Solidly nonsmutty fare for readers who want to imagine they can get it right too.

A WEEK OF MONDAYS

With school pictures, a history pop quiz, a speech in front of the student body, and varsity softball tryouts, Ellie, a junior, finds herself repeating the same maddening day until she gets it right.

Not an original premise, Brody's theme is that one must not only learn how to be true to oneself, but figure out who are the people who truly matter and demonstrate affection. Parents, younger sister Hadley, and, most of all, best friend forever Owen have taken a back seat to the relationship with rock-star wannabe Tristan. Though the story follows the well-known romantic formula of good looks vs. forever friend, there is still plenty of entertainment along the way. Ellie is smart enough in the end to know some dreams belong to others and which dreams of her own she can abandon in order to move beyond the hitch in her universe. An oddly antique playlist of ’60s music serves as both background and chapter headings. No readers at all familiar with the plot device will be surprised as to the steps required to succeed and the ultimate outcome. Nonetheless, there are still some tender moments in this world of white, middle-class concerns, fittingly accompanied with only a hint of anything hotter than a kiss.

Solidly nonsmutty fare for readers who want to imagine they can get it right too. (Romance. 12-16)

Pub Date: Aug. 2, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-374-38270-4

Page Count: 464

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: May 4, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2016

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This is no didactic near-future warning of present evils, but a cinematic adventure featuring endearing, compelling heroes

LEGEND

From the Legend series , Vol. 1

A gripping thriller in dystopic future Los Angeles.

Fifteen-year-olds June and Day live completely different lives in the glorious Republic. June is rich and brilliant, the only candidate ever to get a perfect score in the Trials, and is destined for a glowing career in the military. She looks forward to the day when she can join up and fight the Republic’s treacherous enemies east of the Dakotas. Day, on the other hand, is an anonymous street rat, a slum child who failed his own Trial. He's also the Republic's most wanted criminal, prone to stealing from the rich and giving to the poor. When tragedies strike both their families, the two brilliant teens are thrown into direct opposition. In alternating first-person narratives, Day and June experience coming-of-age adventures in the midst of spying, theft and daredevil combat. Their voices are distinct and richly drawn, from Day’s self-deprecating affection for others to June's Holmesian attention to detail. All the flavor of a post-apocalyptic setting—plagues, class warfare, maniacal soldiers—escalates to greater complexity while leaving space for further worldbuilding in the sequel.

This is no didactic near-future warning of present evils, but a cinematic adventure featuring endearing, compelling heroes . (Science fiction. 12-14)

Pub Date: Nov. 29, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-399-25675-2

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: April 8, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2011

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For readers in need of a happy ending but not much else.

ALL THIS TIME

A modern-day fairy tale about two teenagers suffering from loss who find healing in one another.

Despite the ups and downs in their relationship, Kyle and Kimberly have always made up, and Kyle looks forward to attending college together after graduation. But on the night they should be celebrating, Kimberly confesses that she has committed to a different college and breaks up with him. As they argue, their car crashes, and Kyle later wakes up in the hospital and learns that Kimberly is dead. In his grief, Kyle blames himself for her death. He struggles to leave his bed most days, ignores calls from his and Kimberly’s best friend, Sam, and has visions of Kimberly and life before the accident. One day, while visiting Kimberly’s grave, he meets Marley, a girl who likes telling stories and is mourning the death of her twin sister. Predictably, their natural affinity for one another evolves into romance. It is unfortunate that Kyle essentially moves from one romantic relationship to another on his journey to better understanding himself and his co-dependence on those closest to him, although his gradual development into a more considerate person redeems him. The pacing remains even until the critical plot disruption, resulting in the rest of the story feeling disjointed and rushed. All characters are White.

For readers in need of a happy ending but not much else. (Fiction. 12-16)

Pub Date: Sept. 29, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5344-6634-0

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: July 8, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2020

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