A beautiful and relentless current of emotion.


Trapped in Ohio and tortured by others’ expectations of “normal,” nonbinary Irish and Lebanese American River McIntyre can no more imagine freedom than the animals at the local aquarium can imagine the ocean.

That is, until an unexpected encounter propels them into the overwhelming waters of self-discovery. A man-of-war is not a jellyfish, and River McIntyre can’t be the White daughter their Lebanese mother wants or please their swim coach, but they don’t know why they are unhappy. When Indy Waits, a White, unapologetically queer former classmate, resurfaces during River’s school field trip to the marine life theme park SeaPlanet, River confronts repressed memories and feelings by diving into the shark tank. At first, Indy wants nothing to do with the charismatic and self-destructive River, but their lives keep colliding as if pulled together by the tides. Spanning sophomore year of high school into adulthood, this blend of romance and coming-of-age story depicts a refreshingly messy journey of self-discovery and acceptance. Internalized racism and trauma create a fraught dynamic in River’s relationship with their mother, which McCarthy navigates with nuance. Poignant, self-reflective prose is bolstered by carefully crafted, overarching marine themes and imagery. Love plays a significant role in River’s growth, but neither dependence on a partner nor a dramatic, teen-movie coming-out moment are what carry them into a healthier life.

A beautiful and relentless current of emotion. (Fiction. 14-18)

Pub Date: May 31, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-593-35370-7

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Dutton

Review Posted Online: March 16, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2022

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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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A treat for mystery readers who enjoy being kept in suspense.

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From the Good Girl's Guide to Murder series , Vol. 1

Everyone believes that Salil Singh killed his girlfriend, Andrea Bell, five years ago—except Pippa Fitz-Amobi.

Pip has known and liked Sal since childhood; he’d supported her when she was being bullied in middle school. For her senior capstone project, Pip researches the disappearance of former Fairview High student Andie, last seen on April 18, 2014, by her younger sister, Becca. The original investigation concluded with most of the evidence pointing to Sal, who was found dead in the woods, apparently by suicide. Andie’s body was never recovered, and Sal was assumed by most to be guilty of abduction and murder. Unable to ignore the gaps in the case, Pip sets out to prove Sal’s innocence, beginning with interviewing his younger brother, Ravi. With his help, Pip digs deeper, unveiling unsavory facts about Andie and the real reason Sal’s friends couldn’t provide him with an alibi. But someone is watching, and Pip may be in more danger than she realizes. Pip’s sleuthing is both impressive and accessible. Online articles about the case and interview transcripts are provided throughout, and Pip’s capstone logs offer insights into her thought processes as new evidence and suspects arise. Jackson’s debut is well-executed and surprises readers with a connective web of interesting characters and motives. Pip and Andie are white, and Sal is of Indian descent.

A treat for mystery readers who enjoy being kept in suspense. (Mystery. 14-18)

Pub Date: Feb. 4, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9848-9636-0

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2019

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