Readers will feel narratively whiplashed.

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BURN FOR BURN

From the Burn for Burn series , Vol. 1

Revenge fantasies run riot (and disappointingly off the rails) in a new series from usually reliable experts Han and Vivian.

It’s the end of summer before senior year of high school in Jar Island’s resort towns, and change is in the air. After being victimized by people they thought they could trust, popular Lillia, outcast Kat and apparent new girl Mary make a revenge pact. Lillia, consumed with guilt and shame after being date raped, is hellbent on protecting her sheltered younger sister Nadia from the advances of fellow-senior Alex. Kat can’t wait to put the screws to Rennie, who shut her out of their friendship with Lillia freshman year and has been spreading nasty rumors about Kat ever since. Newly svelte Mary grew up on Jar Island but has been living off-island for the last four years, recovering from the crushing bullying visited upon her by star quarterback Reeve. Each humiliating act of vengeance goes exactly as planned, but the consequences are far more devastating than the girls imagined, culminating in a near-tragedy that leaves them deeply shaken. Unfortunately, all this delicious bitchiness devolves into nihilistic nonsense by the last chapter, hampered by a late-developing supernatural twist and a final sentence that wouldn’t be out of place in the film Chinatown.

Readers will feel narratively whiplashed. (Fiction. 15-18)

Pub Date: Sept. 18, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-4424-4075-3

Page Count: 368

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: June 27, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2012

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An unpolished grab bag of incidents that tries to make a point about racial inequality.

I'M NOT DYING WITH YOU TONIGHT

Two teenage girls—Lena and Campbell—come together following a football game night gone wrong.

Campbell, who is white and new to Atlanta, now attends the school where Lena, who is black, is a queen bee. At a game between McPherson High and their rival, a racist slur leads to fights, and shots are fired. The unlikely pair are thrown together as they try to escape the dangers on campus only to find things are even more perilous on the outside; a police blockade forces them to walk through a dangerous neighborhood toward home. En route, a peaceful protest turns into rioting, and the presence of police sets off a clash with protestors with gruesome consequences. The book attempts to tackle racial injustice in America by offering two contrasting viewpoints via narrators of different races. However, it portrays black characters as violent and criminal and the white ones as excusably ignorant and subtly racist, seemingly redeemed by moments when they pause to consider their privileges and biases. Unresolved story arcs, underdeveloped characters, and a jumpy plot that tries to pack too much into too small a space leave the story lacking. This is not a story of friendship but of how trauma can forge a bond—albeit a weak and questionable one—if only for a night.

An unpolished grab bag of incidents that tries to make a point about racial inequality. (Fiction. 15-adult)

Pub Date: Aug. 6, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4926-7889-2

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Review Posted Online: May 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2019

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Green seamlessly bridges the gap between the present and the existential, and readers will need more than one box of tissues...

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THE FAULT IN OUR STARS

He’s in remission from the osteosarcoma that took one of his legs. She’s fighting the brown fluid in her lungs caused by tumors. Both know that their time is limited.

Sparks fly when Hazel Grace Lancaster spies Augustus “Gus” Waters checking her out across the room in a group-therapy session for teens living with cancer. He’s a gorgeous, confident, intelligent amputee who always loses video games because he tries to save everyone. She’s smart, snarky and 16; she goes to community college and jokingly calls Peter Van Houten, the author of her favorite book, An Imperial Affliction, her only friend besides her parents. He asks her over, and they swap novels. He agrees to read the Van Houten and she agrees to read his—based on his favorite bloodbath-filled video game. The two become connected at the hip, and what follows is a smartly crafted intellectual explosion of a romance. From their trip to Amsterdam to meet the reclusive Van Houten to their hilariously flirty repartee, readers will swoon on nearly every page. Green’s signature style shines: His carefully structured dialogue and razor-sharp characters brim with genuine intellect, humor and desire. He takes on Big Questions that might feel heavy-handed in the words of any other author: What do oblivion and living mean? Then he deftly parries them with humor: “My nostalgia is so extreme that I am capable of missing a swing my butt never actually touched.” Dog-earing of pages will no doubt ensue.

Green seamlessly bridges the gap between the present and the existential, and readers will need more than one box of tissues to make it through Hazel and Gus’ poignant journey. (Fiction. 15 & up)

Pub Date: Jan. 10, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-525-47881-2

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Dutton

Review Posted Online: Jan. 10, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2012

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