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STAY SWEET

Amelia possesses the qualities she needs to achieve her goals but, like many girls, lacks confidence in using them; watching...

Meade Creamery opened for business in 1945, and after the owner’s unexpected death, Amelia is determined to keep this local institution going—if she can.

Molly Meade began selling ice cream in the small holiday town of Sand Lake, employing only local girls. When Grady Meade, age 19, the great-nephew to whom Molly’s left the Creamery, arrives to run the business, Amelia’s at first thrilled. (His good looks don’t hurt.) A business major guided by his tycoon father, Grady plans big changes—profits are too small, salaries too high, the location could be better. Dismayed and alarmed, Amelia—usually deferential—resists, realizing that Grady needs her hands-on experience to run the Creamery successfully. As their partnership and mutual attraction grow, Grady’s dad pushes him to maximize profits. Meanwhile her growing commitment to the business distances Amelia from her best friend and fellow employees. All major characters are white. A meandering start and focus on Creamery minutiae slow the narrative, but patient readers are rewarded with a rare, enjoyable portrait of a woman-run business. Operations and decision-making detailed include the stash of PMS tea and tampons in the office and the intricacies of allocating bathroom cleanup.

Amelia possesses the qualities she needs to achieve her goals but, like many girls, lacks confidence in using them; watching her evolve is empowering. (Fiction. 12-16)

Pub Date: April 24, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-4814-5232-8

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Feb. 19, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2018

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LEGENDARY

From the Caraval series , Vol. 2

Dark, seductive, but over-the-top: Characters and book alike will enthrall those who choose to play.

Garber returns to the world of bestseller Caraval (2017), this time with the focus on younger, more daring sister Donatella.

Valenda, capital of the empire, is host to the second of Legend’s magical games in a single year, and while Scarlett doesn’t want to play again, blonde Tella is eager for a chance to prove herself. She is haunted by the memory of her death in the last game and by the cursed Deck of Destiny she used as a child which foretold her loveless future. Garber has changed many of the rules of her expanding world, which now appears to be infused with magic and evil Fates. Despite a weak plot and ultraviolet prose (“He tasted like exquisite nightmares and stolen dreams, like the wings of fallen angels, and bottles of fresh moonlight.”), this is a tour de force of imagination. Themes of love, betrayal, and the price of magic (and desire) swirl like Caraval’s enchantments, and Dante’s sensuous kisses will thrill readers as much as they do Tella. The convoluted machinations of the Prince of Hearts (one of the Fates), Legend, and even the empress serve as the impetus for Tella’s story and set up future volumes which promise to go bigger. With descriptions focusing primarily on clothing, characters’ ethnicities are often indeterminate.

Dark, seductive, but over-the-top: Characters and book alike will enthrall those who choose to play. (glossary) (Fantasy. 12-16)

Pub Date: May 29, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-250-09531-2

Page Count: 464

Publisher: Flatiron Books

Review Posted Online: March 19, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2018

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RADIO SILENCE

A smart, timely outing.

Two teens connect through a mysterious podcast in this sophomore effort by British author Oseman (Solitaire, 2015).

Frances Janvier is a 17-year-old British-Ethiopian head girl who is so driven to get into Cambridge that she mostly forgoes friendships for schoolwork. Her only self-indulgence is listening to and creating fan art for the podcast Universe City, “a…show about a suit-wearing student detective looking for a way to escape a sci-fi, monster-infested university.” Aled Last is a quiet white boy who identifies as “partly asexual.” When Frances discovers that Aled is the secret creator of Universe City, the two embark on a passionate, platonic relationship based on their joint love of pop culture. Their bond is complicated by Aled’s controlling mother and by Frances’ previous crush on Aled’s twin sister, Carys, who ran away last year and disappeared. When Aled’s identity is accidently leaked to the Universe City fandom, he severs his relationship with Frances, leaving her questioning her Cambridge goals and determined to win back his affection, no matter what the cost. Frances’ narration is keenly intelligent; she takes mordant pleasure in using an Indian friend’s ID to get into a club despite the fact they look nothing alike: “Gotta love white people.” Though the social-media–suffused plot occasionally lags, the main characters’ realistic relationship accurately depicts current issues of gender, race, and class.

A smart, timely outing. (Fiction. 12-16)

Pub Date: March 28, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-06-233571-5

Page Count: 496

Publisher: HarperTeen

Review Posted Online: Jan. 16, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2017

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