This intergalactic space opera has it all: action, thrills, suspense, laughs, and all the feels.

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AURORA RISING

From the Aurora Cycle series , Vol. 1

When Legionnaire Tyler Jones follows a distress call to rescue a cryogenically frozen girl from a 220-year-old lost transport ship the night before the squad Draft, he ends up with much less—and much more—than he expected.

Having missed the Draft, overachieving Tyler is stuck with a squad of leftover misfits that now represent the Aurora Legion, an interplanetary peacekeeping coalition. The six teammates, each with an area of expertise, include four men and women of varying skin tones as well as two members of alien species. On the motley crew’s first mission, however, they discover a stowaway: biracial (Chinese/white) human Aurora Jie-Lin O’Malley, recently rescued girl out of time. Trouble follows immediately. This first installment of Kaufman and Kristoff’s (Obsidio, 2018, etc.) second series is a high-octane, thrilling, snarky adventure through space, combining the best elements of the heist genre with space opera. Nonstop action, intrigue, and drama will keep readers turning pages as the squad seeks answers to questions about Aurora’s past, her superhuman powers, and why the entire Terran Defense Force is after her. Meanwhile, the seven shipmates blossom into a true cohort as their pasts are revealed and their bonds (romantic or otherwise) grow. A satisfying ending reveals the truth, both terrible and beautiful, with the promise of many more adventures ahead.

This intergalactic space opera has it all: action, thrills, suspense, laughs, and all the feels. (Science fiction. 13-18)

Pub Date: May 7, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5247-2096-4

Page Count: 480

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: March 3, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2019

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This story is necessary. This story is important.

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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

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An emotionally engaging closer that fumbles in its final moments.

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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

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