A mainstream romance that covers well-trod territory.

THE PROBLEM WITH FOREVER

After surviving a horrific foster home together, a girl is reunited with the boy who always sought to protect her.

Mallory—dubbed Mouse due to her selective mutism—grew up in a foster home with two abusive addicts. The white girl relied on biracial Latino/white Rider, another ward in the home, to keep her safe and serve as her protector. When the violence in the foster home came to a head, 13-year-old Mouse and Rider were removed from it and ultimately separated. When the novel opens, four years have passed, and Mouse has been adopted by Carlos and Rosa Rivas, wealthy physicians, who have dedicated themselves to helping her heal from past trauma and have home-schooled her. Rider, however, is still in foster care and lives a more dangerous life on the wrong side of the tracks. When Mouse enrolls in high school for her senior year, she is reunited with Rider, and though they've gone in opposite directions, their mutual past—and their blazing chemistry—pulls them together. Although the intensity between Mouse and Rider is palpably sizzling, the all-too-conventional trope of the quiet girl and the bad boy is played out in classic formula fashion, sinking in its own clichés. However, die-hard romance aficionados may be able to overlook the boilerplate plotting and simply lose themselves in Mouse and Rider’s smoldering glances and steamy kisses.

A mainstream romance that covers well-trod territory. (Romance. 13 & up)

Pub Date: May 17, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-373-21205-7

Page Count: 496

Publisher: Harlequin Teen

Review Posted Online: March 2, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2016

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A treat for mystery readers who enjoy being kept in suspense.

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A GOOD GIRL'S GUIDE TO MURDER

From the Good Girl's Guide to Murder series , Vol. 1

Everyone believes that Salil Singh killed his girlfriend, Andrea Bell, five years ago—except Pippa Fitz-Amobi.

Pip has known and liked Sal since childhood; he’d supported her when she was being bullied in middle school. For her senior capstone project, Pip researches the disappearance of former Fairview High student Andie, last seen on April 18, 2014, by her younger sister, Becca. The original investigation concluded with most of the evidence pointing to Sal, who was found dead in the woods, apparently by suicide. Andie’s body was never recovered, and Sal was assumed by most to be guilty of abduction and murder. Unable to ignore the gaps in the case, Pip sets out to prove Sal’s innocence, beginning with interviewing his younger brother, Ravi. With his help, Pip digs deeper, unveiling unsavory facts about Andie and the real reason Sal’s friends couldn’t provide him with an alibi. But someone is watching, and Pip may be in more danger than she realizes. Pip’s sleuthing is both impressive and accessible. Online articles about the case and interview transcripts are provided throughout, and Pip’s capstone logs offer insights into her thought processes as new evidence and suspects arise. Jackson’s debut is well-executed and surprises readers with a connective web of interesting characters and motives. Pip and Andie are white, and Sal is of Indian descent.

A treat for mystery readers who enjoy being kept in suspense. (Mystery. 14-18)

Pub Date: Feb. 4, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9848-9636-0

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2019

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There’s not much plot here, but readers will relish the opportunity to climb inside Autumn’s head.

IF HE HAD BEEN WITH ME

The finely drawn characters capture readers’ attention in this debut.

Autumn and Phineas, nicknamed Finny, were born a week apart; their mothers are still best friends. Growing up, Autumn and Finny were like peas in a pod despite their differences: Autumn is “quirky and odd,” while Finny is “sweet and shy and everyone like[s] him.” But in eighth grade, Autumn and Finny stop being friends due to an unexpected kiss. They drift apart and find new friends, but their friendship keeps asserting itself at parties, shared holiday gatherings and random encounters. In the summer after graduation, Autumn and Finny reconnect and are finally ready to be more than friends. But on August 8, everything changes, and Autumn has to rely on all her strength to move on. Autumn’s coming-of-age is sensitively chronicled, with a wide range of experiences and events shaping her character. Even secondary characters are well-rounded, with their own histories and motivations.

There’s not much plot here, but readers will relish the opportunity to climb inside Autumn’s head.   (Fiction. 14 & up)

Pub Date: April 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-4022-7782-5

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Review Posted Online: Feb. 13, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2013

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