A fast-paced, offbeat LGBTQ+ love story.

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A lesbian teen has to learn the hard way that an expected happily-ever-after ending may not come to pass in this coming-of-age novel.

Teenage Andie has always loved Ivy Harlowe. The two have been best friends for years, and even though Ivy, who’s also gay, never showed any romantic interest in her, Andie just assumed they would someday end up together—that if she just waited long enough, Ivy would realize that she’d always been there for her. That’s how it works in the romance novels she reads, anyway. One night, when the girls are at their usual club, Ivy hooks up with a bisexual stranger, which isn’t unusual. But then that stranger, Dot, starts hanging around—visiting Ivy, coming by for dinner. Andie knows how Ivy works, and she never lets a one-night stand hang around for additional nights. If that wasn’t enough for Andie to deal with, the strip club that her family owns may have to shut down, and Elizabeth, a gorgeous older woman, starts to show some unexpected interest in her. For the first time, Andie has no idea what might lie in her future—and she’s unsure how to handle it. Moskowitz’s novel is an unusual love story in that it’s more about loving oneself than another person. The brisk book features a diverse cast of various ethnicities, sexual orientations, and living arrangements; Andie’s friends Melody and Diana are together and in love and also in an open relationship. Ivy could very easily have come across as a villain in a story like this, as she doesn’t love Andie the way that Andie wants; however, the author does a fantastic job of making all of the major characters relatable and difficult to dislike. The book, though published by a YA imprint, definitely has more of a new-adult vibe, and the frank sexual discussion may not be suitable for younger teens.

A fast-paced, offbeat LGBTQ+ love story.

Pub Date: June 1, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-64-937049-5

Page Count: 330

Publisher: Entangled Teen

Review Posted Online: June 4, 2021


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


An ode to the children of migrants who have been taken away.

A Mexican American boy takes on heavy responsibilities when his family is torn apart.

Mateo’s life is turned upside down the day U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents show up unsuccessfully seeking his Pa at his New York City bodega. The Garcias live in fear until the day both parents are picked up; his Pa is taken to jail and his Ma to a detention center. The adults around Mateo offer support to him and his 7-year-old sister, Sophie, however, he knows he is now responsible for caring for her and the bodega as well as trying to survive junior year—that is, if he wants to fulfill his dream to enter the drama program at the Tisch School of the Arts and become an actor. Mateo’s relationships with his friends Kimmie and Adam (a potential love interest) also suffer repercussions as he keeps his situation a secret. Kimmie is half Korean (her other half is unspecified) and Adam is Italian American; Mateo feels disconnected from them, less American, and with worries they can’t understand. He talks himself out of choosing a safer course of action, a decision that deepens the story. Mateo’s self-awareness and inner monologue at times make him seem older than 16, and, with significant turmoil in the main plot, some side elements feel underdeveloped. Aleman’s narrative joins the ranks of heart-wrenching stories of migrant families who have been separated.

An ode to the children of migrants who have been taken away. (Fiction. 14-18)

Pub Date: May 4, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-7595-5605-8

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Feb. 22, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2021

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