Road-trip fans won’t find this remarkably original, but it does satisfy all the typical requirements of the genre.

REUNITED

Estranged best friends take a road trip to see a band concert at the end of senior year in a tired plot that fulfills all the promises of improbable events with the heart-warming ending readers have come to expect.

The car, a 1976 pea-green VW camper van that used to be a clubhouse in Alice’s backyard provides the means, with nerdy, organized Alice the glue to hold together bad-girl Tiernan and little-miss-popular Summer. The former friends, who used to call themselves A-Plus, Sunny-D and T-Bird, are making one last go of it. Their trip from Walford, Mass., to Austin, Texas, is characterized, predictably, by madcap adventures and valuable discoveries—about Tiernan’s mother and Summer’s boyfriend—as well as romance for Alice. This is light fare with plenty of bickering and possibilities for romantic entanglements. Between chapters, readers find the fictional band’s song lyrics, which are hysterically pretentious. The book won one of two 2011 Book Launch Awards from the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators.

Road-trip fans won’t find this remarkably original, but it does satisfy all the typical requirements of the genre. (Fiction. 12 & up)

Pub Date: June 12, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-4424-3984-9

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: March 21, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2012

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Thrill-seekers will be absorbed by this exciting story.

THE GIRL IN THE CASTLE

The lives of two girls named Hannah, living in different centuries on different continents, intersect.

Eighteen-year-old Hannah Dory is an English peasant living a harsh existence in 1347. Hannah Doe is a resident of Belman Psychiatric Hospital in 2023 New York City, brought in after being found on the street experiencing hallucinations and screaming something about a castle. Modern-day Hannah periodically enters a catatonic state, something the staff refer to as her “going to the castle.” Columbia psychology student Jordan Hassan is a new intern at Belman, and his interest is piqued by this girl no one knows much about. He decides to play detective and try to discover her history himself. Meanwhile, in the medieval England storyline, Hannah Dory tries to save her village from starvation by sneaking into the baron’s castle but finds herself swept up in a fight between the new baron and his rival. The book sustains a breakneck pace with short chapters and many cliffhangers that will keep readers’ interest. Patterson’s author’s note includes a list of mental health resources and describes his experience of working as an aide in a psychiatric hospital when he was a teenager. The narrative thoughtfully centers mental illness and touches on complex topics like suicide. Whiteness is the default; Jordan is cued as Muslim.

Thrill-seekers will be absorbed by this exciting story. (Thriller. 14-18)

Pub Date: Sept. 19, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-316-41172-1

Page Count: 368

Publisher: Jimmy Patterson/Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: June 22, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2022

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Engrossing, contemplative, and as heart-wrenching as the title promises.

Reader Votes

  • Readers Vote
  • 38

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • Kirkus Reviews'
    Best Books Of 2017

  • New York Times Bestseller

  • IndieBound Bestseller

THEY BOTH DIE AT THE END

What would you do with one day left to live?

In an alternate present, a company named Death-Cast calls Deckers—people who will die within the coming day—to inform them of their impending deaths, though not how they will happen. The End Day call comes for two teenagers living in New York City: Puerto Rican Mateo and bisexual Cuban-American foster kid Rufus. Rufus needs company after a violent act puts cops on his tail and lands his friends in jail; Mateo wants someone to push him past his comfort zone after a lifetime of playing it safe. The two meet through Last Friend, an app that connects lonely Deckers (one of many ways in which Death-Cast influences social media). Mateo and Rufus set out to seize the day together in their final hours, during which their deepening friendship blossoms into something more. Present-tense chapters, short and time-stamped, primarily feature the protagonists’ distinctive first-person narrations. Fleeting third-person chapters give windows into the lives of other characters they encounter, underscoring how even a tiny action can change the course of someone else’s life. It’s another standout from Silvera (History Is All You Left Me, 2017, etc.), who here grapples gracefully with heavy questions about death and the meaning of a life well-lived.

Engrossing, contemplative, and as heart-wrenching as the title promises. (Speculative fiction. 13-adult).

Pub Date: Sept. 5, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-06-245779-0

Page Count: 384

Publisher: HarperTeen

Review Posted Online: June 5, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2017

Did you like this book?

more