Readers will be rooting for Cheyenne and Griffin from the edges of their seats.

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COUNT ALL HER BONES

From the Girl, Stolen series , Vol. 2

The story of Cheyenne and Griffin continues in this sequel to Girl, Stolen (2010).

Six months after her kidnapping, Cheyenne Wilder is preparing for the trial of Roy Sawyer, the man who held her for ransom, dealing with her overprotective parents, and learning self-defense techniques from her new bodyguard. Cheyenne can’t—and won’t—let being blind stop her from becoming stronger. Yet when it comes to Griffin Sawyer, the boy who accidentally kidnapped her but helped her escape, Cheyenne doesn’t feel strong. Griffin is going to testify against his father, Roy, which causes Roy and his half brother, Dwayne, to begin plotting. Through third-person chapters that shift perspectives, readers see how, together with TJ, another accomplice from the first kidnapping, Dwayne sets events in motion to kidnap Cheyenne again. In a pulse-pounding sequence, Cheyenne must find a way to use what she has learned to save herself and Griffin—but when Dwayne threatens more than just the two of them, how can two teenagers, one of them blind, defeat a fully grown man? Providing plenty of background for anyone who did not read the first book, this novel offers action, with a disabled protagonist heading the white cast of characters. Cheyenne’s blindness makes her an out-of-the-ordinary thriller star, particularly when emotions like confusion and self-doubt are shown, helping readers get under her skin. While Dwayne and TJ remain cardboard villains, they still constitute a credible menace.

Readers will be rooting for Cheyenne and Griffin from the edges of their seats. (Thriller. 12-18)

Pub Date: May 2, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-62779-591-3

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Christy Ottaviano/Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: Feb. 20, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2017

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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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