ALLEGIANCE

From the Legacy Trilogy series , Vol. 2

A formulaic, quick (if hefty) romance that creates believable suspense as Alera determines whether her allegiance is to her...

A teen romance that delivers a softer, more innocent love story than the publisher's well-known adult tomes.

The second book in the Legacy Trilogy, this text quickly introduces the forbidden love between Hytanica’s newly crowned Queen Alera and Narian of Cokyri, which took root in the previous volume. Two major factors complicate this teenage love affair: Alera is married to King Steldor, and Narian has been forced to serve the Overlord of Cokyri, Hytanica’s enemy. This background sets the stage for Alera’s struggle with her role as queen and wife, which includes her lack of affection for her appointed husband and distaste for how women are unfairly treated, especially with regard to domestic violence. Alera’s attitudes may make sense to the modern reader, but they sharply contrast with the narrative’s medieval tone. Readers would benefit from reading series opener Legacy (2011) to understand the history of these two warring nations, Alera and Narian’s relationship and the mystical powers of Cokyri’s evil Overlord. Without this, many of the characters and their relationships to Alera blend easily and feel ill-formed.

A formulaic, quick (if hefty) romance that creates believable suspense as Alera determines whether her allegiance is to her lover or kingdom. (Romance. 16-18)

Pub Date: March 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-373-21043-5

Page Count: 496

Publisher: Harlequin Teen

Review Posted Online: Jan. 3, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2012

KINGSBANE

From the Empirium Trilogy series , Vol. 2

A very full mixed bag.

In the sequel to Furyborn (2018), Rielle and Eliana struggle across time with their powers and prophesied destinies.

Giving readers only brief recaps, this book throws them right into complicated storylines in this large, lovingly detailed fantasy world filled with multiple countries, two different time periods, and hostile angels. Newly ordained Rielle contends with villainous Corien’s interest in her, the weakening gate that holds the angels at bay, and distrust from those who don’t believe her to be the Sun Queen. A thousand years in the future, Eliana chafes under her unwanted destiny and finds her fear of losing herself to her powers (like the Blood Queen) warring with her need to save those close to her. The rigid alternation between time-separated storylines initially feels overstuffed, undermining tension, but once more characters get point-of-view chapters and parallels start paying off, the pace picks up. The multiethnic cast (human versus angelic is the only divide with weight) includes characters of many sexual orientations, and their romantic storylines include love triangles, casual dalliances, steady couples, and couples willing to invite in a third. While many of the physically intimate scenes are loving, some are rougher, including ones that cross lines of clear consent and introduce a level of violence that many young readers will not be ready for. The ending brings heartbreaking twists to prime readers for the trilogy’s conclusion.

A very full mixed bag. (map, list of elements) (Fantasy. 17-adult)

Pub Date: May 21, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4926-5665-4

Page Count: 608

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Review Posted Online: Feb. 19, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2019

MY EYES ARE UP HERE

A sweet, slow-paced novel about a teen learning to love her body.

Greer Walsh wishes she were one person...unfortunately, with her large breasts, she feels like she’s actually three.

High school sophomore and math whiz Greer is self-conscious about her body. Maude and Mavis, as she’s named her large breasts, are causing problems for her. When Greer meets new kid Jackson Oates, she wishes even more that she had a body that she didn’t feel a need to hide underneath XXL T-shirts. While trying to impress Jackson, who has moved to the Chicago suburbs from Cleveland, Greer decides to try out for her school’s volleyball team. When she makes JV, Greer is forced to come to terms with how her body looks and feels in a uniform and in motion as well as with being physically close with her teammates. The story is told in the first person from Greer’s point of view. Inconsistent storytelling as well as Greer’s (somewhat distracting) personified inner butterfly make this realistic novel a slow but overall enjoyable read. The story contains elements of light romance as well as strong female friendships. Greer is white with a Christian mom and Jewish dad; Jackson seems to be white by default, and there is diversity among the secondary characters.

A sweet, slow-paced novel about a teen learning to love her body. (Fiction. 12-18)

Pub Date: June 23, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9848-1524-8

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Dutton

Review Posted Online: March 28, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2020

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