An emotional story of familial ties.


Twin siblings Olly and Alex Brucke face personal demons when their incarcerated father passes away.

The summer before their senior year of high school, Olly and Alex’s well-known tech CEO father dies from a heart attack while still in prison. But before he dies, he tells Olly not to tell his sister about their secret half brother. Tyler Dell, who is two years older than the twins, sent a letter that Olly intercepted and kept from his sister. A year later, Alex is mired in an abusive relationship with a rich-boy drug dealer, and while Olly is coping, he’s still tangled in his father’s lies. The narrative, which alternates between the two siblings, tackles big themes, mostly with a light hand. The twins must wrestle with the injustice of the prison system while also confronting their father’s guilt and their family’s White privilege. They also have to reconcile loving their father with the fact that he committed fraud, evaded taxes, and embezzled funds and was emotionally abusive toward their mother. Olly’s gender identity and sexuality are included seamlessly, not the focus of the story but making a genuine impact. However, the intimate details of Olly and his boyfriend Khalid Zaid’s sex life shift the tone and feel like they were dropped in from another book. This intense, dramatic novel that explores complicated relationships, coping with adversity, and the fallout of keeping secrets will appeal to readers who enjoy character-driven stories.

An emotional story of familial ties. (map) (Fiction. 14-18)

Pub Date: today

ISBN: 9781547611072

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Review Posted Online: Feb. 24, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2023

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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. 12, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2013

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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. 27, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2019

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