An overworn concept ineptly executed.

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PARIS ON REPEAT

From the Wish & Wander series

A self-absorbed, risk-averse teen with a secret crush finds herself reliving the last day of a class trip to Paris.

Atop the Eiffel Tower, Eve, 14, summons the nerve to tell Jace she likes him only to discover him kissing her best friend, Reggie. Eve witnesses pretty, popular Reggie buy a love lock to seal her romance with Jace from a mysterious palm reader, who gives Eve a key and cryptic advice. Later, Eve uses her key to open the lock and hurls it in the Seine. Next morning, she awakens to relive the awful day, the first of many repeats that lead her to focus on what she has power to change, including her reaction to her parents’ imminent divorce. As each iteration brings new developments and oracular pronouncements from the palm reader, Eve discovers she’s not the only one reliving that day. Borrowing a popular plot device familiar from the film Groundhog Day (1993) and studded with Parisian tourist-attraction references, the novel fails to persuade. Eve and the challenges she must overcome—parental divorce, unfamiliar foods, jealousy, and lack of empathy—are real but universal, too commonplace to merit occult intervention, the stakes too low to justify the effort. Repetition reinforces both the book’s structural weaknesses and Eve’s character flaws. Eve appears white; while a few names and references to skin color and/or hairstyle imply diversity, characters are largely interchangeable. A concluding paragraph hints at a sequel set in Rome.

An overworn concept ineptly executed. (author’s note) (Fantasy. 11-14)

Pub Date: July 14, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-63163-437-6

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Jolly Fish Press

Review Posted Online: March 25, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2020

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Readers will be irresistibly drawn into Harry's world by GrandPre's comic illustrations and Rowling's expert combination of...

HARRY POTTER AND THE CHAMBER OF SECRETS

From the Harry Potter series , Vol. 2

This sequel to Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (1998) brings back the doughty young wizard-in-training to face suspicious adults, hostile classmates, fretful ghosts, rambunctious spells, giant spiders, and even an avatar of Lord Voldemort, the evil sorcerer who killed his parents, while saving the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry from a deadly, mysterious menace.

Ignoring a most peculiar warning, Harry kicks off his second year at Hogwarts after a dreadful summer with his hateful guardians, the Dursleys, and is instantly cast into a whirlwind of magical pranks and misadventures, culminating in a visit to the hidden cavern where his friend Ron's little sister Ginny lies, barely alive, in a trap set by his worst enemy. Surrounded by a grand mix of wise and inept faculty, sneering or loyal peers—plus an array of supernatural creatures including Nearly Headless Nick and a huge, serpentine basilisk—Harry steadily rises to every challenge, and though he plays but one match of the gloriously chaotic field game Quidditch, he does get in plenty of magic and a bit of swordplay on his way to becoming a hero again.

Readers will be irresistibly drawn into Harry's world by GrandPre's comic illustrations and Rowling's expert combination of broad boarding school farce and high fantasy. (Fiction. 11-14)

Pub Date: June 2, 1999

ISBN: 0-439-06486-4

Page Count: 341

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 1999

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Like its bestselling progenitors, a nonstop spinoff afroth with high tech, spectacular magic, and silly business.

THE FOWL TWINS

From the Artemis Fowl series

With their big brother Artemis off to Mars, 11-year-old twins Myles and Beckett are swept up in a brangle with murderous humans and even more dangerous magical creatures.

Unsurprisingly, the fraternal Irish twins ultimately prove equal to the challenge—albeit with help from, Colfer as omniscient narrator admits early on, a “hugely improbable finale.” Following the coincidental arrival on their island estate of two denizens of the subterranean fairy realm in the persons of a tiny but fearsome troll and a “hybrid” pixie-elf, or “pixel,” police trainee, the youngest Fowls immediately find themselves in the sights of both Lord Teddy Bleedham-Drye, a ruthless aristocrat out to bag said troll for its immorality-conferring venom, and Sister Jeronima Gonzalez-Ramos de Zárate, black-ops “nunterrogation” and knife specialist for ACRONYM, an intergovernmental fairy-monitoring organization. Amid the ensuing whirl of captures, escapes, trickery, treachery, and gunfire (none of which proves fatal…or at least not permanently), the twins leverage their complementary differences to foil and exasperate both foes: Myles being an Artemis mini-me who has dressed in black suits since infancy and loves coming up with and then “Fowlsplaining” his genius-level schemes; and Beckett, ever eager to plunge into reckless action and nearly nonverbal in English but with an extraordinary gift for nonhuman tongues. In the end they emerge triumphant, though threatened with mind wipe if they ever interfere in fairy affairs again. Yeah, right. Human characters seem to be default white; “hybrid” is used to describe nonhuman characters of mixed heritage.

Like its bestselling progenitors, a nonstop spinoff afroth with high tech, spectacular magic, and silly business. (Fantasy. 11-13)

Pub Date: Nov. 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-368-04375-5

Page Count: 368

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Review Posted Online: July 14, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2019

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