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

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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An unflinching portrayal of the devastating effects of domestic violence.

WATCH OVER ME

After a horrific domestic violence incident, Zoey Ward and her family finally find their footing in Las Vegas only to have their lives overturned by a house fire.

Learning that her father has been recently released from prison, Zoey suspects he had something to do with the blaze. After their lives go up in flames, literally, Zoey along with her mom and her younger siblings, Kate and Cole, flee Las Vegas with the help of her older brother, Will, and his best friend, Tristan. They take refuge in California, where Tristan and his sister welcome them into a world where things seem hopeful and more stable than anything they have ever known. Yet the fear of being hunted down by her father consumes Zoey. The story is narrated from Zoey’s and Tristan’s first-person perspectives, and Gray (Run Away With Me, 2017, etc.) has masterfully captured the uncertainty and terror that come from domestic violence. Tristan and Zoey share a budding romance in which Zoey slowly but surely learns to love and be loved in a nondestructive, healthy way despite her fears and reservations. With everything she has been through, Zoey is the underdog readers will find themselves rooting for. Gray spares no detail in this intense tale. All characters are assumed to be white; Tristan is dyslexic, and there are several queer characters.

An unflinching portrayal of the devastating effects of domestic violence. (Fiction. 16-adult)

Pub Date: Dec. 3, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5344-4281-8

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Simon Pulse/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Sept. 10, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2019

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A compulsively readable YA novel that seems like an adult romance, which may appeal to older teenagers looking for something...

Paper Princess

From the The Royals series , Vol. 1

An orphan enters a world of privilege and decadence after she’s taken in by a wealthy family in this debut YA romance.

Seventeen-year-old Ella Harper is determined to overcome a difficult childhood. Raised by a single mother, she’s never met her father; however, she has a few clues as to his identity: his name is Steve, and her mother met him while he was in the U.S. Navy. After her mother’s death, Ella moves to a small town in Tennessee, enrolls in school, and takes a job as a stripper. One day, a man named Callum Royal comes to her school and tells her that Steve died and he’s her new guardian. They served together in the Navy, he says, before they built a successful aviation company. He’s helping to settle Steve’s estate and support the daughter whom Steve never located. Wary of his motives but hoping to learn more about her father, Ella accompanies Callum to his estate, where she meets his five sons, Gideon, Reed, Easton, and twins Sawyer and Sebastian. Their mother died under questionable circumstances, and they have a strained relationship with Callum. They’re also openly hostile toward Ella, particularly Reed. Ella soon discovers dark undercurrents in the family while also discovering her attraction to the sullen Reed. They fall in love, but secrets from the past soon threaten their relationship. Watt’s novel moves along at a brisk, enjoyable pace, and it’s built on an intriguing premise with well-developed characters. She doesn’t overplay her hand by revealing too much too soon; instead, small details, such as a mysterious bruise on Reed’s face, lead to shocking revelations later in the story. Ella is a dynamic, sympathetic protagonist who appreciates Callum’s generosity while trying to remain grounded. Although her relationship with Reed begins on an antagonistic note, it gradually evolves into one that crackles with passion. However, some of their scenes together are more erotic than many written for adult novels, so they might be more appropriate for an older YA or adult audience.

A compulsively readable YA novel that seems like an adult romance, which may appeal to older teenagers looking for something in the vein of Gossip Girl.

Pub Date: April 4, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-68230-456-3

Page Count: 370

Publisher: EverAfter Platinum

Review Posted Online: April 21, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2016

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