PUSH GIRL

Co-writer Hill draws on her own experience as a teen coping with paraplegia to tell a hopeful story.

“My parents. Getting a divorce. This was the absolute worst thing that could happen to me,” Kara Moore laments as she prepares to sneak out to a party. She’s wrong: Curt, her popular boyfriend, humiliates Kara in front of everyone, and when she flees the party, a drunk driver hits her car, paralyzing her from the waist down. A talented dancer, Kara has to adjust to more than a wheelchair. People’s attitudes have changed, too—including hers. Except for a plucky fellow patient, her friend, Amanda, and her ex-boyfriend, Jack, her peers are distant, and Kara is reeling from being unable to dance. Everyday barriers don’t help; even though Kara’s rehabilitation is glossed over, she makes plain her frustrations with narrow doorways, thick carpets and distant elevators. These details ameliorate occasionally stilted prose. When Jack persuades Kara to run for homecoming queen, the determined “Kara 2.0” starts a chapter of Hill’s own Walk and Roll Foundation and reaps unexpected rewards. The book’s overall optimism is heartening, but the cursory ending disappoints—considering that Kara loved to dance and driving was “[her] Zen,” her discovery of wheelchair dancing and learning to drive with hand controls deserve more attention than a couple of summary paragraphs.

A light, ultimately upbeat look at life after spinal cord injury. (Fiction. 13-18)

Pub Date: June 3, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-250-04591-1

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Dunne/St. Martin’s Griffin

Review Posted Online: May 4, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2014

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A rambling tale about grief that will appeal to patient, sentimental readers.

YOU'VE REACHED SAM

Technology prevails over death, giving a teenage couple a second chance at goodbye.

High school senior Julie is paralyzed with grief over her boyfriend Sam’s death in a car accident. She avoids his funeral and throws away every reminder of him. They had planned to leave their small Pacific Northwest town together, and she now faces an uncertain and empty future. But one night she impulsively dials his cell, and, inexplicably, Sam answers. This is the first of many long conversations they have, neither understanding how or why this is happening but relishing the chance to say goodbye as they could not in life. However, Julie faces a difficult choice: whether or not to alleviate the pain of Sam’s loved ones by allowing them to talk to him, though it could put their own connection at risk. Yet, letting go and moving on might be just what she needs. The emotional tenor of the book is even throughout, making the characters feel remote at times and flattening the impact of momentous events—such as Julie and Sam’s first conversation—that are often buried in minor, day-in-the-life details. The time skips can also be difficult to follow. But the concept is a smart one and is sure to intrigue readers, especially those grappling with separation, loss, and mortality. Sam is cued as Japanese American; Julie defaults to White.

A rambling tale about grief that will appeal to patient, sentimental readers. (Fiction. 13-18)

Pub Date: Nov. 2, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-250-76203-0

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Wednesday Books

Review Posted Online: Aug. 16, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2021

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An enticing, turbulent, and satisfying final voyage.

THE NOBLEMAN'S GUIDE TO SCANDAL AND SHIPWRECKS

From the Montague Siblings series , Vol. 3

Adrian, the youngest of the Montague siblings, sails into tumultuous waters in search of answers about himself, the sudden death of his mother, and her mysterious, cracked spyglass.

On the summer solstice less than a year ago, Caroline Montague fell off a cliff in Aberdeen into the sea. When the Scottish hostel where she was staying sends a box of her left-behind belongings to London, Adrian—an anxious, White nobleman on the cusp of joining Parliament—discovers one of his mother’s most treasured possessions, an antique spyglass. She acquired it when she was the sole survivor of a shipwreck many years earlier. His mother always carried that spyglass with her, but on the day of her death, she had left it behind in her room. Although he never knew its full significance, Adrian is haunted by new questions and is certain the spyglass will lead him to the truth. Once again, Lee crafts an absorbing adventure with dangerous stakes, dynamic character growth, sharp social and political commentary, and a storm of emotion. Inseparable from his external search for answers about his mother, Adrian seeks a solution for himself, an end to his struggle with mental illness—a journey handled with hopeful, gentle honesty that validates the experiences of both good and bad days. Characters from the first two books play significant secondary roles, and the resolution ties up their loose ends. Humorous antics provide a well-measured balance with the heavier themes.

An enticing, turbulent, and satisfying final voyage. (Historical fiction. 14-18)

Pub Date: Nov. 16, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-06-291601-3

Page Count: 464

Publisher: Katherine Tegen/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Sept. 1, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2021

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