Teen romance with, as Dr. Who (one of those pop-culture referents) might say, some “timey-wimey stuff” makes for good fun

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INFINITYGLASS

From the Hourglass series , Vol. 3

Teens race to save time and space in this fast-paced third book.

Dune Ta’ala accepts a job in New Orleans guarding the sullen, sheltered and superpowered 17-year-old Hallie Girard. Used to working with the Hourglass Institute, Dune finds himself among time-traveling thieves led by Hallie’s father, Paul Girard, the true head of Chronos and an intimidating magic Mafia boss. Dune goes to study the Infinityglass—capable of transferring powers and fixing time rips and newly discovered to be a person rather than an object—but stays for the unpredictable but always entertaining Hallie. A chameleon, Hallie has found freedom in dancing, barhopping and occasional burglaries on her father’s behalf, but now she discovers that she is not who or what she thought she was. Initially combative, Hallie grows to rely on Dune as the time rips grow stronger, her powers change, and the melodramatically villainous former head of Chronos, Teague, and the psychopathic memory-meddler, Jack Landers, come to town. Mysterious Poe and the Hourglass teens also make an appearance, and previous books are neatly recapped. McEntire (Timepiece, 2012) saves the romantic scenes from cliché and wryly acknowledges all possible pop-culture inspirations in an enjoyable, fast read.

Teen romance with, as Dr. Who (one of those pop-culture referents) might say, some “timey-wimey stuff” makes for good fun . (Science fiction. 14 & up)

Pub Date: Aug. 6, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-60684-441-0

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Egmont USA

Review Posted Online: June 26, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2013

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An emotionally engaging closer that fumbles in its final moments.

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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Second installments in trilogies sometimes slump—here’s hoping the third book is a return to the vibrancy of the...

CHILDREN OF VIRTUE AND VENGEANCE

From the Legacy of Orisha series , Vol. 2

In this follow-up to Children of Blood and Bone (2018), Zélie and company are back, and the future of Orïsha hangs in the balance.

Zélie, now a maji Reaper, has achieved her goal and brought magic back to Orïsha, but at great cost. Grief and loss are strong themes throughout the book, compounded by guilt for Zélie, who feels responsible for her father’s death. Zélie and her older brother, Tzain, try to help Princess Amari ascend the throne, believing her family dead—but Queen Nehanda, Amari’s mother, is very much alive and more formidable than they could imagine. The trio join the Iyika, a band of rebel maji working to protect their persecuted people from threats new and old. Though the characters’ trauma reads as real and understandable, their decisions don’t always feel sensible or logical, often stemming from a lack of communication or forethought, which may leave readers frustrated. Though still commendable for its detailed worldbuilding, with an ending compelling enough to keep fans interested in the next installment, much of the book feels like navigating minefields of characters’ ill-advised decisions. All characters are black except for a secondary character with silky black hair, tan skin, and gray eyes “like teardrops.”

Second installments in trilogies sometimes slump—here’s hoping the third book is a return to the vibrancy of the first. (Fantasy. 14-18)

Pub Date: Dec. 3, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-250-17099-6

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: Nov. 24, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2019

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