Lucy’s inimitably irrepressible manner makes her a fine guide through the shoals of early adolescence.

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PINK & GREEN IS THE NEW BLACK

From the Pink & Green series , Vol. 3

Change is looming for 13-year-old Lucy.

In this third entry in the series, the industrious entrepreneur turns her focus toward her personal life. Midway through eighth grade, Lucy feels driven to make her final months of middle school perfect. However, Lucy quickly discovers that the pursuit of perfection is more difficult than her entrepreneurial endeavors. While Lucy savors the successes of her eco-oriented initiatives, she experiences challenges in her personal life. The recent lack of attention from her boyfriend, Yamir, is puzzling, as is the sudden friendliness of her former nemesis, Erica. While Lucy and best friend Sunny agree to collaborate with Erica on the upcoming masked dance for eighth graders, Lucy continues to be skeptical about Erica’s intentions, wondering whether a person can really change. Also, as Yamir becomes increasingly distant, Lucy struggles to define her expectations for a boyfriend. The situation is further complicated when newcomer Travis expresses a keen interest in Lucy. Amid the ensuing confusion and heartfelt introspection, Lucy’s dating and friendship dilemmas escalate as the date of the masquerade approaches. Greenwald captures the agitation and uncertainty that come with venturing into dating and relationships. Lucy’s turmoil navigating friendships and boyfriends leads to a re-evaluation of her desire for perfection and an eventual acceptance of change—a satisfyingly realistic conclusion.

Lucy’s inimitably irrepressible manner makes her a fine guide through the shoals of early adolescence. (Fiction. 11-14)

Pub Date: Oct. 7, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4197-1225-8

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Amulet/Abrams

Review Posted Online: Aug. 12, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2014

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This is no didactic near-future warning of present evils, but a cinematic adventure featuring endearing, compelling heroes

LEGEND

From the Legend series , Vol. 1

A gripping thriller in dystopic future Los Angeles.

Fifteen-year-olds June and Day live completely different lives in the glorious Republic. June is rich and brilliant, the only candidate ever to get a perfect score in the Trials, and is destined for a glowing career in the military. She looks forward to the day when she can join up and fight the Republic’s treacherous enemies east of the Dakotas. Day, on the other hand, is an anonymous street rat, a slum child who failed his own Trial. He's also the Republic's most wanted criminal, prone to stealing from the rich and giving to the poor. When tragedies strike both their families, the two brilliant teens are thrown into direct opposition. In alternating first-person narratives, Day and June experience coming-of-age adventures in the midst of spying, theft and daredevil combat. Their voices are distinct and richly drawn, from Day’s self-deprecating affection for others to June's Holmesian attention to detail. All the flavor of a post-apocalyptic setting—plagues, class warfare, maniacal soldiers—escalates to greater complexity while leaving space for further worldbuilding in the sequel.

This is no didactic near-future warning of present evils, but a cinematic adventure featuring endearing, compelling heroes . (Science fiction. 12-14)

Pub Date: Nov. 29, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-399-25675-2

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: April 8, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2011

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Awful on a number of levels—but tidily over at last.

THE STARS BELOW

From the Vega Jane series , Vol. 4

The rebellion against an evil archmage and his bowler-topped minions wends its way to a climax.

Dispatching five baddies on the first two pages alone, wand-waving villain-exterminator Vega Jane gathers a motley army of fellow magicals, ghosts, and muggles—sorry, “Wugmorts”—for a final assault on Necro and his natty Maladons. As Necro repeatedly proves to be both smarter and more powerful than Vega Jane, things generally go badly for the rebels, who end up losing their hidden refuge, many of their best fighters, and even the final battle. Baldacci is plainly up on his ancient Greek theatrical conventions, however; just as all hope is lost, a divinity literally descends from the ceiling to referee a winner-take-all duel, and thanks to an earlier ritual that (she and readers learn) gives her a do-over if she’s killed (a second deus ex machina!), Vega Jane comes away with a win…not to mention an engagement ring to go with the magic one that makes her invisible and a new dog, just like the one that died heroically. Measuring up to the plot’s low bar, the narrative too reads like low-grade fanfic, being laden with references to past events, characters who only supposedly died, and such lines as “a spurt of blood shot out from my forehead,” “they started falling at a rapid number,” and “[h]is statement struck me on a number of levels.”

Awful on a number of levels—but tidily over at last. (glossary) (Fantasy. 11-13)

Pub Date: Feb. 26, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-338-26393-0

Page Count: 448

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: March 27, 2019

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