THREE KISSES, ONE MIDNIGHT

Three friends search for love on an auspicious Halloween night.

Legend says that every hundred years, magic awakens in the town of Moon Ridge, and this Halloween marks 400 years since the town’s founding. For Apollonia “Onny” Diamante, this is the perfect time to use her late grandmother Lola’s last gift: her notebook. It contains a recipe for a love potion that awakens the possibility of love. Onny hopes it’ll bring her together with her crush, Alexander Abernathy—if only she could stop getting sidetracked by her skeptic of a lab partner, Byron Frost. Meanwhile, her best friends, gifted with shares of Lola’s potion, are a little less sure of its magical efficacy. For shy Ash Lee, this night might spur him to make a bold move on his crush, Cassidy Rivera. Burned by an ex and a believer only in the concrete and rational, love is not on True Tandon’s agenda, but a meet-cute with uber-friendly Orion Parker, a paranormal phenomenon enthusiast, may test her (dis)beliefs. The authors imbue their characters with genuineness that makes the narration engaging and the romances a delight. The three intertwined stories, each following one member of the trio, play with beloved romantic tropes. By the end of the night, each protagonist has met their match and, more importantly, found confidence and a new outlook. Onny is Filipina American; Ash is cued as Chinese American, and True is biracial, with German and Indian heritage.

Charmingly fun. (Romance. 12-18)

Pub Date: Aug. 30, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-250-79723-0

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Wednesday Books

Review Posted Online: May 10, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2022

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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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Part cautionary tale, part juicy love story, this will appeal to action and adventure fans who aren't yet sick of the genre.

SHATTER ME

A dystopic thriller joins the crowded shelves but doesn't distinguish itself.

Juliette was torn from her home and thrown into an asylum by The Reestablishment, a militaristic regime in control since an environmental catastrophe left society in ruins. Juliette’s journal holds her tortured thoughts in an attempt to repress memories of the horrific act that landed her in a cell. Mysteriously, Juliette’s touch kills. After months of isolation, her captors suddenly give her a cellmate—Adam, a drop-dead gorgeous guy. Adam, it turns out, is immune to her deadly touch. Unfortunately, he’s a soldier under orders from Warner, a power-hungry 19-year-old. But Adam belongs to a resistance movement; he helps Juliette escape to their stronghold, where she finds that she’s not the only one with superhuman abilities. The ending falls flat as the plot devolves into comic-book territory. Fast-paced action scenes convey imminent danger vividly, but there’s little sense of a broader world here. Overreliance on metaphor to express Juliette’s jaw-dropping surprise wears thin: “My mouth is sitting on my kneecaps. My eyebrows are dangling from the ceiling.” For all of her independence and superpowers, Juliette never moves beyond her role as a pawn in someone else’s schemes.

Part cautionary tale, part juicy love story, this will appeal to action and adventure fans who aren't yet sick of the genre. (Science fiction. 12 & up)

Pub Date: Nov. 15, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-06-208548-1

Page Count: 352

Publisher: HarperTeen

Review Posted Online: April 5, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2011

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