Fans of Sarah Dessen and Gayle Forman will enjoy this tender story.

THE GEOGRAPHY OF LOST THINGS

Eighteen-year-old Ali Collins must reckon with her complicated history with her rolling stone father on an eventful road trip with her ex-boyfriend.

With their house about to be repossessed, curly-haired brunette Ali and her mother have all but given up on being able to stay in their home. While packing up to move, Ali learns that her father has passed away and left his beloved 1968 Firebird convertible as her inheritance. The value of the car shocks her and immediately appears to be the answer to all her problems...that is until she realizes that she must trek hundreds of miles north along the Pacific coast to deliver the car to an eager buyer. The last thing Ali wants to do is to complete the drive with her strikingly handsome, lying ex-boyfriend Nico—but he’s the only person she knows who can drive a stick shift. Ali’s internal and external journeys lead her to come to terms with both her late father and her old flame. This is a solid, highly-consumable coming-of-age story, easily devoured in one sitting and bringing with it all the comforts of a cozy, predictable romance. Brody (The Chaos of Standing Still, 2017, etc.) places the reader in picturesque settings with a cast of familiar characters in this road-trip narrative. Ali and Nico are white.

Fans of Sarah Dessen and Gayle Forman will enjoy this tender story. (Fiction. 12-18)

Pub Date: Oct. 2, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-4814-9921-7

Page Count: 464

Publisher: Simon Pulse/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: July 17, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2018

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Engrossing, contemplative, and as heart-wrenching as the title promises.

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THEY BOTH DIE AT THE END

What would you do with one day left to live?

In an alternate present, a company named Death-Cast calls Deckers—people who will die within the coming day—to inform them of their impending deaths, though not how they will happen. The End Day call comes for two teenagers living in New York City: Puerto Rican Mateo and bisexual Cuban-American foster kid Rufus. Rufus needs company after a violent act puts cops on his tail and lands his friends in jail; Mateo wants someone to push him past his comfort zone after a lifetime of playing it safe. The two meet through Last Friend, an app that connects lonely Deckers (one of many ways in which Death-Cast influences social media). Mateo and Rufus set out to seize the day together in their final hours, during which their deepening friendship blossoms into something more. Present-tense chapters, short and time-stamped, primarily feature the protagonists’ distinctive first-person narrations. Fleeting third-person chapters give windows into the lives of other characters they encounter, underscoring how even a tiny action can change the course of someone else’s life. It’s another standout from Silvera (History Is All You Left Me, 2017, etc.), who here grapples gracefully with heavy questions about death and the meaning of a life well-lived.

Engrossing, contemplative, and as heart-wrenching as the title promises. (Speculative fiction. 13-adult).

Pub Date: Sept. 5, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-06-245779-0

Page Count: 384

Publisher: HarperTeen

Review Posted Online: June 5, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2017

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An inspirational read.

THE LIGHT IN HIDDEN PLACES

A true story of faith, love, and heroism.

Stefania “Fusia” Podgórska longed for nothing more than to leave the rural Polish farm she was born on for the city of Przemyśl where her older sisters lived. At the age of 12, she did just that, finding a job with the Diamants, a family of Jewish shopkeepers who welcomed her into their lives. For three years they lived peacefully until the Germans dropped bombs on Przemyśl. The family struggled on as the war and anti-Semitism ramped up, but eventually, the Diamants were forced into a ghetto. Then 17, Catholic Fusia was determined to help them survive, even at the risk of her own safety, while also caring for her 6-year-old sister, Helena, after their family was taken by the Nazis for forced labor. Knowing the risks involved, Fusia made a bold decision to harbor Jews. As the number of people she sheltered increased, so did her panic about being caught, but she was determined to do what was right. Cameron (The Knowing, 2017, etc.) used Stefania’s unpublished memoir as well as interviews with family members as source material. She deftly details Fusia’s brave actions and includes moving family photographs in the author’s note. Narrated in the first person, the story highlights essential events in Fusia’s life while maintaining a consistent pace. Readers will be pulled in by the compelling opening and stay for the emotional journey.

An inspirational read. (author’s note) (Historical fiction. 13-18)

Pub Date: March 3, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-338-35593-2

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Dec. 8, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2020

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