A tale of love, family, and friendship, tailor-made for readers who believe in the mystery and magic of the theater.

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Quin hopes her drama-class senior project can save a local theater and change the course of history.

“At Verona High, drama is for the shy.” Quin and her classmates in Advanced Drama are “senior nobodies” who would prefer to blend into the scenery. But their teacher (who happens to be Quin’s mom) wants to use their senior project to save the Avery, a local theater in their small town that was shuttered 70 years ago after a pair of star-crossed lovers, Emma and Nick, died on its stage. Reluctantly, the class begins to work on the project—a production of Anything Goes—with Quin as the director. At the same time, Quin learns that the Avery is somehow beginning to revive itself. She also discovers that her classmates Cass and Dylan are reliving the doomed romance of Emma and Nick. In Quin, Schindler has crafted a quick-witted, white protagonist who draws readers into her search for answers about her family’s past as well as the Avery’s. Scenes set in the past are rich with authentic voices and period detail, and Schindler’s crisp prose flows easily between the past and the present. Even when it seems impossible for the show to go on, Schindler’s imaginative story will have readers rooting for Quin and her classmates to “break a leg.”

A tale of love, family, and friendship, tailor-made for readers who believe in the mystery and magic of the theater. (Paranormal thriller. 13-18)

Pub Date: May 17, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-06-222023-3

Page Count: 304

Publisher: HarperTeen

Review Posted Online: March 2, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2016

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This story is necessary. This story is important.

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THE HATE U GIVE

Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter is a black girl and an expert at navigating the two worlds she exists in: one at Garden Heights, her black neighborhood, and the other at Williamson Prep, her suburban, mostly white high school.

Walking the line between the two becomes immensely harder when Starr is present at the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend, Khalil, by a white police officer. Khalil was unarmed. Khalil’s death becomes national news, where he’s called a thug and possible drug dealer and gangbanger. His death becomes justified in the eyes of many, including one of Starr’s best friends at school. The police’s lackadaisical attitude sparks anger and then protests in the community, turning it into a war zone. Questions remain about what happened in the moments leading to Khalil’s death, and the only witness is Starr, who must now decide what to say or do, if anything. Thomas cuts to the heart of the matter for Starr and for so many like her, laying bare the systemic racism that undergirds her world, and she does so honestly and inescapably, balancing heartbreak and humor. With smooth but powerful prose delivered in Starr’s natural, emphatic voice, finely nuanced characters, and intricate and realistic relationship dynamics, this novel will have readers rooting for Starr and opening their hearts to her friends and family.

This story is necessary. This story is important. (Fiction. 14-adult)

Pub Date: Feb. 28, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-06-249853-3

Page Count: 464

Publisher: Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Dec. 6, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2016

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An emotionally engaging closer that fumbles in its final moments.

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ALWAYS AND FOREVER, LARA JEAN

From the To All the Boys I've Loved Before series , Vol. 3

Lara Jean prepares for college and a wedding.

Korean-American Lara Jean is finally settled into a nice, complication-free relationship with her white boyfriend, Peter. But things don’t stay simple for long. When college acceptance letters roll in, Peter and Lara Jean discover they’re heading in different directions. As the two discuss the long-distance thing, Lara Jean’s widower father is making a major commitment: marrying the neighbor lady he’s been dating. The whirlwind of a wedding, college visits, prom, and the last few months of senior year provides an excellent backdrop for this final book about Lara Jean. The characters ping from event to event with emotions always at the forefront. Han further develops her cast, pushing them to new maturity and leaving few stones unturned. There’s only one problem here, and it’s what’s always held this series back from true greatness: Peter. Despite Han’s best efforts to flesh out Peter with abandonment issues and a crummy dad, he remains little more than a handsome jock. Frankly, Lara Jean and Peter may have cute teen chemistry, but Han's nuanced characterizations have often helped to subvert typical teen love-story tropes. This knowing subversion is frustratingly absent from the novel's denouement.

An emotionally engaging closer that fumbles in its final moments. (Romance. 14-17)

Pub Date: May 2, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4814-3048-7

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: March 29, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2017

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