Alive with vibrant, raw emotion.

EVERYTHING'S NOT FINE

A 17-year-old artist’s world is knocked sideways when her mother overdoses.

High school senior Rose Hemmersbach’s life is occupied by shifts at Walmart, looking after her three younger siblings, and healing from a freshly broken heart. Rose dreams of the day she can leave the mundanity of rural Sparta, Wisconsin, to attend art school. But then she discovers her heroin-addicted mother overdosed on the kitchen floor and her life spirals out of control with feelings of guilt and helplessness as she begins to suffer from artist’s block; that which used to bring life to her days no longer sustains her. The family, already teetering on the edge of poverty, is evicted, and her parents are being investigated by child protective services. Rose blames herself for everything. Can she box up the thoughts of things she can’t control and focus solely on what she can? Rose’s first-person narration is a roller coaster of believable emotions and inner conflict: Feelings of love for her mother and the desire to have her back home get twisted up in her anger and the desire for Mom to stay away. Rose, whose artistic hero is Frida Kahlo, describes the world in colors; she doesn’t see red, blue, and brown, but alizarin crimson, phthalo blue, and burnt umber. Rose’s art partner and possible new love, Rafa, is Mexican American; assume Whiteness for everyone else.

Alive with vibrant, raw emotion. (Fiction. 14-18)

Pub Date: May 26, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-68442-410-8

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Turner

Review Posted Online: March 29, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2020

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A treat for mystery readers who enjoy being kept in suspense.

Reader Votes

  • Readers Vote
  • 26

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • New York Times Bestseller

A GOOD GIRL'S GUIDE TO MURDER

From the Good Girl's Guide to Murder series , Vol. 1

Everyone believes that Salil Singh killed his girlfriend, Andrea Bell, five years ago—except Pippa Fitz-Amobi.

Pip has known and liked Sal since childhood; he’d supported her when she was being bullied in middle school. For her senior capstone project, Pip researches the disappearance of former Fairview High student Andie, last seen on April 18, 2014, by her younger sister, Becca. The original investigation concluded with most of the evidence pointing to Sal, who was found dead in the woods, apparently by suicide. Andie’s body was never recovered, and Sal was assumed by most to be guilty of abduction and murder. Unable to ignore the gaps in the case, Pip sets out to prove Sal’s innocence, beginning with interviewing his younger brother, Ravi. With his help, Pip digs deeper, unveiling unsavory facts about Andie and the real reason Sal’s friends couldn’t provide him with an alibi. But someone is watching, and Pip may be in more danger than she realizes. Pip’s sleuthing is both impressive and accessible. Online articles about the case and interview transcripts are provided throughout, and Pip’s capstone logs offer insights into her thought processes as new evidence and suspects arise. Jackson’s debut is well-executed and surprises readers with a connective web of interesting characters and motives. Pip and Andie are white, and Sal is of Indian descent.

A treat for mystery readers who enjoy being kept in suspense. (Mystery. 14-18)

Pub Date: Feb. 4, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9848-9636-0

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2019

Did you like this book?

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

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more