An endearing novel that gives hope to those who know what it’s like being different.

HOW TO BE REMY CAMERON

A gay high schooler contends with romance, college, and racial/sexual self-acceptance in this entertaining coming-of-age dramedy.

Remy Cameron is determined not to have a relationship this year. After the heartbreak of his last breakup, all he wants is to do well in AP Lit, get into Emory’s Creative Writing Program, and avoid anything remotely resembling love. Remy’s best-laid plans are thrown into chaos when Ian Park, a Korean American senior, moves back from California and comes onto his radar. Add to that some friends wanting to increase LGBTQ representation on the homecoming court and his lit teacher’s assigning an essay about what identity defines him, and Remy’s junior year is set to be anything but peaceful. In his sophomore novel, Winters (Running With Lions, 2018) fills a Georgia high school with characters so rich and realistic that readers might expect to bump into them in the school hallways. The racial and sexual diversity that pervades this novel feels refreshingly authentic, and Remy’s struggles with being black, adopted, and gay demonstrate the author’s skill as a storyteller and his respect for the weight of the issues at play. The relationships among the members of the mixed-race Cameron family (Remy’s parents are white) and between Remy and his friends are nuanced and reflect a hopeful future for America.

An endearing novel that gives hope to those who know what it’s like being different. (Fiction 13-18)

Pub Date: Sept. 10, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-945053-80-1

Page Count: 340

Publisher: Duet

Review Posted Online: July 13, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

This grittily provocative debut explores the horrors of self-harm and the healing power of artistic expression.

Reader Votes

  • Readers Vote
  • 23

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • New York Times Bestseller

GIRL IN PIECES

After surviving a suicide attempt, a fragile teen isn't sure she can endure without cutting herself.

Seventeen-year-old Charlie Davis, a white girl living on the margins, thinks she has little reason to live: her father drowned himself; her bereft and abusive mother kicked her out; her best friend, Ellis, is nearly brain dead after cutting too deeply; and she's gone through unspeakable experiences living on the street. After spending time in treatment with other young women like her—who cut, burn, poke, and otherwise hurt themselves—Charlie is released and takes a bus from the Twin Cities to Tucson to be closer to Mikey, a boy she "like-likes" but who had pined for Ellis instead. But things don't go as planned in the Arizona desert, because sweet Mikey just wants to be friends. Feeling rejected, Charlie, an artist, is drawn into a destructive new relationship with her sexy older co-worker, a "semifamous" local musician who's obviously a junkie alcoholic. Through intense, diarylike chapters chronicling Charlie's journey, the author captures the brutal and heartbreaking way "girls who write their pain on their bodies" scar and mar themselves, either succumbing or surviving. Like most issue books, this is not an easy read, but it's poignant and transcendent as Charlie breaks more and more before piecing herself back together.

This grittily provocative debut explores the horrors of self-harm and the healing power of artistic expression. (author’s note) (Fiction. 14 & up)

Pub Date: Aug. 30, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-101-93471-5

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: May 4, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2016

Did you like this book?

more