William Golding updated with humor.  (Adventure. 12-17)

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SHARKS & BOYS

Thoughtless teen behavior leads four sets of twins on a deadly adventure in a horribly realistic but often very funny survival tale.

These eight teens have been part of a research study and know each other all too well. Enid, the only girl (she is a fraternal twin), is on a break from dating Wick, whose brother conspired to diss her in a zine co-authored by Burr and Skate, twins whose parents have just died in an accident. Narrator Enid isn’t funny on purpose, but her angst and stalker behavior are hilarious, as she abandons her responsibilities and drives five hours to eavesdrop on the guys, who are partying. The boys head to the Gretchen, a boat owned by Burr and Skate, for a slightly tipsy outing on the high seas, and Enid follows, sure that Gretchen is female and possibly a stripper. She ends up hiding on board in the head. When the boat goes down and they are left with only a plastic raft, the reality turns increasingly deadly as the often-fortunate coincidences of survival tales don’t help these kids out. As Enid names a few of the circling sharks, their increasingly dire situation reveals more about all eight twins, with twins Munny and Sov, who’ve seemed vulnerable, exhibiting unsuspected strength.

William Golding updated with humor.  (Adventure. 12-17)

Pub Date: June 28, 2011

ISBN: 978-1-4231-4354-3

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Hyperion

Review Posted Online: April 18, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2011

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Magic, tennis action, and family secrets are woven into an original coming-of-age tale.

LEGACY AND THE QUEEN

A 12-year-old girl living in a kingdom ruled by a mysterious queen dreams of attaining her sport’s highest prize.

Legacy Petrin lives and works in the financially strapped orphanage in the provinces run by her father and rises early every day to practice tennis with her old racket. After her best friend, Van, excitedly tells her about a scholarship competition for a spot at an esteemed academy and the opportunity to try out for the national championships, Legacy runs away to the city to compete. After winning, she learns there is still much she doesn’t know: The players are not just proficient in tennis, but also have magical skills that they use to their advantage. Legacy befriends Pippa, a knowledgeable girl from an elite tennis family, and acquires a builder, or coach, Javi. With Pippa and Javi at her side, Legacy makes her way through the competition, despite sabotage attempts, learning secrets about her own family along the way. Legacy is a strong character, and the secondary characters also have interesting backstories. The storyline is reminiscent of other dystopian stories, but centering tennis—with lively descriptions of matches that give a strong sense of the sport—is an unusual touch. Most characters are white, although Javi is brown-skinned, and some other characters of color are mentioned.

Magic, tennis action, and family secrets are woven into an original coming-of-age tale. (Fantasy. 9-12)

Pub Date: Sept. 3, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-949520-03-3

Page Count: 208

Publisher: Granity Studios

Review Posted Online: June 23, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2019

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An emotionally engaging closer that fumbles in its final moments.

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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