A marginal beach read only for die-hard chick-lit fans who can overlook its multiple stumbles.

LOLA CARLYLE'S 12-STEP ROMANCE

A spoiled celebu-spawn fakes addiction to worm her way into rehab and follow her crush, but she finds that it isn’t as she expected (gasp!).

Full of sass and witty banter, Lola Carlyle, daughter of an esteemed (though largely absent) father and a soap-opera-star (and hypercritical) mother, hasn’t a clue how she’s to spend her last summer before she turns 18. However, when she learns from her best frenemy, Sydney, who is in rehab, that her crush—the handsome actor Wade Miller—is a patient there, Lola is determined to get herself admitted. Once she concocts a lie passably large enough, she is indeed admitted. Instead of the spalike environment she envisioned, Lola quickly discovers that rehab—and keeping up her pretense—is harder than she thought. To add another wrinkle, Lola's mentor, Adam, is annoyingly cute and seems to be taking a special interest in her. Playing this premise—Lola’s faking alcoholism to satisfy a schoolgirl crush—for laughs is more than a bit disconcerting, as is the blossoming relationship between mentor and (supposed) patient. The presumed love triangle, which should buoy this frothy fare, plummets when Lola makes a clear choice long before the conclusion. While some of the love scenes do have some sizzle, ultimately, there just isn’t enough spark to save this.

A marginal beach read only for die-hard chick-lit fans who can overlook its multiple stumbles. (Chick-lit. 13-16)

Pub Date: May 5, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-62266-785-7

Page Count: 368

Publisher: Entangled Teen

Review Posted Online: Feb. 16, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2015

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Bloody? Yes. Scary? No.

THERE'S SOMEONE INSIDE YOUR HOUSE

Someone is murdering high school students. Most freeze in fear, but a brave few try to stop the killings.

Senior Makani Young has been living in corn-obsessed Nebraska for just a little over a year. She has developed a crush and made some friends, but a dark secret keeps her from truly opening up to those around her. As the only half–African-American and half–Native Hawaiian student in her school, she already stands out, but as the killing spree continues, the press descends, and rumors fly, Makani is increasingly nervous that her past will be exposed. However, the charming and incredibly shy Ollie, a white boy with hot-pink hair, a lip ring, and wanderlust, provides an excellent distraction from the horror and fear. Graphic violence and bloody mayhem saturate this high-speed slasher story. And while Makani’s secret and the killer’s hidden identity might keep the pages turning, this is less a psychological thriller and more a study in gore. The intimacy and precision of the killer’s machinations hint at some grand psychological reveal, but lacking even basic jump-scares, this tale is high in yuck and low in fright. The tendency of the characters toward preachy inner monologues feels false.

Bloody? Yes. Scary? No. (Horror. 14-16)

Pub Date: Sept. 26, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-525-42601-1

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Dutton

Review Posted Online: July 17, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2017

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An enjoyable, if predictable, romantic holiday story.

10 BLIND DATES

Is an exuberant extended family the cure for a breakup? Sophie is about to find out.

When Sophie unexpectedly breaks up with her boyfriend, she isn’t thrilled about spending the holidays at her grandparents’ house instead of with him. And when her grandmother forms a plan to distract Sophie from her broken heart—10 blind dates, each set up by different family members—she’s even less thrilled. Everyone gets involved with the matchmaking, even forming a betting pool on the success of each date. But will Sophie really find someone to fill the space left by her ex? Will her ex get wind of Sophie’s dating spree via social media and want them to get back together? Is that what she even wants anymore? This is a fun story of finding love, getting to know yourself, and getting to know your family. The pace is quick and light, though the characters are fairly shallow and occasionally feel interchangeable, especially with so many names involved. A Christmas tale, the plot is a fast-paced series of dinners, parties, and games, relayed in both narrative form and via texts, though the humor occasionally feels stiff and overwrought. The ending is satisfying, though largely unsurprising. Most characters default to white as members of Sophie’s Italian American extended family, although one of her cousins has a Filipina mother. One uncle is gay.

An enjoyable, if predictable, romantic holiday story. (Fiction. 13-16)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-368-02749-6

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Review Posted Online: June 23, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2019

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