A sweet, guaranteed feel-good read.


From the Insomniacs After School series , Vol. 1

Two insomniacs in Japan develop an unusual friendship.

Nakami’s high school’s now-defunct astronomy club is the subject of rumors involving unrequited love, tragic deaths, and subsequent hauntings, but Nakami doesn’t believe in ghosts. He just wants to find somewhere quiet to nap—he’s stuck in a cycle of insomnia that’s leaving him exhausted and bad-tempered. But since he isn’t scared of the supposedly haunted observatory, he’s pushed by his classmates to fetch some supplies from a storage cupboard located there. In the process, he discovers that it could actually be a very nice secret hideout if not for the fact that there’s somebody else there already. Magari is like him: an insomniac hellbent on not letting other people know that she can’t sleep. After she admits that she was the one who made up the ghost story to keep others out of her private napping place, they decide to split the space so they can both use it. Their unlikely friendship starts to develop when they meet outside of school to spend sleepless nights venturing around town. They become close as they share personal stories, bring in furniture to make the room more comfortable, and are even joined by a cat. With adorable illustrations, this slice-of-life story with a dash of romance following two teens brought together by secrets is a short and accessible treat.

A sweet, guaranteed feel-good read. (Manga. 13-18)

Pub Date: March 21, 2023

ISBN: 9781974736577

Page Count: 192

Publisher: VIZ Media

Review Posted Online: Feb. 24, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2023

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Necessary, important, honest, loving, and true.


A gut-wrenching look at how addiction affects a family and a town.

Emory Ward, 16, has long been invisible. Everyone in the town of Mill Haven knows her as the rich girl; her workaholic parents see her as their good child. Then Emory and her 17-year-old brother, Joey, are in a car accident in which a girl dies. Joey wasn’t driving, but he had nearly overdosed on heroin. When Joey returns from rehab, his parents make Emory his keeper and try to corral his addictions with a punitive list of rules. Emory rebels in secret, stealing small items and hooking up with hot neighbor Gage, but her drama class and the friends she gradually begins to be honest with help her reach her own truth. Glasgow, who has personal experience with substance abuse, bases this story on the classic play Our Town but with a twist: The characters learn to see and reach out to each other. The cast members, especially Emory and Joey, are exceptionally well drawn in both their struggles and their joys. Joey’s addiction is horrifying and dark, but it doesn’t define who he is. The portrayal of small-town life and its interconnectedness also rings true. Emory’s family is White; there is racial diversity in the supporting cast, and an important adult mentor is gay. Glasgow mentions in her author’s note that over 20 million Americans struggle with substance abuse; she includes resources for teens seeking help.

Necessary, important, honest, loving, and true. (Fiction. 14-18)

Pub Date: Sept. 28, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-525-70804-9

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: June 28, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2021

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Sweet, honest, and filled with personality.


Many begin college with hopes of personal reinvention, and Alex Blackwood and Molly Parker are no exception.

Apparently opposite in every way, both girls nevertheless arrive for their freshman year at the University of Pittsburgh with the same goal in mind: to fundamentally change the way others perceive them and get their dream girls. Easy-peasy. Molly, whose mom is a transracial adoptee from Korea and whose father is assumed White, was socially anxious in high school. She worries that her close friendship with her mother holds her back. Willowy, blond Alex, who is implied White, has never once found herself at a loss in a social situation, and yet her fairy-tale story of adolescent beauty and wit is tempered by having a single mom whose struggles with alcohol abuse meant shouldering responsibilities far beyond her years. Utilizing tried and true tropes, married couple Lippincott and Derrick cut right to the heart of the matter when it comes to the mysteries of romance. Queerness itself is never the motivator of the drama, and gratifyingly, both girls find in one another the means to explore and unpack complexities of life unrelated to their sexualities. Nothing is made simplistic—not Alex’s relationship to self-expression and conventional beauty standards, nor Molly’s experiences of culture and community in a world that has expectations of her based on her racial identity.

Sweet, honest, and filled with personality. (Romance. 14-18)

Pub Date: April 5, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-5344-9379-7

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Jan. 10, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2022

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