widespread ire when she breaks with her sisters to choose a Hassan instead of a Carson at the Pairing Ceremony. Though Jack’s poetry and music disturb her, she resists her sisters’ attempts to comfort her with their touch. When he’s blamed for acts of vandalism that threaten Vispera, she risks everything to defend him. Uncovering secrets of Vispera’s past, they discover Jack may be the key to its future. Complex issues play out in fast-paced action without oversimplification. Conformity’s benefits are real. But even if giving rein to unfettered individuality can cause harm, singularity just might be a precondition to empathy.

Like the works of Ursula K. LeGuin, inside this lyrically written, suspenseful tale is a deeply humane thematic core. (Science fiction. 14-18)

Pub Date: Feb. 6, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-544-99147-7

Page Count: 320

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: Oct. 30, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2017

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

An emotionally engaging closer that fumbles in its final moments.

Reader Votes

  • Readers Vote
  • 29

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

Google Rating

  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating

ALWAYS AND FOREVER, LARA JEAN

From the To All the Boys I've Loved Before series , Vol. 3

Lara Jean prepares for college and a wedding.

Korean-American Lara Jean is finally settled into a nice, complication-free relationship with her white boyfriend, Peter. But things don’t stay simple for long. When college acceptance letters roll in, Peter and Lara Jean discover they’re heading in different directions. As the two discuss the long-distance thing, Lara Jean’s widower father is making a major commitment: marrying the neighbor lady he’s been dating. The whirlwind of a wedding, college visits, prom, and the last few months of senior year provides an excellent backdrop for this final book about Lara Jean. The characters ping from event to event with emotions always at the forefront. Han further develops her cast, pushing them to new maturity and leaving few stones unturned. There’s only one problem here, and it’s what’s always held this series back from true greatness: Peter. Despite Han’s best efforts to flesh out Peter with abandonment issues and a crummy dad, he remains little more than a handsome jock. Frankly, Lara Jean and Peter may have cute teen chemistry, but Han's nuanced characterizations have often helped to subvert typical teen love-story tropes. This knowing subversion is frustratingly absent from the novel's denouement.

An emotionally engaging closer that fumbles in its final moments. (Romance. 14-17)

Pub Date: May 2, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4814-3048-7

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: March 29, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2017

Did you like this book?

This story is necessary. This story is important.

Reader Votes

  • Readers Vote
  • 21

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • Kirkus Reviews'
    Best Books Of 2017

  • Kirkus Prize
  • Kirkus Prize
    finalist

  • New York Times Bestseller

  • IndieBound Bestseller

THE HATE U GIVE

Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter is a black girl and an expert at navigating the two worlds she exists in: one at Garden Heights, her black neighborhood, and the other at Williamson Prep, her suburban, mostly white high school.

Walking the line between the two becomes immensely harder when Starr is present at the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend, Khalil, by a white police officer. Khalil was unarmed. Khalil’s death becomes national news, where he’s called a thug and possible drug dealer and gangbanger. His death becomes justified in the eyes of many, including one of Starr’s best friends at school. The police’s lackadaisical attitude sparks anger and then protests in the community, turning it into a war zone. Questions remain about what happened in the moments leading to Khalil’s death, and the only witness is Starr, who must now decide what to say or do, if anything. Thomas cuts to the heart of the matter for Starr and for so many like her, laying bare the systemic racism that undergirds her world, and she does so honestly and inescapably, balancing heartbreak and humor. With smooth but powerful prose delivered in Starr’s natural, emphatic voice, finely nuanced characters, and intricate and realistic relationship dynamics, this novel will have readers rooting for Starr and opening their hearts to her friends and family.

This story is necessary. This story is important. (Fiction. 14-adult)

Pub Date: Feb. 28, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-06-249853-3

Page Count: 464

Publisher: Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Dec. 6, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2016

Did you like this book?

more