A defiant love letter to queer youth; honest, brutal, and more important than ever.


Genderqueer Carey seeks to become the next Elphaba amid teenage struggles with relationships and queerphobia.

Things haven’t been the same since Carey came out: Their former best friend, Joey, has been avoiding them, and they’ve been dealing with constant microaggressions from school bully Max and conservative teacher Mr. Jackson. It’s not all bad however, because they have their idol Mariah Carey; other best friend, Monroe; and new crush, Cris, to help them out. Now they just need to rock the auditions for the school’s production of Wicked. Pop-culture references abound, firmly rooting Carey’s world in time, but this works in the narrative’s favor, as it deals with topical issues. Scenes of targeted violence and discussions of suicidal ideation make this a tough read, but one shining light stands out: Carey will not be silenced. LGBTQ+ identities are prevalent, including bisexual, lesbian, gay, and genderqueer characters in the main cast. Love interest Cris is Filipino and Greek, and other characters are ethnically diverse; Carey is White. Mental health is discussed often, particularly issues caused by intolerance, and Carey is shown attending therapy sessions. While the narrative often reads like a tragedy, Salvatore takes great care to show that the lives of Carey and their friends are anything but and clearly sends a message of support for those striving to be their true selves.

A defiant love letter to queer youth; honest, brutal, and more important than ever. (author's note, resources, guide to protesting, playlist) (Fiction. 13-18)

Pub Date: March 9, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-5476-0530-9

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2021

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

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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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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. 13, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2013

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