Compelling and captivating.

PANIC

After discovering an origami moon with a poem inside at her favorite cafe, Madelaine Joseph’s seemingly quiet life is plunged into a thrilling adventure.

Madelaine has been a performer for as long as she can remember. As the daughter and client of Jesse Joseph, a well-known talent manager for Broadway and the television industry, Madelaine seems to enjoy the privileges that come with her insider connections. However, her life isn’t as glamorous as it seems. Caught between her divorced parents, she struggles with panic attacks and undiagnosed anxiety and yearns to find and express her own voice. The poem she discovers in the paper moon fits perfectly as lyrics for a song she composed, prompting Madelaine to seek out its author. Her trusted circle of friends—twins McKenna and Brendon and her half sister, Hayley—now expands to one Dylan Thomas, who reaches out online and claims to be the artist behind the moon and poem. Madelaine finds herself easily able to confide in Dylan while also unsure of how much she can trust a stranger. Dawn (Blink, 2018, etc.) draws in readers, showing them that there is more to a person than what one sees on the surface. The author makes it easy to be both frustrated with the characters’ choices and yet to empathize with them. All characters are presumed white; Brendon is pansexual.

Compelling and captivating. (Fiction. 13-18)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5415-3574-9

Page Count: 312

Publisher: Carolrhoda Lab

Review Posted Online: July 21, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

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

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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

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