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WEETZIE BAT

Punk flower-child Weetzie and her gay friend Dirk adventure through Hollywood's plastic fantasy land, finding solace from life's cruelties in their own loving household. Weetzie and Dirk become best friends during expeditions to nightclubs, movies, and the beach; then both find their true loves in true fairy-tale fashion—with the aid of a genie. Dirk meets Duck in a bar; Weetzie is "discovered" by "My Secret Agent Lover Man"; the four set up housekeeping, and also make movies, together. Then Weetzie makes a baby with Dirk and Duck, since My Secret Agent Lover Man is reluctant to bring a child into this trouble-filled world. This is too much for M.S.A.L.M., who leaves, but comes back with a witch baby he's fathered; then Duck leaves when a friend dies of what must be AIDS, but he also returns; whatever "happily ever after" means, they all plan to try to achieve it together. Artful wordplay, wonderfully controlled use of the language of pop culture, and a story that seems about nothing much—but is, in fact, about very important things—make this a sad, happy, funny, and touching book. California cool, gay bars, and stereotypically bizarre lifestyles become nearly irrelevent details: these people are a lot more real than Ken and Barbie, and their loyally and love—even under the tragic long shadow of the love-borne disease—are a triumph.

Pub Date: April 30, 1989

ISBN: 978-0-06-073625-5

Page Count: 96

Publisher: HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 1989

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IF HE HAD BEEN WITH ME

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. 12, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2013

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A GOOD GIRL'S GUIDE TO MURDER

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

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

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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. 27, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2019

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