Ultimately, a satisfying tale of a girl who must come to terms with her own blended identity.

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IN THE TIME OF DRAGON MOON

Humans, dragons and fey coexist on Wilde Island, but this uneasy peace masks a simmering, mutual distrust that surfaces after the English army abducts an Euit healer and his daughter to cure the aging queen’s infertility—failure is not an option.

With their small tribe captive, Uma and her father are taken in chains to Pendragon Castle, where he soon dies, and Uma must persuade the queen, rather than having her killed, to give Uma time to work a cure. The task is complicated by the queen’s madness, a closely guarded secret, and by the royal couple’s dissolute adult son, Desmond. Only his cousin Jackrun’s intervention keeps Desmond from forcing himself on Uma. Half-English Uma’s an outsider among the Euit, who don’t accept women healers; despite that, she’s determined to succeed and free her tribe. Like Jackrun, Desmond’s part dragon. Uma envies the Pendragons’ close affinity with dragons. Her father’s dragon hasn’t accepted her—horrific events will change that, too. Familiarity with Dragonswood (2012) is helpful, but the tale, focusing on the next generation, stands on its own. The Euit tribe, loosely reminiscent of indigenous American cultures, seems to have wandered in from another novel, yet the story largely succeeds, braiding elements and archetypes from several cultures together into a coherent narrative.

Ultimately, a satisfying tale of a girl who must come to terms with her own blended identity. (author’s note) (Fantasy. 12-17)

Pub Date: March 24, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-8037-3810-2

Page Count: 480

Publisher: Kathy Dawson/Penguin

Review Posted Online: Dec. 6, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2014

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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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This heartwarming story transcends the ordinary by exploring the hopes, dreams, and inherent risks of love in all of its...

EVERYTHING, EVERYTHING

Suffering from “bubble baby disease,” Madeline has lived for 18 years in a sterile, sealed house with her physician mother.

Madeline is a bright, witty young woman who makes the best of life with a compromised immune system by playing games with her mother, studying with online tutors, and writing brief spoiler book reviews on Tumblr. Her life is turned upside down when a troubled new family moves in next door and she sees Olly for the first time. Olly, a white boy “with a pale honey tan” and parcours moves, wants to meet her, but Madeline’s mother turns him away. With the help of an indestructible Bundt cake, Olly perseveres until he gets her email address. Madeline—half Japanese, half African-American—chronicles her efforts to get to know Olly as she considers risking everything to be with him. She confides to her wise and understanding nurse, Carla, the truth she keeps from her overprotective mother: that it’s painfully hard to be a teenager with a crush, yearning to venture outside and experience the world. Spot art by the author’s husband, occasional lists in Madeline’s handwriting, emails, and instant-messaging transcripts add a lively dimension to Madeline’s quirky character. In her debut, Jamaican-American Yoon gives readers complex characters and rich dialogue that ranges from humorous to philosophical.

This heartwarming story transcends the ordinary by exploring the hopes, dreams, and inherent risks of love in all of its forms. (Fiction. 12-17)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-553-49664-2

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: June 29, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2015

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