Entertainment for the fashionista crowd.

READ REVIEW

SUMMER STATE OF MIND

Almost-15-year-old Harper thinks only of fashion until her dad sees her credit-card bill and packs her off to summer camp for a needed lifestyle change.

As the daughter of a suddenly rich music-video producer, Harper spends money without thought. She had expected to spend the summer in Cancun but instead finds herself in a creaky wooden cabin with fellow campers who don’t seem to like her much. No wonder, as Harper has carted in luggage full of hair products, expensive T-shirts and impractical shoes. She begins by losing a contest her cabin should have won, blowing out the fuses and using up all the hot water. She’s terrified of imaginary spiders and bears and remains resolutely nonathletic. One sympathetic girl, Lina, tries to help, but when Harper finally goes too far, even Lina quits talking to her. Desperate to gain friends, Harper plots to win a contest to get a popular rock star to shoot a video at the camp—a girl Harper secretly actually knows. Calonita keeps the narration bubbly and pitched just right for her pre- and early-teen audience, with plenty of comedy and a gentle message about superficiality. She makes Harper the butt of the jokes but always shows the girl’s sympathetic side so that readers can laugh with her rather than at her.

Entertainment for the fashionista crowd. (Chick lit. 10-15)

Pub Date: April 22, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-316-09115-2

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Poppy/Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Feb. 26, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2014

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A bit of envelope-pushing freshens up the formula.

HOCUS POCUS AND THE ALL-NEW SEQUEL

In honor of its 25th anniversary, a Disney Halloween horror/comedy film gets a sequel to go with its original novelization.

Three Salem witches hanged in 1693 for stealing a child’s life force are revived in 1993 when 16-year-old new kid Max completes a spell by lighting a magical candle (which has to be kindled by a virgin to work). Max and dazzling, popular classmate Allison have to keep said witches at bay until dawn to save all of the local children from a similar fate. Fast-forward to 2018: Poppy, daughter of Max and Allison, inadvertently works a spell that sends her parents and an aunt to hell in exchange for the gleeful witches. With help from her best friend, Travis, and classmate Isabella, on whom she has a major crush, Poppy has only hours to keep the weird sisters from working more evil. The witches, each daffier than the last, supply most of the comedy as well as plenty of menace but end up back in the infernal regions. There’s also a talking cat, a talking dog, a gaggle of costumed heroines, and an oblique reference to a certain beloved Halloween movie. Traditional Disney wholesomeness is spiced, not soured, by occasional innuendo and a big twist in the sequel. Poppy and her family are white, while Travis and Isabella are both African-American.

A bit of envelope-pushing freshens up the formula. (Fantasy. 10-15)

Pub Date: July 10, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-368-02003-9

Page Count: 528

Publisher: Freeform/Disney

Review Posted Online: June 17, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2018

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This is no didactic near-future warning of present evils, but a cinematic adventure featuring endearing, compelling heroes

LEGEND

From the Legend series , Vol. 1

A gripping thriller in dystopic future Los Angeles.

Fifteen-year-olds June and Day live completely different lives in the glorious Republic. June is rich and brilliant, the only candidate ever to get a perfect score in the Trials, and is destined for a glowing career in the military. She looks forward to the day when she can join up and fight the Republic’s treacherous enemies east of the Dakotas. Day, on the other hand, is an anonymous street rat, a slum child who failed his own Trial. He's also the Republic's most wanted criminal, prone to stealing from the rich and giving to the poor. When tragedies strike both their families, the two brilliant teens are thrown into direct opposition. In alternating first-person narratives, Day and June experience coming-of-age adventures in the midst of spying, theft and daredevil combat. Their voices are distinct and richly drawn, from Day’s self-deprecating affection for others to June's Holmesian attention to detail. All the flavor of a post-apocalyptic setting—plagues, class warfare, maniacal soldiers—escalates to greater complexity while leaving space for further worldbuilding in the sequel.

This is no didactic near-future warning of present evils, but a cinematic adventure featuring endearing, compelling heroes . (Science fiction. 12-14)

Pub Date: Nov. 29, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-399-25675-2

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: April 8, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2011

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