A miss.

READ REVIEW

PARALLEL

Parallel worlds collide to life-altering effect in this soft–sci-fi novel.

One minute Abigail Barnes is shooting a movie in Los Angeles opposite “Cosmo’s Sexiest Guy Alive,” and the next, she’s waking up in a Yale dorm room with a roommate and life she doesn’t recognize. Thankfully, Caitlin, Abby’s science-genius best friend, is also a Yalie. Together they conclude that Abby’s strange, new reality is the result of an “interdimensional collision” of two parallel worlds. Sound confusing? That’s just the tip of the iceberg. Further complicating the situation, Abby (and readers) must come to terms with the fact that she is now permanently linked to another Abby who exists in a separate physical world. The choices that this parallel Abby makes directly affect the world in which this Abby exists. This gets especially tricky when it comes to matters of the heart. Desperate not to lose her newfound love, Abby must race against time and her parallel self in order to regain control of her destiny. While the premise of Miller’s debut novel for teens offers an interesting take on universal themes of love and fate, and the characters are likable enough, the science at the heart of the story is mind-numbing. Furthermore, the constant back and forth between parallel worlds will likely make it difficult for readers to ever truly feel invested in the novel’s romantic core.

A miss. (Science fiction. 14 & up)

Pub Date: May 14, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-06-219977-5

Page Count: 432

Publisher: HarperTeen

Review Posted Online: March 13, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2013

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Busy, busy, busy…with portents of doom.

CHAIN OF GOLD

From the Last Hours series , Vol. 1

Clare’s (Ghosts of the Shadow Market, 2019, etc.) latest is set in the Shadowhunter world in the 20th century’s first decade (with frequent flashbacks to the previous one).

Teenage offspring of the Herondales, Carstairs, Fairchilds, and other angel-descended Nephilim continue their families’ demon-fighting ways amid a round of elegant London balls, soirees, salons, picnics, and romantic intrigues. James Herondale, 17-year-old son of Will and Tessa, finds himself and his “perfectly lethal dimple” hung up between two stunning new arrivals: Cordelia Carstairs, red-haired Persian/British wielder of a fabled magic sword, and Grace Blackthorn, an emotionally damaged but (literally, as the author unsubtly telegraphs) spellbinding friend from childhood. Meanwhile, a sudden outbreak of demonic attacks that leave more and more Shadowhunters felled by a mysterious slow poison plunges James and a cohort of allies into frantic searches for both a cause and an antidote. Ichor-splashed encounters with ravening boojums and even one of hell’s own princes ensue—all leading to final hints of a devastating scheme to destroy the Nephilim in which James himself is slated to play a central role. Characters have a range of skin tones, but ethnic diversity adds no texture to the portrayals; there is a lesbian cousin who wears traditionally male clothing and two young gay men (one tortured, the other less so).

Busy, busy, busy…with portents of doom. (Fantasy. 14-18)

Pub Date: March 3, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4814-3187-3

Page Count: 624

Publisher: McElderry

Review Posted Online: Jan. 23, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2020

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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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