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MAX IN THE CAPITAL OF SPIES

A MAX FREDERICKS STORY

A neophyte time traveler survives largely on pluck and bluff in this fun but improbable escapade.

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An American teen discovers that having unpredictable time travel as a superpower isn’t all it’s cracked up to be in this clever YA thriller.

One moment, Max Fredericks is standing in Volkspark in Berlin in 2021, searching for his tutor, Brady. The next, Max finds himself in East Berlin during the Cold War in 1965…where he’s in over his head. All he has to go on is a message that Brady sent to him, decades in the future: “Volkspark West. 10:15, where wolf and girl meet.” Part of this message soon makes sense when he sees a girl being forced into a van. After a moment of frozen indecision, he decides he’ll help the girl by mounting a rescue mission. He reaches the logical conclusion that the girl had been abducted by the Stasi, the East German secret police. So, armed only with the research he’d done before his trip, Max marches straight to Stasi headquarters, which he’d recently toured with Brady in 2021. His brilliant plan is to volunteer to be a double agent for East Germany in exchange for allowing himself and the girl, nicknamed Elsa, to leave after he completes one mission. This being the height of Cold War paranoia, however, little goes the way that Max hopes. The strength of Capone’s work is the thorough research that informs his depiction of 1960s East Berlin and the authenticity it adds to his narrative; he’s set a high bar for historical backdrops in future volumes in this series. Any book with a fantastical element such as time travel requires a healthy suspension of disbelief—Capone’s debut novel requires more than most. Are readers to believe that a temporally displaced 17-year-old American can outfox the entire communist security apparatus largely by himself, with a little help from his allies? Hopefully, Max’s next time-leaping adventure will be slightly more realistic.

A neophyte time traveler survives largely on pluck and bluff in this fun but improbable escapade.

Pub Date: March 8, 2024

ISBN: 9798989391929

Page Count: 268

Publisher: Self

Review Posted Online: March 11, 2024

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2024

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  • New York Times Bestseller

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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.

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  • 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

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EVERYTHING WE NEVER SAID

A dark and romantic thriller for those who love sexy suspense.

Ella Graham begins her senior year at North Davis High in a waking nightmare.

She’s trying to get by without best friend Hayley Miller, who died in a car accident last spring. Ella is besieged by not only grief but also guilt—she was the one driving drunk when their car hit a boulder above a rushing river, though she remembers nothing. Placed in a support group run by school psychologist Mr. Wilkens, Ella must confront fellow attendee Sawyer Hawkins—Hayley’s boyfriend, whom she’s sure blames her—as well as her growing feelings for him. As their relationship blooms, Ella’s guilt intensifies. When she helps Hayley’s mother with the painful task of cleaning out her late daughter’s bedroom, Ella discovers Hayley’s diary, and from its contents, she learns much more about her friend than she ever imagined. Harlow’s debut is full of angst, and readers will be enticed to tear through the novel, which contains surprising twists and quickens in pace toward the end. Ella’s grief and survivor’s guilt are palpable, permeating every page. Ella and Sawyer’s relationship is both fraught and steamy, and romance fans will enjoy the intrigue of their unfolding relationship; their alternating points of view provide glimpses into both their psyches. Ella’s mom is Filipina (her dad’s ethnicity is not mentioned); most other major characters read white.

A dark and romantic thriller for those who love sexy suspense. (resources) (Thriller. 14-18)

Pub Date: May 28, 2024

ISBN: 9780593855720

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: March 23, 2024

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2024

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