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

READ REVIEW

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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“Cinderella” but with genocide and rebel plots.

ASH PRINCESS

From the Ash Princess series , Vol. 1

The daughter of a murdered queen plots to take back what is hers.

With her country seized and her mother, the Fire Queen of Astrea, murdered by invaders when she was only 6 years old, Theodosia has been a prisoner for 10 years, stripped of her crown, her people enslaved. Theo (renamed Thora by her captors) is at the mercy of the Kaiser—the fearsome ruler of the Kalovaxians—enduring his malicious whims in order to survive. But when the Kaiser forces Theo to execute her own father, survival is no longer good enough, and she finally takes up the mantle of queen to lead her people’s rise to resistance in a land saturated in elemental magic. Debut author Sebastian has invigorated some well-worn fantasy tropes (a displaced heir, an underground rebellion, and a love triangle that muddies the distinctions between enemies and allies), delivering a narrative that crackles with political intrigue, powerful and debilitating magic, and the violent mechanisms of colonization even as it leaves sequel-primed gaps. Some details—like Theo’s crisis of identity and Hamletian indecision—work well to submerge readers in a turbulent and enthralling plot; others, like racialized descriptions that fall short of actual representation (Atreans are dark-haired and olive-skinned, Kalovaxians are blond and pale-skinned) and the use of magic-induced madness for narrative shock and awe feel lazy and distracting among more nuanced elements.

“Cinderella” but with genocide and rebel plots. (Fantasy. 14-17)

Pub Date: April 24, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5247-6706-8

Page Count: 432

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: April 3, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2018

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