Truly, as Maureen triumphantly proclaims, “Nerds rule” in this satisfying sequel.

A CATASTROPHE OF NERDISH PROPORTIONS

From the Nerd Girls series , Vol. 2

Defiantly nerdy and full of spunk, Maureen along with friends Alice and Barbara return in this boisterous sequel.

The feud between Maureen’s group and the trio of “Pretty, Popular, Perfect girls” known as the “ThreePees,” begun in Nerd Girls: The Rise of the Dorkasaurus (2011), continues unabated. The escalating series of pranks they play on each other attracts the attention of the school administration, and the girls are given an ultimatum: compete as a team in the upcoming Academic Septathalon or be suspended. Suddenly, Maureen is the captain of a team comprised of skirmishing factions and preparing for a rigorous academic competition. However, unexpected alliances form as these archenemies struggle to work together. Their captivating drama culminates during the televised contest. Sitomer gives several returning characters greater depth and invigorates a familiar storyline with intriguing subplots. “Allergy Alice,” weary of her mother’s overprotectiveness, embarks on a quest to gain independence, with alarming results. Meanwhile, Maureen’s long-absent father reappears to repair the family relationship—much to Maureen’s consternation. Readers ultimately realize that, regardless of the Septathalon’s outcome or family dramas, the Nerd Girls will prevail due to their steadfast, enduring friendship.

Truly, as Maureen triumphantly proclaims, “Nerds rule” in this satisfying sequel. (Fiction. 12 & up)

Pub Date: July 31, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-4231-3997-3

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Review Posted Online: May 16, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2012

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A treat for mystery readers who enjoy being kept in suspense.

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A GOOD GIRL'S GUIDE TO MURDER

From the Good Girl's Guide to Murder series , Vol. 1

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. 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2019

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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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