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BIGGEST FLIRTS

From the Superlatives series

Teen romance fans on the hunt for a flirty fix will find plenty to enjoy in this sexy, fun beach read.

Tia Cruz doesn’t live by a lot of rules.

She’s the first to arrive to a party and the last to leave. Her aversion to responsibility carries over to school, where she keeps her photographic memory on the down low and intentionally scores a C in Spanish despite being bilingual. But Tia’s no-strings-attached playbook gets put to the test when Will Matthews moves to town. Sparks fly when the two meet, and the one-night stand that follows is both inevitable and swoon-worthy. But despite their undeniable chemistry, Tia is determined not to break the one rule she does live by: Never get attached. Tia’s reasons for never wanting a boyfriend are deep-rooted, and perhaps that is why she is able to convince herself that she’s fine when Will lands himself another girl. Plus, girlfriend or not, Tia and Will can’t seem to keep their hands off each other at band practice. But when the senior class votes them “Biggest Flirts,” things get serious, and Tia is forced to choose between her feelings and her fears. Tia’s breezy narration carries readers through the book with a witty profanity that doesn’t quite cover up her insecurity and ably shows off her innate smarts.

Teen romance fans on the hunt for a flirty fix will find plenty to enjoy in this sexy, fun beach read. (Fiction. 14-17)

Pub Date: May 20, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4424-7446-8

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Simon Pulse/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: March 30, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2014

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STAY GOLD

Several yards short of a touchdown.

A transgender boy starting over at a new school falls hard for a popular cheerleader with a reputation to protect in this debut.

On the first day of senior year, transgender boy Pony locks eyes with cisgender cheerleader Georgia. They both have pasts they want to leave behind. No one at Hillcrest High knows that Pony is transgender, and he intends to keep it that way. Georgia’s last boyfriend shook her trust in boys, and now she’s determined to forget him. As mutual attraction draws them together, Pony and Georgia must decide what they are willing to risk for a relationship. Pony’s best friend, Max, who is also transgender, disapproves of Pony’s choice to live stealth; this disagreement leads to serious conflict in their relationship. Meanwhile, Georgia and Pony behave as if Pony’s trans identity was a secret he was lying to her about rather than private information for him to share of his own volition. The characters only arrive at a hopeful resolution after Pony pays high physical and emotional prices. McSmith places repeated emphasis on the born-in-the-wrong-body narrative when the characters discuss trans identities. Whiteness is situated as the norm, and all main characters are white.

Several yards short of a touchdown. (Fiction. 14-17)

Pub Date: May 26, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-06-294317-0

Page Count: 368

Publisher: HarperTeen

Review Posted Online: Feb. 8, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2020

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ALWAYS AND FOREVER, LARA JEAN

From the To All the Boys I've Loved Before series , Vol. 3

An emotionally engaging closer that fumbles in its final moments.

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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 28, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2017

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