From the American Royals series , Vol. 2

America’s new queen has a royal wedding to plan in the follow-up to 2019’s American Royals.

Imagine that George Washington was crowned America’s first king instead of president, and you’ve got the intriguing premise of McGee’s addictive series. In the wake of the sudden death of King George IV, his oldest daughter and heir to the throne, Beatrice, must put her grief aside and throw herself into her new responsibilities as queen. But first, she must get married. Even in a contemporary America, the very idea of a single woman taking the throne is controversial. She’s engaged to the perfectly nice son of the Duke of Boston, Theodore “Teddy” Eaton, but her heart lies with a commoner, and Beatrice is torn between love and duty. Meanwhile, her younger, hard-partying sister, Samantha, is consumed by her own romantic foibles, as is her best (and nonroyal) friend, Nina, who briefly dated Samantha’s twin brother, Jefferson. Then there’s relentless social climber Daphne, Jeff’s ex, who plans to win him back at any cost—along with the status that comes with him. McGee skillfully juggles each woman’s narrative, framing their struggles with plenty of pomp and circumstance and the challenges of living very public lives. Add in a dramatic finale that packs in all the feels, and you’ve got a royal winner. Most characters are white, but Nina is Latinx, and there is diversity in the supporting cast.

An immensely fun sequel. (Fiction. 14-19)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-984830-21-0

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: June 15, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2020

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There’s not much plot here, but readers will relish the opportunity to climb inside Autumn’s head.


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

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

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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

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