A life-affirming story of friendship, love, and faith.

LITTLE DO WE KNOW

A life-altering incident sets two ex–best friends on a collision course.

Best friends and next-door neighbors Hannah and Emory haven’t spoken since the fight when they both said things they can’t share and can’t take back. In alternating chapters, Emory focuses all her energies on theater and her boyfriend, Luke, while Hannah, the daughter of a pastor who is also the principal of her Christian high school, questions her faith as the result of the things Emory said to her that day. Their paths collide unexpectedly when Hannah finds Luke unresponsive at the wheel of his car late one night. Though he miraculously survives his injuries, he finds that he cannot move forward in the aftermath of the accident and turns to Hannah to confide the truth behind his near-death experience. When his story reaches a wider audience, things spiral beyond their control and the rift between Hannah and Emory threatens to grow even wider. Though Luke’s spiritual experience brings him and Hannah closer together and threatens to drive him and Emory apart, these characters are clearheaded and sympathetic, and the narrative avoids typecasting them or straying into melodrama. Emory and Luke share a notably sex-positive relationship, and Hannah experiences a forbidden attraction that neither ends in scandal nor distracts from the central plot. Hannah, Emory, and Luke are white.

A life-affirming story of friendship, love, and faith. (Fiction. 14-18)

Pub Date: June 5, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-4847-6821-1

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Review Posted Online: April 30, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2018

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A powerful tale of found family and first love.

SOME MISTAKES WERE MADE

After a year away, Ellis returns home to confront her past.

Graduating from high school far from everything familiar was not part of Ellis Truman’s original plans, but she nevertheless ended up spending her senior year with her aunt in California. In Indiana, Ellis practically grew up with the Albrey family and their three tightknit sons, Dixon, Tucker, and Easton. Now, Tucker wants her to return home for matriarch Sandry Albrey’s 50th birthday celebration on the Fourth of July—but Ellis is dreading seeing Easton, as they haven’t talked since she left. Chapters alternate between past and present, and much of the story unravels slowly: How did she come to live with the Albreys? What caused Ellis to then end up in San Diego? What happened in her relationship with Easton? Patient readers will find the heartfelt tension pays off. With her father in and out of jail and an absent mother, socio-economic differences separating Ellis from the middle-class Albreys don’t go unnoticed, and Ellis’ down-to-earth journey shows how she unpacks her feelings about her relationship with her parents. The slow-build romance is swoonworthy, and young adult fans of Colleen Hoover seeking emotional devastation and unforgettable characters will find much to enjoy here. Characters read as White.

A powerful tale of found family and first love. (Fiction. 14-18)

Pub Date: May 10, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-06-308853-5

Page Count: 384

Publisher: HarperTeen

Review Posted Online: Jan. 11, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2022

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Immersive and engaging, despite some flaws, and destined to capture imaginations.

CARAVAL

From the Caraval series , Vol. 1

Magic, mystery, and love intertwine and invite in this newest take on the “enchanted circus” trope.

Sisters raised by their abusive father, a governor of a colonial backwater in a world vaguely reminiscent of the late 18th century, Scarlett and Donatella each long for something more. Scarlett, olive-skinned, dark of hair and attitude, longs for Caraval, the fabled, magical circus helmed by the possibly evil Master Legend Santos, while blonde, sunny Tella finds comfort in drink and the embraces of various men. A slightly awkward start, with inconsistencies of attitude and setting, rapidly smooths out when they, along with handsome “golden-brown” sailor Julian, flee to Caraval on the eve of Scarlett’s arranged marriage. Tella disappears, and Scarlett must navigate a nighttime world of magic to find her. Caraval delights the senses: beautiful and scary, described in luscious prose, this is a show readers will wish they could enter. Dresses can be purchased for secrets or days of life; clocks can become doors; bridges move: this is an inventive and original circus, laced with an edge of horror. A double love story, one sensual romance and the other sisterly loyalty, anchors the plot, but the real star here is Caraval and its secrets.

Immersive and engaging, despite some flaws, and destined to capture imaginations. (Fantasy. 14 & up)

Pub Date: Jan. 31, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-250-09525-1

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Flatiron Books

Review Posted Online: Sept. 19, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2016

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