An intensely dark teen romance set within a tale of communal identity crisis.


From the Program series , Vol. 5

Tatum will risk everything for the sake of Weston’s memories.

Now, in this fifth series installment, the unexplained teen suicide epidemic has abated, and the Program to erase memories has been shuttered. The former patients, called returners, are being reintroduced to their normal lives and to high school with whatever remains of their recall. Tatum is heartbroken that her boyfriend, Weston, doesn’t remember her or the love they shared before he was taken into the Program. He is desperate to remember his life, so Weston and Tatum, both white, decide to try an experimental procedure called the Adjustment. This will implant Tatum’s recollections into Weston’s brain patterns, which will, they hope, cause his own memories to grow. As a few reminiscences return to Weston, the trade-off seems high, as Tatum starts to have excruciating headaches, for which her grandmother gives her questionable treatment. Tatum’s impassioned present-tense narration, especially during the implantation sessions, gives urgency to the story and to the details of the relationship she shared with Weston. Like the others of the series, this is a well-crafted page-turner that manifests surprise at every turn. Via the concepts of free will and memory manipulation, the storyline fancifully explores existential identity, with a bit of a paranoid edge. The fiction is further layered with the dubious appeal of romantic destiny.

An intensely dark teen romance set within a tale of communal identity crisis. (Dystopian romance. 14-18)

Pub Date: April 18, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4814-7132-9

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Simon Pulse/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Feb. 3, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2017

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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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