Asking tough questions and demonstrating the beauty of the voices on the fringe, Nye once again deftly charts the world...

VOICES IN THE AIR

POEMS FOR LISTENERS

A rich collection of poems celebrating diverse lives.

Poet and National Book Award finalist Nye (19 Varieties of Gazelle: Poems of the Middle East, 2005, etc.) here showcases a variety of largely contemporary vantage points. In the prose introduction to this collection of over 90 free-verse poems, Nye invites teen readers to take a break from the lure of digital devices, asking, “With so much vying for our attention, how do we listen better?” and gently reminding all that “quiet inspiration may be as necessary as food, water, and shelter.” Inspiration for Nye here often comes from the crossing of cultures and results from the consummate attention she pays to the slightest of natural phenomena (“never say no to peonies”) alongside such grave societal ills as the displacement or disenfranchisement of whole peoples, whether happening in Gaza, Baghdad, or Ferguson. Using thoughts from a number of famous literary and historical figures as springboards, Nye presents political issues with ease, seeking always to “translate us / all into a better world,” as when she movingly describes the plight of the refugee in “Arabs in Finland”: “What they left to be here, / in the cold country, / where winter lasts forever, / haunts them in the dark.”

Asking tough questions and demonstrating the beauty of the voices on the fringe, Nye once again deftly charts the world through verse: not to be missed. (biographical notes) (Poetry. 13-17)

Pub Date: Feb. 13, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-06-269184-2

Page Count: 208

Publisher: Greenwillow Books

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2017

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A satisfying if slightly lesser sequel. (Romance. 13-17)

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  • Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature Winner

P.S. I STILL LOVE YOU

From the To All the Boys I've Loved Before series , Vol. 2

Lara Jean's romantic entanglements complicate themselves further.

In the wake of the events detailed in To All the Boys I Loved Before (2014), Lara Jean confesses her love for handsome golden boy Peter. This frees the pair to start a romantic relationship with a clean slate, but over the course of the novel it becomes clear that embarking on a relationship that turns an aggressive blind eye to baggage is never a good idea. When a viral video of a steamy love session between Peter and Lara Jean rears its ugly head and a boy from the past enters Lara Jean's life once more, Lara Jean's life gets complicated. Every character from Han’s adored previous novel is back, with new dimensions given to nearly every one of them. Subplots abound, among them two involving Lara Jean's father and Peter's ex-gal Genevieve, but benefitting most from this second look is John Ambrose McClaren, a boy briefly referenced in the former book who is thrust into the spotlight here as Peter's rival for Lara Jean's heart. With all these characters bouncing around, Han occasionally struggles to keep a steady hand on the novel's primary thrust: Lara Jean’s emotional development. Han gets the job done in the end, but this overeventful sequel pales to the original where structure is concerned. The author's greatest success remains her character work, and the book does indeed give everyone a solid arc, narrative be damned.

A satisfying if slightly lesser sequel. (Romance. 13-17)

Pub Date: May 26, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-4424-2673-3

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: July 4, 2015

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Several yards short of a touchdown.

STAY GOLD

A transgender boy starting over at a new school falls hard for a popular cheerleader with a reputation to protect in this debut.

On the first day of senior year, transgender boy Pony locks eyes with cisgender cheerleader Georgia. They both have pasts they want to leave behind. No one at Hillcrest High knows that Pony is transgender, and he intends to keep it that way. Georgia’s last boyfriend shook her trust in boys, and now she’s determined to forget him. As mutual attraction draws them together, Pony and Georgia must decide what they are willing to risk for a relationship. Pony’s best friend, Max, who is also transgender, disapproves of Pony’s choice to live stealth; this disagreement leads to serious conflict in their relationship. Meanwhile, Georgia and Pony behave as if Pony’s trans identity was a secret he was lying to her about rather than private information for him to share of his own volition. The characters only arrive at a hopeful resolution after Pony pays high physical and emotional prices. McSmith places repeated emphasis on the born-in-the-wrong-body narrative when the characters discuss trans identities. Whiteness is situated as the norm, and all main characters are white.

Several yards short of a touchdown. (Fiction. 14-17)

Pub Date: May 26, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-06-294317-0

Page Count: 368

Publisher: HarperTeen

Review Posted Online: Feb. 9, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2020

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