Next book


A wild ride with plenty of heart.

Sixteen-year-old Jason Atwood shocked everyone at his Nevada high school by winning the science fair with his highly realistic holograms.

This upset is a precursor to a full-ride scholarship to MIT for Jason, an orphan in the foster care system who’s hardened by trauma and resistant to love. When a strange older man named Roy Calvert approaches him claiming to be his twin brother, Jason can’t believe Roy’s outrageous narrative. But as it turns out, Roy and Jason are remarkably similar. They both feel as if they belong to a universe in which we can learn a lot from the stars. They both understand loneliness and must learn to heal together, so a road trip with Roy is the perfect opportunity for Jason to bond with his brother. The book requires some suspension of disbelief, but it’s a page-turner: As Jason and Roy unravel the shocking mystery of their origins, long-lost letters and documents and a secret code help them piece together the truth. Schur intersperses snippets from the past into the main storyline, expanding on the backstory. Jason’s trauma responses are realistically and empathetically written. Despite a rushed series of events at the end and an explanation that feels like it comes out of nowhere, the book ultimately succeeds in combining science fiction elements with a heartfelt storyline. Major characters read white.

A wild ride with plenty of heart. (Science fiction. 13-18)

Pub Date: Aug. 13, 2024

ISBN: 9781958051573

Page Count: 242

Publisher: Snowy Wings Publishing

Review Posted Online: May 30, 2024

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2024

Next book


From the Powerless Trilogy series , Vol. 1

A lackluster and sometimes disturbing mishmash of overused tropes.

The Plague has left a population divided between Elites and Ordinaries—those who have powers and those who don’t; now, an Ordinary teen fights for her life.

Paedyn Gray witnessed the king kill her father five years ago, and she’s been thieving and sleeping rough ever since, all while faking Psychic abilities. When she inadvertently saves the life of Prince Kai, she becomes embroiled in the Purging Trials, a competition to commemorate the sickness that killed most of the kingdom’s Ordinaries. Kai’s duties as the future Enforcer include eradicating any remaining Ordinaries, and these Trials are his chance to prove that he’s internalized his brutal training. But Kai can’t help but find Pae’s blue eyes, silver hair, and unabashed attitude enchanting. She likewise struggles to resist his stormy gray eyes, dark hair, and rakish behavior, even as they’re pitted against each other in the Trials and by the king himself. Scenes and concepts that are strongly reminiscent of the Hunger Games fall flat: They aren’t bolstered by the original’s heart or worldbuilding logic that would have justified a few extreme story elements. Illogical leaps and inconsistent characterizations abound, with lighthearted romantic interludes juxtaposed against genocide, child abuse, and sadism. These elements, which are not sufficiently addressed, combined with the use of ableist language, cannot be erased by any amount of romantic banter. Main characters are cued white; the supporting cast has some brown-skinned characters.

A lackluster and sometimes disturbing mishmash of overused tropes. (map) (Fantasy. 14-18)

Pub Date: Nov. 7, 2023

ISBN: 9798987380406

Page Count: 538

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Sept. 9, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2023

Next book


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

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. 12, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2013

Close Quickview