Marquardt once again writes a touching and authentic exploration of immigration, love, and loss.

FLIGHT SEASON

A grieving hospital intern and an ambitious young nurse’s aide bond over their shared friendship with a dying teen patient.

After barely passing most of her first-year pre-med classes at Yale, Vivi Flannigan must successfully complete a summer internship in a Central Florida hospital’s heart ICU. TJ Carvalho works as a nurse’s aide on his way to becoming an RN. When their paths cross, Brazilian-American TJ (who’s dark-skinned and multiracial) recognizes white Vivi as the “pretty-faced hot mess” who got drunkenly out of control at his family’s churrascaria the previous Thanksgiving break. Vivi, meanwhile, would rather forget that “terrible night,” because her beloved father died soon after. TJ and Vivi attempt to avoid each other, but observant Ángel Solis, the 18-year-old heart-infection patient who doesn’t respond to English or Spanish (he’s indigenous Guatemalan), senses their attraction and brings them together. Told in alternating points of view among the three characters, the poignant story shows how young adults can connect deeply despite differences in privilege, race, and citizenship status. Each of Vivi’s chapters begins with excerpts and sketches from her bird journal—with the birds (and their calls) acting as a chorus to her story arc. Vivi and TJ’s slow-burn romance is electric, and Ángel’s humorous and heartbreaking perspective elevates him far above the stereotype of problematic sick characters without agency.

Marquardt once again writes a touching and authentic exploration of immigration, love, and loss. (Fiction. 14-17)

Pub Date: Feb. 20, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-250-10701-5

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Wednesday Books

Review Posted Online: Nov. 22, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2017

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Bloody? Yes. Scary? No.

THERE'S SOMEONE INSIDE YOUR HOUSE

Someone is murdering high school students. Most freeze in fear, but a brave few try to stop the killings.

Senior Makani Young has been living in corn-obsessed Nebraska for just a little over a year. She has developed a crush and made some friends, but a dark secret keeps her from truly opening up to those around her. As the only half–African-American and half–Native Hawaiian student in her school, she already stands out, but as the killing spree continues, the press descends, and rumors fly, Makani is increasingly nervous that her past will be exposed. However, the charming and incredibly shy Ollie, a white boy with hot-pink hair, a lip ring, and wanderlust, provides an excellent distraction from the horror and fear. Graphic violence and bloody mayhem saturate this high-speed slasher story. And while Makani’s secret and the killer’s hidden identity might keep the pages turning, this is less a psychological thriller and more a study in gore. The intimacy and precision of the killer’s machinations hint at some grand psychological reveal, but lacking even basic jump-scares, this tale is high in yuck and low in fright. The tendency of the characters toward preachy inner monologues feels false.

Bloody? Yes. Scary? No. (Horror. 14-16)

Pub Date: Sept. 26, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-525-42601-1

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Dutton

Review Posted Online: July 17, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2017

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An emotionally engaging closer that fumbles in its final moments.

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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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