Laugh-out-loud funny, heart-wrenchingly sad and fist-pump-in-the-air triumphant, this sparkling gem proves that vampires,...

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TEAM HUMAN

Both lovers and loathers of teen vampire romance will revel in this hilarious satirical take on the genre.

Mel might not exactly have her own life sorted out, but she’s always been there for her BFFs, Cathy and Anna. She indulges Cathy’s passion for history, ruins and old things in general; that is, until Francis Duvarney enrolls in their high school. Vampires may be both dead and deadly, but they are also a legally tolerated minority and even tourist attractions—and Francis, with his mesmerizing good looks and stuffy arrogance, is irresistible to an old-fashioned girl like Cathy. Meanwhile, Anna sees Francis as an unbearable reminder of the collapse of her parents' marriage. Mel knows her duty to both of them: prove that Francis is up to no good, whether the clues lead her into the city's terrifying vampire district, the school's rat-infested basement, or even the arms of a cute guy. While primarily an affectionate parody of the genre, filled with clever allusions and devastating snark, the story also sympathetically illuminates the allure of vampire romance, for characters and readers alike. In an unexpectedly poignant turn, it becomes a celebration of love in all its forms: crushes and spouses, parents and children, brothers and sisters, families born and created, and above all, friends tested and true.

Laugh-out-loud funny, heart-wrenchingly sad and fist-pump-in-the-air triumphant, this sparkling gem proves that vampires, zombies and even teenagers…at heart, we're all on Team Human. (Fantasy. 12 & up.)

Pub Date: July 3, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-06-208964-9

Page Count: 352

Publisher: HarperTeen

Review Posted Online: May 2, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2012

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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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An emotionally engaging closer that fumbles in its final moments.

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ALWAYS AND FOREVER, LARA JEAN

From the To All the Boys I've Loved Before series , Vol. 3

Lara Jean prepares for college and a wedding.

Korean-American Lara Jean is finally settled into a nice, complication-free relationship with her white boyfriend, Peter. But things don’t stay simple for long. When college acceptance letters roll in, Peter and Lara Jean discover they’re heading in different directions. As the two discuss the long-distance thing, Lara Jean’s widower father is making a major commitment: marrying the neighbor lady he’s been dating. The whirlwind of a wedding, college visits, prom, and the last few months of senior year provides an excellent backdrop for this final book about Lara Jean. The characters ping from event to event with emotions always at the forefront. Han further develops her cast, pushing them to new maturity and leaving few stones unturned. There’s only one problem here, and it’s what’s always held this series back from true greatness: Peter. Despite Han’s best efforts to flesh out Peter with abandonment issues and a crummy dad, he remains little more than a handsome jock. Frankly, Lara Jean and Peter may have cute teen chemistry, but Han's nuanced characterizations have often helped to subvert typical teen love-story tropes. This knowing subversion is frustratingly absent from the novel's denouement.

An emotionally engaging closer that fumbles in its final moments. (Romance. 14-17)

Pub Date: May 2, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4814-3048-7

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: March 29, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2017

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