A thought-provoking, hilarious, eloquent story of a young man realizing that the world is much larger than the one set up...

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WILDMAN

A high school valedictorian takes a madcap left turn in life.

Confident, white, 18-year-old Lance Hendricks’ life seems set for him. The all-around good guy’s got a gorgeous girlfriend of two years, early admission into Oregon State University on a scholarship, a 4.0 GPA, and he’s first chair trumpet player in the high school band. On his way home to Bend, Oregon, after a trip to Seattle, his 1993 Buick breaks down in the middle of nowhere, Washington, and the next five days change his life forever. Train-hopping, improbable brawls, whiskey shots, late-night parties at dive bars, and a mysteriously beautiful and unforgettable young white woman named Dakota are all part of the mix. Geiger’s first novel for teens is based in reality, but well-drawn elements of magical realism haunt its boundaries. There are genuine hairpin twists that will have readers wondering where the plot is headed and if it’s real. The ethereal Dakota is reminiscent of John Green’s Alaska, while the rest of the cast is crass, uncouth, dangerous at times, and winningly human. All of this is amplified by Geiger’s ability to spin laugh-out-loud, insight-filled one-liners to keep the pace up while the quieter moments balance the narrative with genuine beauty.

A thought-provoking, hilarious, eloquent story of a young man realizing that the world is much larger than the one set up for him. (Fiction. 14-adult)

Pub Date: June 6, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4847-4957-9

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Hyperion

Review Posted Online: March 29, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2017

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Busy, busy, busy…with portents of doom.

CHAIN OF GOLD

From the Last Hours series , Vol. 1

Clare’s (Ghosts of the Shadow Market, 2019, etc.) latest is set in the Shadowhunter world in the 20th century’s first decade (with frequent flashbacks to the previous one).

Teenage offspring of the Herondales, Carstairs, Fairchilds, and other angel-descended Nephilim continue their families’ demon-fighting ways amid a round of elegant London balls, soirees, salons, picnics, and romantic intrigues. James Herondale, 17-year-old son of Will and Tessa, finds himself and his “perfectly lethal dimple” hung up between two stunning new arrivals: Cordelia Carstairs, red-haired Persian/British wielder of a fabled magic sword, and Grace Blackthorn, an emotionally damaged but (literally, as the author unsubtly telegraphs) spellbinding friend from childhood. Meanwhile, a sudden outbreak of demonic attacks that leave more and more Shadowhunters felled by a mysterious slow poison plunges James and a cohort of allies into frantic searches for both a cause and an antidote. Ichor-splashed encounters with ravening boojums and even one of hell’s own princes ensue—all leading to final hints of a devastating scheme to destroy the Nephilim in which James himself is slated to play a central role. Characters have a range of skin tones, but ethnic diversity adds no texture to the portrayals; there is a lesbian cousin who wears traditionally male clothing and two young gay men (one tortured, the other less so).

Busy, busy, busy…with portents of doom. (Fantasy. 14-18)

Pub Date: March 3, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4814-3187-3

Page Count: 624

Publisher: McElderry

Review Posted Online: Jan. 23, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2020

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An emotionally engaging closer that fumbles in its final moments.

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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