A thoughtful exploration of grief and life.

READ REVIEW

HOW TO BE BRAVE

After the death of her mother, Georgia tries to really live while figuring out what that means.

All through high school, Georgia has been in “no-woman’s-land” with her best friend, Liss. After losing her mom, her father buries himself in their failing restaurant, and Georgia feels like she's drowning. But Georgia can't forget her timorous mother's final words to her—to “do everything”—and they prompt her to make a list of things to do to become brave. Not worrying about her overweight appearance, Georgia focuses on truly living her life. Some are easily accomplished, like No. 12—smoke pot—with the help of a new friend, Evelyn. But then there are tougher tasks, like asking out—and kissing—Daniel, Georgia's crush, and learning how to draw like her mom. As Georgia discovers her artistic talents, however, her romance with Daniel hits several snags. And when a mistake wrecks Georgia's friendship with Liss, she's left wondering if the list is actually helping her. Will she have the courage to keep going, or will she give up? Georgia's realistically profane voice aptly captures her personality, carrying the novel; her traverse through grief and experimentation make for a believable and satisfying character arc.

A thoughtful exploration of grief and life. (Fiction. 16-18)

Pub Date: Nov. 3, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-250-07280-1

Page Count: 288

Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin

Review Posted Online: Aug. 5, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2015

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Bulky, balky, talky.

THE DA VINCI CODE

In an updated quest for the Holy Grail, the narrative pace remains stuck in slo-mo.

But is the Grail, in fact, holy? Turns out that’s a matter of perspective. If you’re a member of that most secret of clandestine societies, the Priory of Sion, you think yes. But if your heart belongs to the Roman Catholic Church, the Grail is more than just unholy, it’s downright subversive and terrifying. At least, so the story goes in this latest of Brown’s exhaustively researched, underimagined treatise-thrillers (Deception Point, 2001, etc.). When Harvard professor of symbology Robert Langdon—in Paris to deliver a lecture—has his sleep interrupted at two a.m., it’s to discover that the police suspect he’s a murderer, the victim none other than Jacques Saumière, esteemed curator of the Louvre. The evidence against Langdon could hardly be sketchier, but the cops feel huge pressure to make an arrest. And besides, they don’t particularly like Americans. Aided by the murdered man’s granddaughter, Langdon flees the flics to trudge the Grail-path along with pretty, persuasive Sophie, who’s driven by her own need to find answers. The game now afoot amounts to a scavenger hunt for the scholarly, clues supplied by the late curator, whose intent was to enlighten Sophie and bedevil her enemies. It’s not all that easy to identify these enemies. Are they emissaries from the Vatican, bent on foiling the Grail-seekers? From Opus Dei, the wayward, deeply conservative Catholic offshoot bent on foiling everybody? Or any one of a number of freelancers bent on a multifaceted array of private agendas? For that matter, what exactly is the Priory of Sion? What does it have to do with Leonardo? With Mary Magdalene? With (gulp) Walt Disney? By the time Sophie and Langdon reach home base, everything—well, at least more than enough—has been revealed.

Bulky, balky, talky.

Pub Date: March 18, 2003

ISBN: 0-385-50420-9

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Doubleday

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2003

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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

MY EYES ARE UP HERE

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 29, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2020

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more