Committed fans will find the story only just intriguing enough to continue.


From the Internment Chronicles series , Vol. 2

This sequel to the innovative Perfect Ruin (2013) brings the series down to the ground, literally.

The Internment Chronicles continue as Morgan, her brother and his wife, her betrothed, Basil, and her best friend, Pen, have escaped Internment, their city in the sky, and descended to Earth. There, they find a whole new world, but it might not be to their liking. With the group is Celeste, the princess of Internment, who has her own agenda. The group explores their new world, where Morgan doesn’t like the food and isn’t impressed with the different technology. The world on the ground seems to resemble 1920s America, with speak-easies, silent movies and cloche hats. But Morgan learns that kings rule here, too, and that wars dominate the lives of the people. People ran in fear from a small fire on Internment, but here, bombs fall, killing innocent citizens. Worse, Morgan learns that the cause of the war is a dispute over two islands that contain phosane, a powerful substance common on Internment. Her phosane betrothal ring alone can power a jet that might travel to Internment. DeStefano turns her attention from worldbuilding to characters and relationships in this book. The shift in focus combines with an overall slower pace to create a dragging middle volume.

Committed fans will find the story only just intriguing enough to continue. (Dystopian adventure. 12-18)

Pub Date: March 10, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-4424-8064-3

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Dec. 10, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2015

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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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Exactly what the title promises.


A grieving teen’s devotion to romance films might ruin her chances at actual romance.

Liz Buxbaum has always adored rom-coms, not least for helping her still feel close to her screenwriter mother, who died when she was little. Liz hopes that her senior year might turn into a real-life romantic fantasy, as an old crush has moved back to town, cuter and nicer than ever. Surely she can get Michael to ask her to prom. If only Wes, the annoying boy next door, would help her with her scheming! This charming, fluffy concoction manages to pack into one goofy plot every conceivable trope, from fake dating to the makeover to the big misunderstanding. Creative, quirky, daydreaming Liz is just shy of an annoying stereotype, saved by a dry wit and unresolved grief and anger. Wes makes for a delightful bad boy with a good heart, and supporting characters—including a sassy best friend, a perfect popular rival, even a (not really) evil stepmother—all get the opportunity to transcend their roles. The only villain here is Liz’s lovelorn imagination, provoking her into foolish lies that cause actual hurt feelings; but she is sufficiently self-aware to make amends just in time for the most important trope of all: a blissfully happy ending. All characters seem to be White by default.

Exactly what the title promises. (Romance. 12-18)

Pub Date: May 4, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-5344-6762-0

Page Count: 368

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Feb. 23, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2021

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