A welcomingly awkward, offbeat journey for a “gay-girl gay” girl with many heartaches.



From the Fat Angie series , Vol. 2

When everything’s awful inside and out, how can you take the bull by the horns?

Angie’s girlfriend has moved away. Angie’s war-hero sister was killed by terrorists in Iraq (Fat Angie, 2013, etc.), and glossy local and national tributes leave Angie alone and confused in her grief. Angie’s mother mourns “the good one” of her children, restricts Angie’s food, and threatens Angie with gay conversion therapy. When Angie breaks a bully’s nose in self-defense, witnesses lie and Angie faces legal prosecution. Depression, anxiety, panic, betrayal—how can Angie get out from under? A road trip—emotionally messy and awkward, with an ex-friend who ghosted her, one of the lying witnesses, and someone who films everything. With legal prosecution and conversion therapy looming, Angie stumbles her way through a road trip itinerary left by her dead sister. Charlton-Trujillo’s mildly unorthodox prose style features extra hyphens (“surprising-not-surprising,” “loud-loud,” Angie’s “couldn’t-understand mother”). While less funny than Fat Angie, this has hilarious moments: If a sign says, “DO NOT FLUSH / FEMININE FEMALE PRODUCTS,” could you flush a “butch tampon”? Angie’s white; her fellow RV-ers are a racially diverse group. Fortunately and refreshingly, the text gives Angie no weight-loss arc; unfortunately, the use of fatness as a misery symbol throughout dilutes the explicit self-acceptance ending.

A welcomingly awkward, offbeat journey for a “gay-girl gay” girl with many heartaches. (Fiction. 12-16)

Pub Date: March 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-7636-9345-9

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Dec. 9, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2019

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Rags to riches with a British twist.


Penniless 16-year-old orphan Estella dreams of becoming a famous fashion designer but survives by robbing rich tourists in swinging 1960s London.

After her mother died in a freak accident, Estella moved to the city, bunking down in the Lair, a grimy pad in a bombed-out building, with her chosen family of fellow thieves Horace and Jasper. Although she flunked out of school, Estella has exceptional design talent and is determined to excel in the field. A pair of well-connected trust-fund twins dazzle her with their carefree, affluent lifestyle and groovy circle of friends, and they ultimately exploit her by bartering her fashion skills for accommodation and friendship. Estella soon learns that their glamorous lifestyle is shallow and their friendships, fickle, and she realizes that she will have to find her own way in life. Estella’s complete naïveté in the face of wealth and sophistication is convincingly drawn, and her fashionista ability is fun and engaging; the ending brings a twist that readers may not see coming. The story contains peripheral references to One Hundred and One Dalmatians: Estella has Cruella de Vil black-and-white hair, which she disguises with red dye, and a Cruella alter ego who pops up in her head in moments of crisis and helps her remain true to herself. All characters present White.

Rags to riches with a British twist. (Fiction. 12-16)

Pub Date: April 6, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-368-05776-9

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Disney Press

Review Posted Online: Jan. 26, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2021

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This is no didactic near-future warning of present evils, but a cinematic adventure featuring endearing, compelling heroes


From the Legend series , Vol. 1

A gripping thriller in dystopic future Los Angeles.

Fifteen-year-olds June and Day live completely different lives in the glorious Republic. June is rich and brilliant, the only candidate ever to get a perfect score in the Trials, and is destined for a glowing career in the military. She looks forward to the day when she can join up and fight the Republic’s treacherous enemies east of the Dakotas. Day, on the other hand, is an anonymous street rat, a slum child who failed his own Trial. He's also the Republic's most wanted criminal, prone to stealing from the rich and giving to the poor. When tragedies strike both their families, the two brilliant teens are thrown into direct opposition. In alternating first-person narratives, Day and June experience coming-of-age adventures in the midst of spying, theft and daredevil combat. Their voices are distinct and richly drawn, from Day’s self-deprecating affection for others to June's Holmesian attention to detail. All the flavor of a post-apocalyptic setting—plagues, class warfare, maniacal soldiers—escalates to greater complexity while leaving space for further worldbuilding in the sequel.

This is no didactic near-future warning of present evils, but a cinematic adventure featuring endearing, compelling heroes . (Science fiction. 12-14)

Pub Date: Nov. 29, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-399-25675-2

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: April 8, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2011

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