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

BIGGEST FLIRTS

From the Superlatives series

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 31, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2014

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Best leave it at maybe so.

YES NO MAYBE SO

Two 17-year-olds from the northern suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia, work together on a campaign for a progressive state senate candidate in an unlikely love story.

Co-authors Albertalli (Leah on the Offbeat, 2018, etc.) and Saeed (Bilal Cooks Daal, 2019, etc.) present Jamie Goldberg, a white Ashkenazi Jewish boy who suffers from being “painfully bad at anything girl-related,” and Maya Rehman, a Pakistani American Muslim girl struggling with her parents’ sudden separation. Former childhood best friends, they find themselves volunteered as a team by their mothers during a Ramadan “campaign iftar.” One canvassing adventure at a time, they grow closer despite Maya’s no-dating policy. Chapters alternate between Maya’s and Jamie’s first-person voices. The endearing, if somewhat clichéd, teens sweetly connect over similarities like divorced parents, and their activism will resonate with many. Jamie is sensitive, clumsy, and insecure; Maya is determined, sassy, a dash spoiled, and she swears freely. The novel covers timeless themes of teen activism and love-conquers-all along with election highs and lows, messy divorces, teen angst, bat mitzvah stress, social media gaffes, right-wing haters, friendship drama, and cultural misunderstandings, but the explicit advocacy at times interferes with an immersive reading experience and the text often feels repetitious. Maya’s mother is hijabi, and while Maya advocates against a hijab ban, she chooses not to wear hijab and actively wrestles with what it means to be an observant Muslim.

Best leave it at maybe so. (Romance. 14-18)

Pub Date: Feb. 4, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-06-293704-9

Page Count: 448

Publisher: Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Nov. 17, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2019

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Packed to the brim with intrigue and the promise of a third installment.

LADY SMOKE

From the Ash Princess series , Vol. 2

A rebel queen fans the sparks of revolution.

Picking up immediately after the events of Ash Princess (2018), Sebastian’s expansive sequel finds young Queen Theodosia—her title newly reclaimed—fleeing her country and throne. With her people still enslaved, Theo will need allies and an army to free them, and her aunt, the fierce and manipulative pirate Dragonsbane, insists that the only way to acquire either is if Theo marries—something no queen has ever done in Astrea’s history. Wracked by nightmares, guilt, and fear that she is losing herself (and more), Theo balks but, with few options open to her, grudgingly agrees to meet with suitors at a grand invitational hosted by the king of the opulent Sta’Crivero. Readers looking for further immersion and expansion of Theo’s world will not be disappointed here. The narrative suffers marginally from lengthy details picked up and soon put back down with no real service to plot or character development, but Theo’s first-person narration remains enthralling with emotional immediacy as she learns more and more about her world and the people (and cruelty) within it. Vengeance, political corruption, and mystery are the main drivers, and questions of trauma, empathy, and sacrifice hold the reigns as Theo grapples with emergent magic, inconvenient romances, and the crushing weight of her choices as a leader.

Packed to the brim with intrigue and the promise of a third installment. (maps) (Fantasy. 14-17)

Pub Date: Feb. 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5247-6710-5

Page Count: 512

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: Dec. 19, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2019

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