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

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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Despite the stale fat-to-curvy pattern, compelling world building with a Southern European, pseudo-Christian feel,...

THE GIRL OF FIRE AND THORNS

From the Girl of Fire and Thorns series , Vol. 1

Adventure drags our heroine all over the map of fantasyland while giving her the opportunity to use her smarts.

Elisa—Princess Lucero-Elisa de Riqueza of Orovalle—has been chosen for Service since the day she was born, when a beam of holy light put a Godstone in her navel. She's a devout reader of holy books and is well-versed in the military strategy text Belleza Guerra, but she has been kept in ignorance of world affairs. With no warning, this fat, self-loathing princess is married off to a distant king and is embroiled in political and spiritual intrigue. War is coming, and perhaps only Elisa's Godstone—and knowledge from the Belleza Guerra—can save them. Elisa uses her untried strategic knowledge to always-good effect. With a character so smart that she doesn't have much to learn, body size is stereotypically substituted for character development. Elisa’s "mountainous" body shrivels away when she spends a month on forced march eating rat, and thus she is a better person. Still, it's wonderfully refreshing to see a heroine using her brain to win a war rather than strapping on a sword and charging into battle.

Despite the stale fat-to-curvy pattern, compelling world building with a Southern European, pseudo-Christian feel, reminiscent of Naomi Kritzer's Fires of the Faithful (2002), keeps this entry fresh. (Fantasy. 12-14)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-06-202648-4

Page Count: 432

Publisher: Greenwillow Books

Review Posted Online: July 20, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2011

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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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