Both hopeful and careful—like Francesca herself.

READ REVIEW

THE SUMMER OF LETTING GO

Four years after her younger brother, Simon, drowned in the ocean, Francesca Schnell meets a child she thinks might be his reincarnation.

Maybe everything happens for a reason. Following the woman with whom she suspects her father is having an affair leads Francesca to a country club where she meets—and rescues from an ill-advised dive into a pool—4-year-old Frankie Schyler. As she gets to know “Frankie Sky” and his kind but inattentive mother, Francesca begins to see connections between Frankie and her own brother and to wonder if there is a spiritual explanation for the similarities between the two. Unfortunately—or is it fortunately after all?—the only person Francesca can talk to about reincarnation is her best friend Lisette’s very charming, very taken boyfriend, Bradley. And there’s nobody, really, with whom Francesca can share her deepest secret: Simon’s death was Francesca’s fault. This is a quiet story about miracles and relationships, and Francesca has something to learn from each person whose life touches hers—even the neighbor her father keeps visiting on the sly. The prose is gentle but evocative, and Frankie Sky’s childlike exuberance and occasional misconceptions add heart and humor. Some long-standing family conflicts are resolved very quickly, but the story never comes off as saccharine or simplistic.

Both hopeful and careful—like Francesca herself. (Fiction. 12-16)

Pub Date: March 25, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-61620-256-9

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Algonquin

Review Posted Online: Jan. 29, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2014

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

For readers in need of a happy ending but not much else.

ALL THIS TIME

A modern-day fairy tale about two teenagers suffering from loss who find healing in one another.

Despite the ups and downs in their relationship, Kyle and Kimberly have always made up, and Kyle looks forward to attending college together after graduation. But on the night they should be celebrating, Kimberly confesses that she has committed to a different college and breaks up with him. As they argue, their car crashes, and Kyle later wakes up in the hospital and learns that Kimberly is dead. In his grief, Kyle blames himself for her death. He struggles to leave his bed most days, ignores calls from his and Kimberly’s best friend, Sam, and has visions of Kimberly and life before the accident. One day, while visiting Kimberly’s grave, he meets Marley, a girl who likes telling stories and is mourning the death of her twin sister. Predictably, their natural affinity for one another evolves into romance. It is unfortunate that Kyle essentially moves from one romantic relationship to another on his journey to better understanding himself and his co-dependence on those closest to him, although his gradual development into a more considerate person redeems him. The pacing remains even until the critical plot disruption, resulting in the rest of the story feeling disjointed and rushed. All characters are White.

For readers in need of a happy ending but not much else. (Fiction. 12-16)

Pub Date: Sept. 29, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5344-6634-0

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: July 8, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2020

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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

LEGEND

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

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more