A lighthearted and engaging romp for anyone who loves Spidey and Mary Jane's upside-down kiss in the rain.

THE GEEK'S GUIDE TO UNREQUITED LOVE

For Graham Posner, a geeky, bespectacled white teenager from Long Island, the love he feels for Roxana Afsari, the Persian girl next door, is as epic as Peter Parker’s for Gwen Stacey—without the whole dying bit.

A self-respecting comic-book devotee cannot simply blurt out his amorous feelings; the moment has to be hero-worthy, and Graham knows that New York Comic-Con during a Q-and-A with their favorite comic creator is the perfect opportunity. How to make that epic moment happen is the subject of Tash’s witty third novel (The Mapmaker and the Ghost, 2012, etc.), and what follows is an unabashed love letter and delightful inside joke for comic enthusiasts who were fans long before Hollywood made geek culture chic. The author perfectly captures the earnestness and grandiose sentiment of a love-struck teenager whose life is fueled by and intertwined with geek culture, and the narrative’s diverse cast is a testament to comic books’ universal appeal. Teen issues such as violating curfew on a school night or missing out on coveted tickets to an event receive the same gravitas with which the X-Men save the world and race home in time for dinner. Best of all, the novel captures the joyous spirit of Comic-Con and fantasy’s ability to provide its devotees with a community through which to contextualize their joys and sorrows.

A lighthearted and engaging romp for anyone who loves Spidey and Mary Jane's upside-down kiss in the rain. (Fiction. 13 & up)

Pub Date: June 14, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4814-5653-1

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: March 30, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2016

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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

Reader Votes

  • Readers Vote
  • 25

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • New York Times Bestseller

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

Did you like this book?

A rush of emotion and suspense.

THE FIRST TO DIE AT THE END

Crowds gather across the United States for the launch of Death-Cast, a company that promises to change the world by predicting the deaths of everyone who subscribes in this prequel to They Both Die at the End (2017).

Orion Pagan, an aspiring author with a heart condition, hopes his phone won’t ring at midnight, but he knows Death-Cast’s call is coming soon. Unlike Orion, Valentino Prince, a model on the verge of his national debut, has no reason to anticipate Death-Cast’s call and isn’t sure if he believes the company’s claims. By coincidence or fate, their lives collide at a party in Times Square, and a single, historic phone call alters the courses of their futures. This heart-pounding story follows the final day of the first Decker, or person who is going to die, and the national chaos of Death-Cast’s premiere. Silvera crafts a web of intricately interconnected character perspectives and conflicts around Orion and Valentino. Apart from Valentino and his twin sister, who are presumed White, most of the characters are Latine, including White-passing Orion, whose family is Puerto Rican. The story confronts heavy topics like grief, abuse, and religious faith with complexity and care. Despite the presumed inevitability of a fatal end to the central romance between Orion and Valentino, Silvera subverts the trope of punishing gay characters with violent tragedy. Familiarity with the original book provides additional context and depth but isn’t essential to understanding the plot.

A rush of emotion and suspense. (Speculative fiction. 13-18)

Pub Date: Oct. 4, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-06-324080-3

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Quill Tree Books/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: July 13, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2022

Did you like this book?

more