If only Nancy Drew had this much excitement solving her cases.

BUZZ KILL

A small-town murder plus a big-time romance equals one feel-good mystery.

When high school senior Millie Ostermeyer discovers football coach “Hollerin’ Hank” Killdare’s murdered corpse on school property, no one is surprised that someone would want this seemingly abusive official dead. The suspect could be anyone in Honeywell, Pa., even the assistant coach, whom everyone has seen arguing with Killdare—and who happens to be her widowed father. Taking leads from her beloved literary heroine Nancy Drew (“WWND?”), the prizewinning investigative school newspaper reporter tackles every angle to solve the mystery. Her self-deprecating humor comes in handy more than once, whether it’s outwitting inept Detective Lohser (with a long “o,” of course) or her vindictive newspaper editor, also a cheerleader and her archenemy. And like Nancy’s Ned, Millie has boyfriend Chase Albright to help her solve the clues. Well, he might be her boyfriend if she can also figure out the mystery of why this hot transfer student spends his weekends alone. Their punchy, flirtatious banter will leave fans of John Green and Stephanie Perkins’ Anna and the French Kiss (2010) swooning. Although it’s clear early on who the killer might be, the fun comes from Millie’s spunky sleuthing and Fantaskey’s witty, cliffhanger chapter endings, which leave readers begging to turn the page.

If only Nancy Drew had this much excitement solving her cases. (Mystery. 13-18)

Pub Date: May 6, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-547-39310-0

Page Count: 368

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: March 17, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2014

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

This grittily provocative debut explores the horrors of self-harm and the healing power of artistic expression.

Reader Votes

  • Readers Vote
  • 28

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • New York Times Bestseller

GIRL IN PIECES

After surviving a suicide attempt, a fragile teen isn't sure she can endure without cutting herself.

Seventeen-year-old Charlie Davis, a white girl living on the margins, thinks she has little reason to live: her father drowned himself; her bereft and abusive mother kicked her out; her best friend, Ellis, is nearly brain dead after cutting too deeply; and she's gone through unspeakable experiences living on the street. After spending time in treatment with other young women like her—who cut, burn, poke, and otherwise hurt themselves—Charlie is released and takes a bus from the Twin Cities to Tucson to be closer to Mikey, a boy she "like-likes" but who had pined for Ellis instead. But things don't go as planned in the Arizona desert, because sweet Mikey just wants to be friends. Feeling rejected, Charlie, an artist, is drawn into a destructive new relationship with her sexy older co-worker, a "semifamous" local musician who's obviously a junkie alcoholic. Through intense, diarylike chapters chronicling Charlie's journey, the author captures the brutal and heartbreaking way "girls who write their pain on their bodies" scar and mar themselves, either succumbing or surviving. Like most issue books, this is not an easy read, but it's poignant and transcendent as Charlie breaks more and more before piecing herself back together.

This grittily provocative debut explores the horrors of self-harm and the healing power of artistic expression. (author’s note) (Fiction. 14 & up)

Pub Date: Aug. 30, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-101-93471-5

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: May 4, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2016

Did you like this book?

Eden’s emotionally raw narration is compelling despite its solipsism. (Fiction. 14-18)

THE WAY I USED TO BE

In the three years following Eden’s brutal rape by her brother’s best friend, Kevin, she descends into anger, isolation, and promiscuity.

Eden’s silence about the assault is cemented by both Kevin’s confident assurance that if she tells anyone, “No one will ever believe you. You know that. No one. Not ever,” and a chillingly believable death threat. For the remainder of Eden’s freshman year, she withdraws from her family and becomes increasingly full of hatred for Kevin and the world she feels failed to protect her. But when a friend mentions that she’s “reinventing” herself, Eden embarks on a hopeful plan to do the same. She begins her sophomore year with new clothes and friendly smiles for her fellow students, which attract the romantic attentions of a kind senior athlete. But, bizarrely, Kevin’s younger sister goes on a smear campaign to label Eden a “totally slutty disgusting whore,” which sends Eden back toward self-destruction. Eden narrates in a tightly focused present tense how she withdraws again from nearly everyone and attempts to find comfort (or at least oblivion) through a series of nearly anonymous sexual encounters. This self-centeredness makes her relationships with other characters feel underdeveloped and even puzzling at times. Absent ethnic and cultural markers, Eden and her family and classmates are likely default white.

Eden’s emotionally raw narration is compelling despite its solipsism. (Fiction. 14-18)

Pub Date: March 22, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4814-4935-9

Page Count: 384

Publisher: McElderry

Review Posted Online: Dec. 16, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2016

Did you like this book?

more