Next book

UNBECOMING

Timely, important subject matter; uneven execution.

Two Muslim high schoolers seek to help other teens access safe abortions in this fiction debut by medical doctor and journalist Yasmin.

In a Texas where abortion is illegal and anyone attempting to get one (or help someone else get one) risks imprisonment, best friends Laylah Khan and Noor Awad are determined to write an “inclusive, straightforward, and helpful guide” for teens who need to find an abortion clinic. Indian American Laylah, who’s a practicing Muslim, wants to go to medical school and specialize in obstetrics and gynecology. Palestinian American Noor wants to become a journalist; she identifies as pansexual and culturally Muslim. Alternating chapters from the girls’ points of view capture their thoughts and emotions as they each hide something from each other. The pace escalates toward the end as the friends open up to one another. Laylah reads about her grandmother’s personal experience with a compulsory sterilization program in Indira Gandhi’s India that was pushed by the U.S.—information that offers valuable context for her family’s supportive attitudes. However, because a major plot point comes fairly late in the story, the ending feels rushed, not allowing enough space for the leads and their relationship to change and grow. Laylah and Noor are strong characters with clear goals and aspirations; Yasmin weaves in their opinions on Islam and relationships, emphasizing the importance of being able to make the choices that affect one’s life.

Timely, important subject matter; uneven execution. (author’s note) (Fiction. 14-18)

Pub Date: July 9, 2024

ISBN: 9781665938440

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: May 4, 2024

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2024

Next book

IF HE HAD BEEN WITH ME

There’s not much plot here, but readers will relish the opportunity to climb inside Autumn’s head.

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. 12, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2013

Awards & Accolades

Likes

  • Readers Vote
  • 61


Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT


  • New York Times Bestseller

Next book

A GOOD GIRL'S GUIDE TO MURDER

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

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

Awards & Accolades

Likes

  • Readers Vote
  • 61


Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT


  • New York Times Bestseller

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. 27, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2019

Close Quickview