A modern Hollywood do-gooder offers a fun spin on Austen’s classic.

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From the Seeking Mansfield series , Vol. 3

Emma Crawford has it all: fame, fortune, good looks, and charisma.

Fortunately for those around her, she is just as generous as she is wealthy. After helping her friend Weston get his own talk show, Emma realizes she rather enjoys helping others and begins looking for someone new to bestow her guidance upon. Enter Winter White, stage name of Brittany Smith. The cousin of Weston’s makeup artist, she is doe-eyed and blinded by the glitz and glamor of Hollywood. It just so happens that Emma needs a new assistant, preferably one without ties in the industry who could sell her out. An unlikely friendship begins to grow between them, and Emma realizes that Brittany could have a much bigger career than the one she’s hoping for as St. Martin’s, Ohio’s resident meteorologist. However, Liam Price, a beautiful professional soccer player, introduces complications as he informs Emma that maybe what she thinks is best for Brittany isn’t actually what is best for her. Hollywood has its dark side, one that Emma has glimpsed but was luckily sheltered from by her domineering father. As time goes on, Emma starts to realize that she needs to find courage in herself. This dramatic coming-of-age story features solid writing, complex characters, and good pacing. Emma and Brittany are white; Liam is Brazilian and Jewish.

A modern Hollywood do-gooder offers a fun spin on Austen’s classic. (Fiction. 14-18)

Pub Date: Jan. 21, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-63583-048-4

Page Count: 344

Publisher: Flux

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2019

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A thrilling romance that could use more even pacing.

THE STARS WE STEAL

For the second time in her life, Leo must choose between her family and true love.

Nineteen-year-old Princess Leonie Kolburg’s royal family is bankrupt. In order to salvage the fortune they accrued before humans fled the frozen Earth 170 years ago, Leonie’s father is forcing her to participate in the Valg Season, an elaborate set of matchmaking events held to facilitate the marriages of rich and royal teens. Leo grudgingly joins in even though she has other ideas: She’s invented a water filtration system that, if patented, could provide a steady income—that is if Leo’s calculating Aunt Freja, the Captain of the ship hosting the festivities, stops blocking her at every turn. Just as Leo is about to give up hope, her long-lost love, Elliot, suddenly appears onboard three years after Leo’s family forced her to break off their engagement. Donne (Brightly Burning, 2018) returns to space, this time examining the fascinatingly twisted world of the rich and famous. Leo and her peers are nuanced, deeply felt, and diverse in terms of sexuality but not race, which may be a function of the realities of wealth and power. The plot is fast paced although somewhat uneven: Most of the action resolves in the last quarter of the book, which makes the resolutions to drawn-out conflicts feel rushed.

A thrilling romance that could use more even pacing. (Science fiction. 16-adult)

Pub Date: Feb. 4, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-328-94894-6

Page Count: 400

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: Nov. 10, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2019

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An unflinching portrayal of the devastating effects of domestic violence.

WATCH OVER ME

After a horrific domestic violence incident, Zoey Ward and her family finally find their footing in Las Vegas only to have their lives overturned by a house fire.

Learning that her father has been recently released from prison, Zoey suspects he had something to do with the blaze. After their lives go up in flames, literally, Zoey along with her mom and her younger siblings, Kate and Cole, flee Las Vegas with the help of her older brother, Will, and his best friend, Tristan. They take refuge in California, where Tristan and his sister welcome them into a world where things seem hopeful and more stable than anything they have ever known. Yet the fear of being hunted down by her father consumes Zoey. The story is narrated from Zoey’s and Tristan’s first-person perspectives, and Gray (Run Away With Me, 2017, etc.) has masterfully captured the uncertainty and terror that come from domestic violence. Tristan and Zoey share a budding romance in which Zoey slowly but surely learns to love and be loved in a nondestructive, healthy way despite her fears and reservations. With everything she has been through, Zoey is the underdog readers will find themselves rooting for. Gray spares no detail in this intense tale. All characters are assumed to be white; Tristan is dyslexic, and there are several queer characters.

An unflinching portrayal of the devastating effects of domestic violence. (Fiction. 16-adult)

Pub Date: Dec. 3, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5344-4281-8

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Simon Pulse/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Sept. 10, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2019

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