Truth about love always gets our attention, and this book will catch readers’.

THE GEOGRAPHY OF YOU AND ME

As she did in The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight (2012), Smith fashions long-distance travel into a metaphor for the leaps of faith that love demands.

Lucy and Owen live in the same Manhattan building but don’t meet until they’re stuck in a sweltering elevator during a blackout. Their brief ordeal’s long enough for them to connect while their defenses are down. Grief over his mother’s death has numbed Owen to his changed life—moving from rural Pennsylvania with his father, now the building’s superintendent. With her affluent parents abroad and her brothers newly away at college, Lucy’s long-standing loneliness has acquired a sharp edge. The blackout continues after they’re rescued, and dealing with it together shatters the cocoon each lives in. They ramble the crowded streets before ascending to the roof, where they fall asleep under a starry sky. When Lucy wakes up, Owen’s gone; his dad needs help managing the blackout’s aftermath. By the time they reconnect, Lucy’s moving abroad, while Owen and his newly unemployed dad are heading west. The alternating narration builds tension as the two both live their separate lives and recollect their fragile bond, giving readers access to the closely observed emotions of each, something neither has. If the emotional authenticity points up less-believable plot points (if only applying to college were so easy!), it also eclipses those lapses.

Truth about love always gets our attention, and this book will catch readers’. (Fiction. 12-18)

Pub Date: April 10, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-316-25477-9

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Poppy/Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: March 3, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2014

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Riveting, brutal and beautifully told.

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WE WERE LIARS

A devastating tale of greed and secrets springs from the summer that tore Cady’s life apart.

Cady Sinclair’s family uses its inherited wealth to ensure that each successive generation is blond, beautiful and powerful. Reunited each summer by the family patriarch on his private island, his three adult daughters and various grandchildren lead charmed, fairy-tale lives (an idea reinforced by the periodic inclusions of Cady’s reworkings of fairy tales to tell the Sinclair family story). But this is no sanitized, modern Disney fairy tale; this is Cinderella with her stepsisters’ slashed heels in bloody glass slippers. Cady’s fairy-tale retellings are dark, as is the personal tragedy that has led to her examination of the skeletons in the Sinclair castle’s closets; its rent turns out to be extracted in personal sacrifices. Brilliantly, Lockhart resists simply crucifying the Sinclairs, which might make the family’s foreshadowed tragedy predictable or even satisfying. Instead, she humanizes them (and their painful contradictions) by including nostalgic images that showcase the love shared among Cady, her two cousins closest in age, and Gat, the Heathcliff-esque figure she has always loved. Though increasingly disenchanted with the Sinclair legacy of self-absorption, the four believe family redemption is possible—if they have the courage to act. Their sincere hopes and foolish naïveté make the teens’ desperate, grand gesture all that much more tragic.

Riveting, brutal and beautifully told. (Fiction. 14 & up)

Pub Date: May 13, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-385-74126-2

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: March 17, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2014

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An inventive, character-driven twist breathes new life into tired fantasy trends.

RED QUEEN

From the Red Queen series , Vol. 1

Amid a war and rising civil unrest, a young thief discovers the shocking power within her that sparks a revolution.

At 17, Mare knows that without an apprenticeship or job, her next birthday will bring a conscription to join the war. She contributes to her poor family’s income the only way she can, stealing from the Silvers, who possess myriad powers and force her and her fellow Reds into servitude. The Silvers literally bleed silver, and they can manipulate metal, plants and animals, among many other talents. When Mare’s best friend, Kilorn, loses his job and is doomed to conscription, she is determined to change his fate. She stumbles into a mysterious stranger after her plan goes awry and is pulled out of her village and into the world of Silver royalty. Once inside the palace walls, it isn’t long before Mare learns that powers unknown to red-blooded humans lie within her, powers that could lead a revolution. Familiar tropes abound. Mare is revealed as a great catalyst for change among classes and is groomed from rags to riches, and of course, seemingly kind characters turn out to be foes. However, Aveyard weaves a compelling new world, and Mare and the two men in her life evolve intriguingly as class tension rises. Revolution supersedes romance, setting the stage for action-packed surprises.

An inventive, character-driven twist breathes new life into tired fantasy trends. (Fantasy. 13 & up)

Pub Date: Feb. 10, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-06-231063-7

Page Count: 400

Publisher: HarperTeen

Review Posted Online: Nov. 11, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2014

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