Fans will not lose interest.

CHASING BEFORE

From the Memory Chronicles series , Vol. 2

This second book in the Memory Chronicles series continues the story of a girl in the afterlife trying to fight evil angels as she desperately seeks her own stolen memories.

Felicia can’t remember how she died. She thought it was in a car accident with her heartthrob, Neil, but she soon learns that’s not accurate. Having ascended to Level Three, Felicia and Neil will have to choose professions to follow until they can ascend further. But Felicia is obsessed with retrieving the memories the evil Morati stole from her. They tempt her with more memories until she realizes that every time she succumbs, a terrorist attack occurs, actually killing other Level Three inhabitants. The arrival of her old ally Julian, a rogue Morati, complicates her romance with Neil, who grows increasingly standoffish. As events become ever more alarming, Felicia finds herself manipulated into once again betraying her best friend, Autumn, whom she has found again in Level Three. At last, an exciting final battle brings events to rest and sets up the next book in the series. Appelhans maintains tension even as Felicia struggles with her romance but provides little recap of the previous book. She also gives readers a nice balance of characters, with distinct, varied individuals who offer some nuance, although one character radically changes attitudes toward Felicia several times with no warning.

Fans will not lose interest. (Paranormal suspense. 12-18)

Pub Date: Aug. 26, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4424-4188-0

Page Count: 368

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: June 10, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2014

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

IF HE HAD BEEN WITH ME

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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A treat for mystery readers who enjoy being kept in suspense.

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A GOOD GIRL'S GUIDE TO MURDER

From the Good Girl's Guide to Murder series , Vol. 1

Everyone believes that Salil Singh killed his girlfriend, Andrea Bell, five years ago—except Pippa Fitz-Amobi.

Pip has known and liked Sal since childhood; he’d supported her when she was being bullied in middle school. For her senior capstone project, Pip researches the disappearance of former Fairview High student Andie, last seen on April 18, 2014, by her younger sister, Becca. The original investigation concluded with most of the evidence pointing to Sal, who was found dead in the woods, apparently by suicide. Andie’s body was never recovered, and Sal was assumed by most to be guilty of abduction and murder. Unable to ignore the gaps in the case, Pip sets out to prove Sal’s innocence, beginning with interviewing his younger brother, Ravi. With his help, Pip digs deeper, unveiling unsavory facts about Andie and the real reason Sal’s friends couldn’t provide him with an alibi. But someone is watching, and Pip may be in more danger than she realizes. Pip’s sleuthing is both impressive and accessible. Online articles about the case and interview transcripts are provided throughout, and Pip’s capstone logs offer insights into her thought processes as new evidence and suspects arise. Jackson’s debut is well-executed and surprises readers with a connective web of interesting characters and motives. Pip and Andie are white, and Sal is of Indian descent.

A treat for mystery readers who enjoy being kept in suspense. (Mystery. 14-18)

Pub Date: Feb. 4, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9848-9636-0

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2019

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