A light, funny romance that offers few surprises but a fair degree of satisfaction

READ REVIEW

WHO'S THAT GIRL

A teen is unwittingly vaulted into the limelight by her old crush when his band hits the charts with a song that he seems to have written about her.

Seventeen-year-old socially awkward Natalie “Nattie” McCullough-Schwartz is most comfortable with her tightknit group of friends: extroverted Tess and the two Zachs (known affectionately as Tall Zach and Zach the Anarchist), who, with Nattie, make up the core of Owen Wister Preparatory Academy’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex and Asexual Alliance. However, the unresolved events of an evening the year before, when cute, mysterious Sebastian approached her at a party, land her in a complicated scenario in which they keep exchanging somewhat flirtatious texts after the song about her debuts. At the same time, she and Zach the Anarchist also have a history that won’t seem to stay in the past. The main narrative is predictable, but this is balanced by clever dialogue and welcome subplots involving Tess coming to terms with telling her family she is gay and the OWPALGBTQIA running a disastrously funny bake sale to raise money to sponsor their school’s winter formal in order to make it more inclusive. The lead characters seem to be white, Tall Zach is Jewish and gay, and Nattie’s family has a Chinese exchange student, Sam Huang, living with them.

A light, funny romance that offers few surprises but a fair degree of satisfaction . (Fiction. 13-18)

Pub Date: July 11, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-06-244777-7

Page Count: 400

Publisher: HarperTeen

Review Posted Online: April 17, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2017

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

This story is necessary. This story is important.

Reader Votes

  • Readers Vote
  • 11

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • Kirkus Reviews'
    Best Books Of 2017

  • Kirkus Prize
  • Kirkus Prize
    finalist

  • New York Times Bestseller

  • IndieBound Bestseller

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

Did you like this book?

An emotionally engaging closer that fumbles in its final moments.

Reader Votes

  • Readers Vote
  • 21

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

Google Rating

  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating

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

Did you like this book?

more