This frothy but not frivolous drama is wish fulfillment for any teen who wants to feel the thrill of celebrity and love.

FAMOUS IN LOVE

When she gets the lead role in a teen blockbuster, Paige discovers that stardom and romance go hand in hand…in hand.

Seventeen-year-old Paige is smart and well-read, and she’s always wanted to be an actress. So it’s a dream come true when she gets the starring role in a movie adaptation of the popular book series Locked. It’s everything she hoped for: She’s filming in Hawaii, and she’s got handlers, money and a dreamy co-star, Rainer. He proves to be sweet and funny as he helps her gain some acting chops. Then broodingly handsome Jordan, Rainer’s nemesis, shows up on the set to complete the film’s scripted love triangle. Before you can say take two, Paige finds herself in a real-life drama that mirrors the movie’s plot. Desired by two gorgeous young men, Paige must choose. With her life and loves splashed all over the covers of fan magazines, Paige struggles to remain grounded and authentic. It’s not until the movie premier, in the dazzle of the paparazzi’s flashing lights, that Paige chooses with a kiss. The hinted-at sequels will reveal how the love triangle changes shape. The first-person, present-tense narration highlights Paige’s internal conflict, with step-by-step descriptions of swoony kisses for romance-loving readers.

This frothy but not frivolous drama is wish fulfillment for any teen who wants to feel the thrill of celebrity and love. (Romance. 13-18)

Pub Date: Oct. 21, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-316-36632-8

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Poppy/Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: July 29, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2014

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There’s not much plot here, but readers will relish the opportunity to climb inside Autumn’s head.

IF HE HAD BEEN WITH ME

The finely drawn characters capture readers’ attention in this debut.

Autumn and Phineas, nicknamed Finny, were born a week apart; their mothers are still best friends. Growing up, Autumn and Finny were like peas in a pod despite their differences: Autumn is “quirky and odd,” while Finny is “sweet and shy and everyone like[s] him.” But in eighth grade, Autumn and Finny stop being friends due to an unexpected kiss. They drift apart and find new friends, but their friendship keeps asserting itself at parties, shared holiday gatherings and random encounters. In the summer after graduation, Autumn and Finny reconnect and are finally ready to be more than friends. But on August 8, everything changes, and Autumn has to rely on all her strength to move on. Autumn’s coming-of-age is sensitively chronicled, with a wide range of experiences and events shaping her character. Even secondary characters are well-rounded, with their own histories and motivations.

There’s not much plot here, but readers will relish the opportunity to climb inside Autumn’s head.   (Fiction. 14 & up)

Pub Date: April 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-4022-7782-5

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Review Posted Online: Feb. 13, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2013

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This grittily provocative debut explores the horrors of self-harm and the healing power of artistic expression.

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GIRL IN PIECES

After surviving a suicide attempt, a fragile teen isn't sure she can endure without cutting herself.

Seventeen-year-old Charlie Davis, a white girl living on the margins, thinks she has little reason to live: her father drowned himself; her bereft and abusive mother kicked her out; her best friend, Ellis, is nearly brain dead after cutting too deeply; and she's gone through unspeakable experiences living on the street. After spending time in treatment with other young women like her—who cut, burn, poke, and otherwise hurt themselves—Charlie is released and takes a bus from the Twin Cities to Tucson to be closer to Mikey, a boy she "like-likes" but who had pined for Ellis instead. But things don't go as planned in the Arizona desert, because sweet Mikey just wants to be friends. Feeling rejected, Charlie, an artist, is drawn into a destructive new relationship with her sexy older co-worker, a "semifamous" local musician who's obviously a junkie alcoholic. Through intense, diarylike chapters chronicling Charlie's journey, the author captures the brutal and heartbreaking way "girls who write their pain on their bodies" scar and mar themselves, either succumbing or surviving. Like most issue books, this is not an easy read, but it's poignant and transcendent as Charlie breaks more and more before piecing herself back together.

This grittily provocative debut explores the horrors of self-harm and the healing power of artistic expression. (author’s note) (Fiction. 14 & up)

Pub Date: Aug. 30, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-101-93471-5

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: May 4, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2016

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