Emotionally beleaguered teen and adult readers who overlook the book’s juvenile packaging will find both clarity and...

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THE EMOTIONARY

A DICTIONARY OF WORDS THAT DON'T EXIST FOR FEELINGS THAT DO

Words, emotions, and two irreverent senses of humor collide in Sher and Wertz’s (Drinking at the Movies, 2015, etc.) debut book for teens.

For all those whose frustration at being unable to name a particular emotion has ever overtaken the emotion they are unable to name, this clever lexicon is here to provide relief. In a witty if occasionally inelegant alignment of form and function, the author’s collection of imaginative portmanteaus (and one acronym), such as “irredependent” (irrational + independent) and “castrapolate” (catastrophe + extrapolate), pay homage to the complexity of feelings. Meanwhile, with humor just this side of ribald, Wertz’s comic-strip illustrations demonstrate that, while emotional complexity can elude definition, it is just as universal to the human condition as birth, death, and forgetting people’s names as soon as they’ve introduced themselves (“namenesia”). Situated somewhere between Urban Dictionary and a beginner’s guide to anxiety and introversion, the book highlights the importance of emotional literacy but stops short of addressing emotional competence, relying instead on the audience’s developed sense of irony to understand the validity of the newly named feelings while also managing to recognize any unhealthy emotional practices.

Emotionally beleaguered teen and adult readers who overlook the book’s juvenile packaging will find both clarity and camaraderie in its definitions. (Nonfiction. 15 & up)

Pub Date: Oct. 18, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-59514-838-4

Page Count: 176

Publisher: Razorbill/Penguin

Review Posted Online: July 20, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2016

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An unpolished grab bag of incidents that tries to make a point about racial inequality.

I'M NOT DYING WITH YOU TONIGHT

Two teenage girls—Lena and Campbell—come together following a football game night gone wrong.

Campbell, who is white and new to Atlanta, now attends the school where Lena, who is black, is a queen bee. At a game between McPherson High and their rival, a racist slur leads to fights, and shots are fired. The unlikely pair are thrown together as they try to escape the dangers on campus only to find things are even more perilous on the outside; a police blockade forces them to walk through a dangerous neighborhood toward home. En route, a peaceful protest turns into rioting, and the presence of police sets off a clash with protestors with gruesome consequences. The book attempts to tackle racial injustice in America by offering two contrasting viewpoints via narrators of different races. However, it portrays black characters as violent and criminal and the white ones as excusably ignorant and subtly racist, seemingly redeemed by moments when they pause to consider their privileges and biases. Unresolved story arcs, underdeveloped characters, and a jumpy plot that tries to pack too much into too small a space leave the story lacking. This is not a story of friendship but of how trauma can forge a bond—albeit a weak and questionable one—if only for a night.

An unpolished grab bag of incidents that tries to make a point about racial inequality. (Fiction. 15-adult)

Pub Date: Aug. 6, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4926-7889-2

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Review Posted Online: May 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2019

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Green seamlessly bridges the gap between the present and the existential, and readers will need more than one box of tissues...

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    Best Books Of 2012

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THE FAULT IN OUR STARS

He’s in remission from the osteosarcoma that took one of his legs. She’s fighting the brown fluid in her lungs caused by tumors. Both know that their time is limited.

Sparks fly when Hazel Grace Lancaster spies Augustus “Gus” Waters checking her out across the room in a group-therapy session for teens living with cancer. He’s a gorgeous, confident, intelligent amputee who always loses video games because he tries to save everyone. She’s smart, snarky and 16; she goes to community college and jokingly calls Peter Van Houten, the author of her favorite book, An Imperial Affliction, her only friend besides her parents. He asks her over, and they swap novels. He agrees to read the Van Houten and she agrees to read his—based on his favorite bloodbath-filled video game. The two become connected at the hip, and what follows is a smartly crafted intellectual explosion of a romance. From their trip to Amsterdam to meet the reclusive Van Houten to their hilariously flirty repartee, readers will swoon on nearly every page. Green’s signature style shines: His carefully structured dialogue and razor-sharp characters brim with genuine intellect, humor and desire. He takes on Big Questions that might feel heavy-handed in the words of any other author: What do oblivion and living mean? Then he deftly parries them with humor: “My nostalgia is so extreme that I am capable of missing a swing my butt never actually touched.” Dog-earing of pages will no doubt ensue.

Green seamlessly bridges the gap between the present and the existential, and readers will need more than one box of tissues to make it through Hazel and Gus’ poignant journey. (Fiction. 15 & up)

Pub Date: Jan. 10, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-525-47881-2

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Dutton

Review Posted Online: Jan. 10, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2012

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