A shocking, spine-tingling ending proves that ghost stories never go out of style.

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THE UNQUIET

Even small towns have urban legends.

Since 16-year-old Rinn’s last manic episode resulted in the death of her grandmother, she and her mother have uprooted from California to relocate temporarily in her mother’s rural Ohio hometown. With her bipolar disorder under control for the moment, Rinn’s new life seems promising—until she discovers that a tunnel built to bypass the gym at her high school is rumored to be haunted by Annaliese, a teen who drowned in the school’s swimming pool 20 years ago. After a séance conducted by fellow classmates unleashes the ghost’s full powers, strange “accidents” begin occurring around the school. The story builds in intensity as both Rinn and Annaliese show their determination to overtake each other's will. Their power struggles highlight Rinn’s constant battle to overcome her disorder and appear normal again. But how can a bipolar teen, already known for hearing strange voices, seeing hallucinations and experiencing psychotic episodes, convince those around her of the ghost’s homicidal plans? To stop Annaliese, Rinn may just have to find out what started her haunting in the first place. A steamy romance with the best catch at school adds just the right balance to the novel’s chilling effects.

A shocking, spine-tingling ending proves that ghost stories never go out of style. (Supernatural thriller. 14 & up)

Pub Date: July 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-59990-723-9

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Review Posted Online: April 18, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2012

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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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Many teen novels touch on similar themes, but few do it so memorably.

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ALL THE BRIGHT PLACES

Two struggling teens develop an unlikely relationship in a moving exploration of grief, suicide and young love.

Violet, a writer and member of the popular crowd, has withdrawn from her friends and from school activities since her sister died in a car accident nine months earlier. Finch, known to his classmates as "Theodore Freak," is famously impulsive and eccentric. Following their meeting in the school bell tower, Finch makes it his mission to re-engage Violet with the world, partially through a school project that sends them to offbeat Indiana landmarks and partially through simple persistence. (Violet and Finch live, fortunately for all involved, in the sort of romantic universe where his throwing rocks at her window in the middle of the night comes off more charming than stalker-esque.) The teens alternate narration chapter by chapter, each in a unique and well-realized voice. Finch's self-destructive streak and suicidal impulses are never far from the surface, and the chapters he narrates are interspersed with facts about suicide methods and quotations from Virginia Woolf and poet Cesare Pavese. When the story inevitably turns tragic, a cast of carefully drawn side characters brings to life both the pain of loss and the possibility of moving forward, though some notes of hope are more believable than others.

Many teen novels touch on similar themes, but few do it so memorably. (Fiction. 14 & up)

Pub Date: Jan. 6, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-385-75588-7

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: Oct. 1, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2014

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