Romance, revenge, treachery and intrigue.

HEART OF GLASS

After solving her sister’s murder in Cross My Heart (2012), 16-year-old Laura once again becomes perilously implicated in the secrets and scandals of 16th-century Venice when her fiance is accused of murder.

Laura’s blissfully betrothed to the doge’s handsome son Roberto. As a member of the Segreta, a clandestine society of upper-class women who trade secrets to protect Venice, Laura’s given her first solo assignment. The same night, an unidentified woman is murdered in Roberto’s rooms, leading to his arrest. Convinced Roberto’s innocent, Laura seeks help from the Segreta, but she finds herself distracted by the attentions of rakish Prince Halim, who’s heading a diplomatic mission from Turkey. When Halim identifies the murdered woman as his sister and threatens to attack Venice unless Roberto dies, the doge’s rivals seize power. As Laura works to save both Roberto and Venice, she discovers a link among the murder, Halim’s visit, Venice’s political takeover and a vengeful plot by an old enemy determined to punish Laura and the Segreta. Once again, feisty, fearless, feminist Laura narrates her story in the present tense, giving it a breathless pace, nail-biting excitement and female insight as she sashays along the canals and corridors and through the slums and palaces of Venice, unraveling secrets and breaking hearts.

Romance, revenge, treachery and intrigue. (Historical fiction. 12 & up)

Pub Date: March 12, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-385-74152-1

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: Jan. 16, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2013

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Part cautionary tale, part juicy love story, this will appeal to action and adventure fans who aren't yet sick of the genre.

SHATTER ME

A dystopic thriller joins the crowded shelves but doesn't distinguish itself.

Juliette was torn from her home and thrown into an asylum by The Reestablishment, a militaristic regime in control since an environmental catastrophe left society in ruins. Juliette’s journal holds her tortured thoughts in an attempt to repress memories of the horrific act that landed her in a cell. Mysteriously, Juliette’s touch kills. After months of isolation, her captors suddenly give her a cellmate—Adam, a drop-dead gorgeous guy. Adam, it turns out, is immune to her deadly touch. Unfortunately, he’s a soldier under orders from Warner, a power-hungry 19-year-old. But Adam belongs to a resistance movement; he helps Juliette escape to their stronghold, where she finds that she’s not the only one with superhuman abilities. The ending falls flat as the plot devolves into comic-book territory. Fast-paced action scenes convey imminent danger vividly, but there’s little sense of a broader world here. Overreliance on metaphor to express Juliette’s jaw-dropping surprise wears thin: “My mouth is sitting on my kneecaps. My eyebrows are dangling from the ceiling.” For all of her independence and superpowers, Juliette never moves beyond her role as a pawn in someone else’s schemes.

Part cautionary tale, part juicy love story, this will appeal to action and adventure fans who aren't yet sick of the genre. (Science fiction. 12 & up)

Pub Date: Nov. 15, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-06-208548-1

Page Count: 352

Publisher: HarperTeen

Review Posted Online: April 5, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2011

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Han’s impressive ear for and pitch-perfect reproduction of the interactions between not-quite-adult older teens make this an...

WE'LL ALWAYS HAVE SUMMER

Can teenage love ever be forever?

Isabel (Belly) from The Summer I Turned Pretty (2009) and It’s Not Summer Without You (2010) finishes up her freshman year at college somewhat unconvincingly committed to Jeremiah Fisher, one of the two brothers with whom she has spent summers since she was small. Isabel becomes furious to learn that Jeremiah had sex with another girl from their college in Cabo on spring break, but he wins back her affections with a grand gesture: a proposal of marriage. Caught up in the idea—she will plan a summer wedding! they will attend college as a married couple!—Isabel tries ignores her misgivings about Jeremiah, the appalled silence of her mother and her own still-strong feelings for Jeremiah’s older brother, Conrad. It’s both funny and believable when Jeremiah insists he wants to dance the wedding dance to “You Never Can Tell” from the Pulp Fiction soundtrack. Han gives a satisfying nod to wedding-planning fantasies even while revealing their flimsy basis for an actual marriage. A final chapter in 23-year-old Isabel’s voice reveals the not-so-surprising happy ending.

Han’s impressive ear for and pitch-perfect reproduction of the interactions between not-quite-adult older teens make this an appealing conclusion to this trilogy romance among bright middle-class young people. (Fiction. 12 & up)

Pub Date: May 3, 2011

ISBN: 978-1-4169-9558-6

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: April 5, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2011

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