The inventiveness of the many worlds Marguerite traverses should keep fans happy.


From the Firebird series , Vol. 2

The parallel-universe sci-fi/romance story begun with A Thousand Pieces of You (2014) continues.

Marguerite travels with her friend Theo through the multiverse to new worlds (here persistently called “dimensions”) with her parents’ marvelous Firebird device, trying to save Paul, the love of her life. Villain Wyatt Conley, tech whiz and corporate mogul, has splintered Paul’s soul into four parts. If Marguerite sabotages the Firebird technology in other universes, thus allowing Conley to control it all, he will give her the coordinates necessary to find all the parts of Paul’s soul. On her travels she learns some disturbing things about Paul even as she tries to outwit Conley. On one world, however, she learns that a new technology threatens all worlds, including her own. The author creates some intriguing worlds: there’s one in which a world war dominates everything and another which, if readers spot a small hint, they might recognize as our own, adding a nice twist to the story. The suspense ratchets up as Marguerite begins to question Paul’s character when she meets different versions of him on different worlds, knowing that all are essentially the same person and positioning Marguerite for some unexpected moral choices. Although overlong, the book holds readers’ interest with drastic changes of scene as Marguerite jumps from world to world. Characters remain fairly shallow but accessible.

The inventiveness of the many worlds Marguerite traverses should keep fans happy. (Science fiction. 12-18)

Pub Date: Nov. 3, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-06-227899-9

Page Count: 432

Publisher: HarperTeen

Review Posted Online: Aug. 5, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2015

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There’s not much plot here, but readers will relish the opportunity to climb inside Autumn’s head.


The finely drawn characters capture readers’ attention in this debut.

Autumn and Phineas, nicknamed Finny, were born a week apart; their mothers are still best friends. Growing up, Autumn and Finny were like peas in a pod despite their differences: Autumn is “quirky and odd,” while Finny is “sweet and shy and everyone like[s] him.” But in eighth grade, Autumn and Finny stop being friends due to an unexpected kiss. They drift apart and find new friends, but their friendship keeps asserting itself at parties, shared holiday gatherings and random encounters. In the summer after graduation, Autumn and Finny reconnect and are finally ready to be more than friends. But on August 8, everything changes, and Autumn has to rely on all her strength to move on. Autumn’s coming-of-age is sensitively chronicled, with a wide range of experiences and events shaping her character. Even secondary characters are well-rounded, with their own histories and motivations.

There’s not much plot here, but readers will relish the opportunity to climb inside Autumn’s head.   (Fiction. 14 & up)

Pub Date: April 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-4022-7782-5

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Review Posted Online: Feb. 13, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2013

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Exactly what the title promises.


A grieving teen’s devotion to romance films might ruin her chances at actual romance.

Liz Buxbaum has always adored rom-coms, not least for helping her still feel close to her screenwriter mother, who died when she was little. Liz hopes that her senior year might turn into a real-life romantic fantasy, as an old crush has moved back to town, cuter and nicer than ever. Surely she can get Michael to ask her to prom. If only Wes, the annoying boy next door, would help her with her scheming! This charming, fluffy concoction manages to pack into one goofy plot every conceivable trope, from fake dating to the makeover to the big misunderstanding. Creative, quirky, daydreaming Liz is just shy of an annoying stereotype, saved by a dry wit and unresolved grief and anger. Wes makes for a delightful bad boy with a good heart, and supporting characters—including a sassy best friend, a perfect popular rival, even a (not really) evil stepmother—all get the opportunity to transcend their roles. The only villain here is Liz’s lovelorn imagination, provoking her into foolish lies that cause actual hurt feelings; but she is sufficiently self-aware to make amends just in time for the most important trope of all: a blissfully happy ending. All characters seem to be White by default.

Exactly what the title promises. (Romance. 12-18)

Pub Date: May 4, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-5344-6762-0

Page Count: 368

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Feb. 23, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2021

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