“Squatching” doesn’t get any funnier than this.

SASQUATCH, LOVE, AND OTHER IMAGINARY THINGS

On a good day, Samantha Berger’s parents are mildly embarrassing, but the day the reality TV cameras arrive? Not a good day.

The white, Jewish teen’s Bigfoot-hunting—make that Wood Ape–conservationist—parents have signed the family up for Myth Gnomers, in which they will compete against anthropology geniuses from an elite private high school. The team that provides the most compelling evidence of Sasquatch’s existence wins $100,000. Skeptic Samantha is fine with the family making fools of themselves on TV; if they win, she can afford a pre-med program and her family’s home will stay out of foreclosure. The other team, with their high-tech equipment and mentor who also happens to be a contest judge, won’t make it easy. There’s snobby British-Indian Devan; Korean-American Kyle; and blonde American white girl Caroline. The future isn’t the only thing at stake: Sam’s pride is as well. She wants to prove her family aren’t middle-class nobodies. As the competition heats up, Sam is paired with snooty Devan for a challenge, during which they have to put aside their differences and work together to win points for their respective teams. Readers will see the love-story angle coming from a mile away. Samantha’s first-person narration is marked by her sarcastic, wry, and delightfully snarky humor.

“Squatching” doesn’t get any funnier than this. (Fiction. 12-18)

Pub Date: Aug. 8, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-5072-0280-7

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Simon Pulse/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: July 2, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2017

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

An engaging, fast-paced story let down by character development.

I KISSED SHARA WHEELER

A romance with solid queer representation set against the backdrop of an Alabama Christian school.

Chloe Green is the only one who sees through Shara Wheeler’s goody-two-shoes act, and now that Shara’s pulled a disappearing act right before being crowned prom queen, she makes it her business to find her. This means teaming up with unlikely allies like Smith Parker, Shara’s jock boyfriend, and Rory Heron, the brooding boy next door, both in love with Shara, just as Chloe claims she is not. What brings the trio together is a series of notes Shara has left them, along with the awkward fact that she kissed all three of them before vanishing. McQuiston’s YA debut starts off as a fun page-turner with a rich cast of queer characters but ultimately disappoints with its predictable plot twists and protagonists whose journeys feel lackluster. In a story that uplifts the importance of friendship and found family, the main character’s tunnel vision and indifference toward her friends’ problems make for an ending that doesn’t feel earned. Rather than coming across as a complicated but earnest love interest, Shara feels superficial and narcissistic, raising the question of why so many people drop everything to pursue her. Shara and Chloe are White; Rory has a White mom and Black dad, and Smith is described as having dark brown skin. Bisexual Chloe has two moms.

An engaging, fast-paced story let down by character development. (author’s note) (Romance. 14-18)

Pub Date: May 3, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-250-24445-1

Page Count: 368

Publisher: Wednesday Books

Review Posted Online: Feb. 9, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2022

Did you like this book?

Black is building a complex mythology; now is a great time to tune in.

Reader Votes

  • Readers Vote
  • 14

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • New York Times Bestseller

THE CRUEL PRINCE

From the Folk of the Air series , Vol. 1

Black is back with another dark tale of Faerie, this one set in Faerie and launching a new trilogy.

Jude—broken, rebuilt, fueled by anger and a sense of powerlessness—has never recovered from watching her adoptive Faerie father murder her parents. Human Jude (whose brown hair curls and whose skin color is never described) both hates and loves Madoc, whose murderous nature is true to his Faerie self and who in his way loves her. Brought up among the Gentry, Jude has never felt at ease, but after a decade, Faerie has become her home despite the constant peril. Black’s latest looks at nature and nurture and spins a tale of court intrigue, bloodshed, and a truly messed-up relationship that might be the saving of Jude and the titular prince, who, like Jude, has been shaped by the cruelties of others. Fierce and observant Jude is utterly unaware of the currents that swirl around her. She fights, plots, even murders enemies, but she must also navigate her relationship with her complex family (human, Faerie, and mixed). This is a heady blend of Faerie lore, high fantasy, and high school drama, dripping with description that brings the dangerous but tempting world of Faerie to life.

Black is building a complex mythology; now is a great time to tune in. (Fantasy. 14-adult)

Pub Date: Jan. 2, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-316-31027-7

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Sept. 26, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2017

Did you like this book?

more