This fresh incarnation of the great American road trip novel is bursting with big ideas, enigmas, poetry, and flashes of...

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A LITE TOO BRIGHT

A boy with a muddled past embarks on a cross-country journey to uncover the mystery behind the last week of his famous grandfather’s life.

Arthur Louis Pullman the Third is the grandson of Arthur Louis Pullman, a Beat-generation writer renowned for producing a singular work of literary genius before withdrawing from the outside world and losing himself in a fog of dementia. Five years earlier, Pullman mysteriously disappeared from his son’s cabin in California only to wind up dead a week later in Ohio, his whereabouts during the intervening period unknown. Reeling from his own present-day trauma, grandson Arthur discovers a clue to his grandfather’s travels and sets off by train to follow it, hoping to learn more about his famous forebear’s life and death. Jumping from clue to clue and train to train across the country, Arthur stumbles upon extraordinary discoveries, from long-lost family members to secret societies, and, ultimately, the truth not only about his grandfather, but himself as well. He is helped along the way by an enigmatic British-Indian girl named Mara who has motives of her own and strains against being pigeonholed as a Manic Pixie Dream Girl. The Pullman family is white.

This fresh incarnation of the great American road trip novel is bursting with big ideas, enigmas, poetry, and flashes of humor. (author’s note) (Fiction. 14-adult)

Pub Date: May 8, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-06-266200-2

Page Count: 480

Publisher: Katherine Tegen/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Feb. 20, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2018

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This story is necessary. This story is important.

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THE HATE U GIVE

Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter is a black girl and an expert at navigating the two worlds she exists in: one at Garden Heights, her black neighborhood, and the other at Williamson Prep, her suburban, mostly white high school.

Walking the line between the two becomes immensely harder when Starr is present at the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend, Khalil, by a white police officer. Khalil was unarmed. Khalil’s death becomes national news, where he’s called a thug and possible drug dealer and gangbanger. His death becomes justified in the eyes of many, including one of Starr’s best friends at school. The police’s lackadaisical attitude sparks anger and then protests in the community, turning it into a war zone. Questions remain about what happened in the moments leading to Khalil’s death, and the only witness is Starr, who must now decide what to say or do, if anything. Thomas cuts to the heart of the matter for Starr and for so many like her, laying bare the systemic racism that undergirds her world, and she does so honestly and inescapably, balancing heartbreak and humor. With smooth but powerful prose delivered in Starr’s natural, emphatic voice, finely nuanced characters, and intricate and realistic relationship dynamics, this novel will have readers rooting for Starr and opening their hearts to her friends and family.

This story is necessary. This story is important. (Fiction. 14-adult)

Pub Date: Feb. 28, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-06-249853-3

Page Count: 464

Publisher: Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Dec. 6, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2016

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An emotionally engaging closer that fumbles in its final moments.

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ALWAYS AND FOREVER, LARA JEAN

From the To All the Boys I've Loved Before series , Vol. 3

Lara Jean prepares for college and a wedding.

Korean-American Lara Jean is finally settled into a nice, complication-free relationship with her white boyfriend, Peter. But things don’t stay simple for long. When college acceptance letters roll in, Peter and Lara Jean discover they’re heading in different directions. As the two discuss the long-distance thing, Lara Jean’s widower father is making a major commitment: marrying the neighbor lady he’s been dating. The whirlwind of a wedding, college visits, prom, and the last few months of senior year provides an excellent backdrop for this final book about Lara Jean. The characters ping from event to event with emotions always at the forefront. Han further develops her cast, pushing them to new maturity and leaving few stones unturned. There’s only one problem here, and it’s what’s always held this series back from true greatness: Peter. Despite Han’s best efforts to flesh out Peter with abandonment issues and a crummy dad, he remains little more than a handsome jock. Frankly, Lara Jean and Peter may have cute teen chemistry, but Han's nuanced characterizations have often helped to subvert typical teen love-story tropes. This knowing subversion is frustratingly absent from the novel's denouement.

An emotionally engaging closer that fumbles in its final moments. (Romance. 14-17)

Pub Date: May 2, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4814-3048-7

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: March 29, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2017

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