A promising start that gets more right than wrong.

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

Google Rating

  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating
  • New York Times Bestseller

READ REVIEW

CHILDREN OF EDEN

From the Children of Eden series , Vol. 1

A teenage girl finds her way through a dystopian society.

In this far-flung future, the world’s environment has collapsed, and the remains of humanity live in Eden, a walled-off society built by the brilliant Aaron Al-Baz, an environmental prophet. Bronze-skinned Rowan is the second-born to her twin brother, Ash, which makes her a major liability. Families are only allowed to have one child, so Rowan’s existence has been carefully hidden all her life. After Rowan’s mother tells her they’ve made arrangements for her to go live with another family, Rowan sneaks out at night and meets Lark, Ash’s best friend. The two girls strike a friendship that kindles toward romance, but before the fire can spread, Rowan’s existence is discovered and the terrified teen flees. Rowan discovers a band of rebels and uncovers a startling truth about Al-Baz. The tropes of the teen dystopia abound, but Graceffa keeps things moving quickly enough that readers won’t mind. Rowan could easily become a navel-gazer, but the story keeps her from descending into insularity. After an intrusively expository start, Rowan’s journey from loner to rebel is smartly paced and cleverly constructed. Her love interests are less developed, and the aftertaste of Eden has a bit of a “been there, done that” feel, but the author injects just enough original thought and spins the yarn fast enough that readers will still have a good time.

A promising start that gets more right than wrong. (Science fiction. 12-16)

Pub Date: Oct. 4, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-5011-4655-8

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Atria/Key Words

Review Posted Online: Nov. 15, 2016

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Skip this uninspired entry into the world of medieval love and court intrigue.

THE BETROTHED

From the Betrothed series , Vol. 1

In an imagined setting evoking medieval England, King Jameson of Coroa pursues Hollis Brite.

The independent teenager makes Jameson laugh, but she lacks the education and demeanor people expect in a queen. Her friend Delia Grace has more knowledge of history and languages but is shunned due to her illegitimate birth. Hollis gets caught up in a whirl of social activity, especially following an Isolten royal visit. There has been bad blood between the two countries, not fully explained here, and when an exiled Isolten family also comes to court, Jameson generously allows them to stay. Hollis relies on the family to teach her about Isolten customs and secretly falls in love with Silas, the oldest son, even though a relationship with him would mean relinquishing Jameson and the throne. When Hollis learns of political machinations that will affect her future in ways that she abhors, she faces a difficult decision. Romance readers will enjoy the usual descriptions of dresses, jewelry, young love, and discreet kisses, although many characters remain cardboard figures. While the violent climax may be upsetting, the book ends on a hopeful note. Themes related to immigration and young women’s taking charge of their lives don’t quite lift this awkwardly written volume above other royal romances. There are prejudicial references to Romani people, and whiteness is situated as the norm.

Skip this uninspired entry into the world of medieval love and court intrigue. (Historical romance. 13-16)

Pub Date: May 5, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-06-229163-9

Page Count: 320

Publisher: HarperTeen

Review Posted Online: Feb. 5, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2020

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more