Savvy writing begets effervescent characters in this futuristic saga, with a gratifying conclusion in every respect.

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SEIZE TODAY

From the Forget Tomorrow series

In this final chapter of a YA sci-fi trilogy, a precognitive teen fights to prevent a genocide—at her mother’s hands—and falls for a boy destined to be her murderer.

Olivia’s not a typical 17-year-old in futuristic North Amerie; that’s the age others see a glimpse of their future. But Olivia, daughter of Chairwoman Dresden, who heads the governing entity, Committee of Agencies, is precognitive. She’s spent a decade in an isolated cabin, building mental walls to block the flood of millions of people’s futures. She can see the various paths individuals may take, including her mother’s potential execution of children receiving mediocre future memories. This is why Jessa Stone is the chairwoman’s personal assistant; she betrayed her family, part of the anti-ComA Underground, to get close to Dresden and stop her. When the Future Memory Agency captures Jessa’s childhood best friend, thoroughly muscled Ryder Russell, agents forcibly extract his future memory, in which he kills Olivia. Regardless, Olivia, aware of Jessa’s plan, is determined to help and aids in Ryder’s escape. Not surprisingly, he has trouble trusting her, as do his loved ones in the Underground. As the teens’ mutual affection grows, however, they ultimately face another threat—a virus that could destroy everyone in the world. As in the preceding books, Dunn’s (Remember Yesterday, 2016, etc.) genuinely romantic scenes are adorned in ardent prose: Olivia’s astonished that she has “such soft feelings for such a hard boy.” But Olivia, like earlier protagonists (including Jessa), is keen and resourceful. She’s especially appealing for overcoming her nickname, Shadow, known as the girl merely observing without taking action. The third entry addresses and expounds on numerous series questions, from insight into what the chairwoman’s been doing (scores of murders and torture) to the origin of Olivia’s ability. Reading the first two novels isn’t a necessity but does enhance the whole experience, particularly with so many returning characters and plot twists that link the entire trilogy.

Savvy writing begets effervescent characters in this futuristic saga, with a gratifying conclusion in every respect.

Pub Date: Oct. 3, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-63375-818-6

Page Count: 300

Publisher: Entangled Teen

Review Posted Online: Oct. 24, 2017

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A thrilling romance that could use more even pacing.

THE STARS WE STEAL

For the second time in her life, Leo must choose between her family and true love.

Nineteen-year-old Princess Leonie Kolburg’s royal family is bankrupt. In order to salvage the fortune they accrued before humans fled the frozen Earth 170 years ago, Leonie’s father is forcing her to participate in the Valg Season, an elaborate set of matchmaking events held to facilitate the marriages of rich and royal teens. Leo grudgingly joins in even though she has other ideas: She’s invented a water filtration system that, if patented, could provide a steady income—that is if Leo’s calculating Aunt Freja, the Captain of the ship hosting the festivities, stops blocking her at every turn. Just as Leo is about to give up hope, her long-lost love, Elliot, suddenly appears onboard three years after Leo’s family forced her to break off their engagement. Donne (Brightly Burning, 2018) returns to space, this time examining the fascinatingly twisted world of the rich and famous. Leo and her peers are nuanced, deeply felt, and diverse in terms of sexuality but not race, which may be a function of the realities of wealth and power. The plot is fast paced although somewhat uneven: Most of the action resolves in the last quarter of the book, which makes the resolutions to drawn-out conflicts feel rushed.

A thrilling romance that could use more even pacing. (Science fiction. 16-adult)

Pub Date: Feb. 4, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-328-94894-6

Page Count: 400

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: Nov. 10, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2019

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A familiar but heartfelt romance for easygoing readers.

ADORKABLE

In O’Gorman’s YA debut, two best friends try to fool people into thinking that they’re in love—and then discover a new facet of their relationship.

Sally Spitz is a frizzy-haired 17-year-old girl with a charming zeal for three things: Harry Potter (she’s a Gryffindor), Star Wars, and getting into Duke University. During her senior year of high school, she goes on a slew of miserable dates, set up by her mother and her own second-best–friend–turned-matchmaker, Lillian Hooker. Sally refuses to admit to anyone that she’s actually head over Converses in love with her longtime best friend, a boy named Baldwin Eugene Charles Kent, aka “Becks.” After a particularly awkward date, Sally devises a plan to end Lillian’s matchmaking attempts; specifically, she plans to hire someone to act as her fake boyfriend, or “F.B.F.” But before Sally can put her plan into action, a rumor circulates that Sally and Becks are already dating. Becks agrees to act as Sally’s F.B.F. in exchange for a box of Goobers and Sally’s doing his calculus homework for a month. Later, as they hold hands in the hall and “practice” make-out sessions in Becks’ bedroom, their friendship heads into unfamiliar territory. Over the course of this novel, O’Gorman presents an inviting and enjoyable account of lifelong friendship transforming into young love. Though the author’s reliance on familiar tropes may be comforting to a casual reader, it may frustrate those who may be looking for a more substantial and less predictable plot. A number of ancillary characters lack very much complexity, and the story, overall, would have benefited from an added twist or two. Even so, however, this remains a largely engaging and often endearing debut. 

A familiar but heartfelt romance for easygoing readers.

Pub Date: Dec. 3, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-64063-759-7

Page Count: 340

Publisher: Entangled: Teen

Review Posted Online: Jan. 7, 2020

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