Morgan, a likable, troubled protagonist, hits all the requisite issue-book beats with a believable and sympathetic journey...

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THE GIRL YOU THOUGHT I WAS

A 17-year-old girl knows she shouldn’t shoplift, but it’s the only way she can cope with the rage.

Morgan, a petite redhead, has been furious since her mother left. She loves her dad, but sometimes the anger gets the better of her. That’s when she steals: a lip gloss, a bikini, jewelry. Morgan’s luck finally runs out when a security guard sees her slip a pair of $185 sunglasses into her purse. Morgan, always one of the good kids, is now an offender, with required community service. For the rest of the summer, Morgan will spend her Saturday mornings at Rita’s Reruns, a nonprofit thrift shop. Luckily, Rita is lovely and supportive, if eccentric. And maybe it’s a small perk of the job that Rita’s nephew, Eli, is smoking hot. Blond, tanned, and fit, Eli’s recovering from a disabling hockey injury, and he’s super into Morgan. However, Morgan’s not willing to let Eli find out about her shoplifting; can she juggle a new relationship, her recovery, and a whole slew of lies? When the inevitable catastrophe comes, at least she’s prepared for it. The book follows a white default; main characters are white, and there is some diversity in secondary characters.

Morgan, a likable, troubled protagonist, hits all the requisite issue-book beats with a believable and sympathetic journey from self-loathing and crime toward healing . (Fiction. 13-15)

Pub Date: July 31, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-06-257094-9

Page Count: 368

Publisher: HarperTeen

Review Posted Online: May 15, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2018

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An approachable, earnest, feel-good romance between a white Jewish girl and a Chinese-Canadian immigrant boy provides the...

THE MOST DANGEROUS THING

An eleventh-grade girl wants to start a relationship but is stymied by depression and anxiety.

Syd knows her depression isn’t really out of control, like some people’s. She can usually manage the crushing fog that weighs her down: tricking herself into getting out of bed by playing the phone game; biking around Vancouver, British Columbia, until she’s exhausted; investing online with her cantankerous grandfather; eating just enough to get by. It works well enough until her lab partner, Paul, starts texting and flirting. Syd would respond in kind if she could, but she’s afraid to make eye contact or have conversations with new people—how could she possibly start a relationship? Fading into the background would be ideal, but her gregarious family has other plans. Her mother, revitalizing the family Passover celebration, ropes Syd into embarrassing Jewish singalongs. Worse, Syd’s vivacious sister wants to perform The Vagina Monologues for the school drama festival, and she’s written her own monologue—one that uses “the c-word”! The oozing darkness that dominates Syd’s thoughts is authentically represented in her present-tense narration and appropriately addressed with professional mental health treatment. Frustratingly, however, Syd’s nervousness about romantic and sexual intimacy is pathologized as a curable symptom of her mental illness.

An approachable, earnest, feel-good romance between a white Jewish girl and a Chinese-Canadian immigrant boy provides the flavor for a tale of recovery and empowerment . (Fiction. 13-15)

Pub Date: March 7, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4598-1184-3

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Orca

Review Posted Online: Jan. 17, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2017

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Even those who loved the first book might find too little logic in this conclusion

THE PACK

A group of shape-shifting runaways from the circus, on the run from genocidal hunters, tries to find a home.

Flo, her boyfriend, Jett, and the other shifters just want to find a strong pack to join. The teenagers (all either white or with no identified race) can all shift into an animal form: bears or tigers, parrots or rats, elephants or horses. The frightened escapees, who’ve lost many of their loved ones to hunters, have been seeking some safe place in the woods. The members of this huge cast (with too many names and animal forms to keep track of) have a wide array of agendas. Should they join the wild pack? The wolf pack? Should they even stay together? After brief dramas, many of these newly introduced characters vanish, never to be heard from again. Finally, Flo and the shifters are captured by hunters, who are in league with the lion who used to run their circus, who’d been betraying them for years and who now seeks to strike a bargain. Further dramatic revelations and betrayals await, of course. There’s no attempt to summarize the events of The Wanderers (2015), and with so many characters, side quests, and double crosses, it’s often difficult to keep track.

Even those who loved the first book might find too little logic in this conclusion . (Fantasy. 13-15)

Pub Date: Oct. 3, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-5107-1218-8

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Sky Pony Press

Review Posted Online: Aug. 27, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2017

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