Carly, who had Alyssa when she was a teenager, works as a stripper and lives, to Alyssa's suspicion and surprise, in a $4...

SHE LOVES YOU, SHE LOVES YOU NOT...

Kicked out of her father's house for being a lesbian, Alyssa adjusts to small-town life with the mother she barely knows.

Carly, who had Alyssa when she was a teenager, works as a stripper and lives, to Alyssa's suspicion and surprise, in a $4 million house. Carly's profession disturbs and angers Alyssa for reasons that are never fully explored, and Alyssa is initially hostile toward Carly and irritated when nearly everyone she encounters in their small town of Majestic, Colo., recognizes her as “Carly's girl.” Alyssa takes a job at a local diner, working for gruff but kindly Arlo, one of relatively few characters in teen fiction to use a wheelchair, and alongside Finn, who instantly pings her gaydar and piques her interest. Flashbacks, some written in second person, describe Alyssa's relationship with Sarah, her last girlfriend, and the complex and frustrating dance of hiding the relationship from Alyssa's father and stepmother. The issue of stalking receives subtle treatment; Alyssa is afraid she cannot be trusted with a phone, and flashbacks show her texting and calling to excess. The adult characters, particularly Carly and Arlo, are unusual and well-drawn, and the intimacies and betrayals of the relationship with Sarah ring painfully true.

Pub Date: June 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-316-07874-0

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Megan Tingley/Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: April 18, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2011

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How can such a hefty tome be un-put-down-able excitement from beginning to end? (glossary) (Fantasy. 14 & up)

CROOKED KINGDOM

From the Six of Crows series , Vol. 2

This hefty sequel to Six of Crows (2015) brings high-tension conclusions to the many intertwined intrigues of Ketterdam.

It's time for revenge—has been ever since old-before-his-time crook Kaz and his friends were double-crossed by the merchant princes of Ketterdam, an early-industrial Amsterdam-like fantasy city filled to the brim with crime and corruption. Disabled, infuriated, and perpetually scheming Kaz, the light-skinned teen mastermind, coordinates the efforts to rescue Inej. Though Kaz is loath to admit weakness, Inej is his, for he can't bear any harm come to the knife-wielding, brown-skinned Suli acrobat. Their team is rounded out by Wylan, a light-skinned chemist and musician whose merchant father tried to have him murdered and who can't read due to a print disability; Wylan's brown-skinned biracial boyfriend, Jesper, a flirtatious gambler with ADHD; Nina, the pale brunette Grisha witch and recovering addict from Russia-like Ravka; Matthias, Nina's national enemy and great love, a big, white, blond drüskelle warrior from the cold northern lands; and Kuwei, the rescued Shu boy everyone wants to kidnap. Can these kids rescue everyone who needs rescuing in Ketterdam's vile political swamp? This is dark and violent—one notable scene features a parade of teens armed with revolvers, rifles, pistols, explosives, and flash bombs—but gut-wrenchingly genuine. Astonishingly, Bardugo keeps all these balls in the air over the 500-plus pages of narrative.

How can such a hefty tome be un-put-down-able excitement from beginning to end? (glossary) (Fantasy. 14 & up)

Pub Date: Sept. 27, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-62779-213-4

Page Count: 560

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: Aug. 2, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2016

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This story is necessary. This story is important.

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THE HATE U GIVE

Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter is a black girl and an expert at navigating the two worlds she exists in: one at Garden Heights, her black neighborhood, and the other at Williamson Prep, her suburban, mostly white high school.

Walking the line between the two becomes immensely harder when Starr is present at the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend, Khalil, by a white police officer. Khalil was unarmed. Khalil’s death becomes national news, where he’s called a thug and possible drug dealer and gangbanger. His death becomes justified in the eyes of many, including one of Starr’s best friends at school. The police’s lackadaisical attitude sparks anger and then protests in the community, turning it into a war zone. Questions remain about what happened in the moments leading to Khalil’s death, and the only witness is Starr, who must now decide what to say or do, if anything. Thomas cuts to the heart of the matter for Starr and for so many like her, laying bare the systemic racism that undergirds her world, and she does so honestly and inescapably, balancing heartbreak and humor. With smooth but powerful prose delivered in Starr’s natural, emphatic voice, finely nuanced characters, and intricate and realistic relationship dynamics, this novel will have readers rooting for Starr and opening their hearts to her friends and family.

This story is necessary. This story is important. (Fiction. 14-adult)

Pub Date: Feb. 28, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-06-249853-3

Page Count: 464

Publisher: Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Dec. 6, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2016

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