The author of The Cinderella Pact (2006) shows a humorist's ear for the cadence of teen language in this smart foray into...

SMART GIRLS GET WHAT THEY WANT

What smart girls like Gigi, Neerja and Bea want is smart boys, although they're hard to find.

After following in Neerja's sister Parad's Ivy League–bound footsteps for years, the friends stumble upon Parad's signature-less yearbook, making them think that maybe studying isn't everything. Gigi, who rocks Latin and chemistry, narrates this clever, Glee-like romp through sophomore year. The only relationship on her Facebook page is with Petunia, her basset hound. Her social nonexistence is epitomized by the girls she sits between in homeroom, who ignore her while they pass a phone back and forth across her. Her take on their account of a Halloween party prompts the question, "Where is a deus ex machina when you need one?" When Gigi is accused of cheating on the AP Chemistry midterm along with Mike, a Man Clan wannabe who calls her "Einstein," the girls launch into action. Gigi finds herself running for student rep against Will, the new guy from California she's fallen for who's unafraid to use the word "metaphor" in conversation. Neerja tries out for the lead in Romeo and Juliet and Bea convinces Gigi to join the ski team with her, all in the name of establishing their cred.

The author of The Cinderella Pact (2006) shows a humorist's ear for the cadence of teen language in this smart foray into teen literature. (Fiction. 12-17)

Pub Date: June 26, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-06-195340-8

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: April 11, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2012

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This is no didactic near-future warning of present evils, but a cinematic adventure featuring endearing, compelling heroes

LEGEND

From the Legend series , Vol. 1

A gripping thriller in dystopic future Los Angeles.

Fifteen-year-olds June and Day live completely different lives in the glorious Republic. June is rich and brilliant, the only candidate ever to get a perfect score in the Trials, and is destined for a glowing career in the military. She looks forward to the day when she can join up and fight the Republic’s treacherous enemies east of the Dakotas. Day, on the other hand, is an anonymous street rat, a slum child who failed his own Trial. He's also the Republic's most wanted criminal, prone to stealing from the rich and giving to the poor. When tragedies strike both their families, the two brilliant teens are thrown into direct opposition. In alternating first-person narratives, Day and June experience coming-of-age adventures in the midst of spying, theft and daredevil combat. Their voices are distinct and richly drawn, from Day’s self-deprecating affection for others to June's Holmesian attention to detail. All the flavor of a post-apocalyptic setting—plagues, class warfare, maniacal soldiers—escalates to greater complexity while leaving space for further worldbuilding in the sequel.

This is no didactic near-future warning of present evils, but a cinematic adventure featuring endearing, compelling heroes . (Science fiction. 12-14)

Pub Date: Nov. 29, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-399-25675-2

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: April 8, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2011

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A satisfying if slightly lesser sequel. (Romance. 13-17)

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  • Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature Winner

P.S. I STILL LOVE YOU

From the To All the Boys I've Loved Before series , Vol. 2

Lara Jean's romantic entanglements complicate themselves further.

In the wake of the events detailed in To All the Boys I Loved Before (2014), Lara Jean confesses her love for handsome golden boy Peter. This frees the pair to start a romantic relationship with a clean slate, but over the course of the novel it becomes clear that embarking on a relationship that turns an aggressive blind eye to baggage is never a good idea. When a viral video of a steamy love session between Peter and Lara Jean rears its ugly head and a boy from the past enters Lara Jean's life once more, Lara Jean's life gets complicated. Every character from Han’s adored previous novel is back, with new dimensions given to nearly every one of them. Subplots abound, among them two involving Lara Jean's father and Peter's ex-gal Genevieve, but benefitting most from this second look is John Ambrose McClaren, a boy briefly referenced in the former book who is thrust into the spotlight here as Peter's rival for Lara Jean's heart. With all these characters bouncing around, Han occasionally struggles to keep a steady hand on the novel's primary thrust: Lara Jean’s emotional development. Han gets the job done in the end, but this overeventful sequel pales to the original where structure is concerned. The author's greatest success remains her character work, and the book does indeed give everyone a solid arc, narrative be damned.

A satisfying if slightly lesser sequel. (Romance. 13-17)

Pub Date: May 26, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-4424-2673-3

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: July 4, 2015

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