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TIME BETWEEN US

A slow-moving time-travel romance emphasizes romance over everything else.

When Anna sees a strange boy who smiles warmly at her when she’s out for her morning jog, she’s puzzled. Puzzlement turns to bewilderment when that boy—Bennett—shows up as a new student at her tony private high school and reacts violently to her name but seems not to recognize her at all. She has always wanted to see the world, but she’s hardly ever left her hometown of Evanston, Ill.; she explores the travel section of her father’s bookstore instead. One night, Bennett uses his amazing time-travel ability to save her from a robbery at the store; he explains that he comes from 2012 and is in Anna’s time, 1995, to find the sister he lost at a Pearl Jam concert. Love ensues. Stone doesn’t bother to give Bennett’s unique talent any kind of coherent framework, instead using it to fuel fabulous trips to exotic places and to provide an excuse for hand-wringing about unrequitable love. Anna forces him to go against his preternaturally developed sense of chrono-ethics when her two best friends are in a terrible car accident, but even the consequences of that are only limply explored. The rushed ending exposes the lost sister for the MacGuffin she is and knocks the feet out from under the novel’s only emotionally honest moment, Anna’s decision to live for herself. Time travel can be fascinating, but here it is not. (Fantasy. 12-16) 

 

Pub Date: Oct. 9, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-4231-5956-8

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Review Posted Online: Aug. 28, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2012

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THE LAKE

An eerie thriller reminiscent of summer horror movies that will keep readers on edge.

Two teens with a dark secret return to their old summer camp.

Childhood friends Esme and Kayla can’t wait to return to Camp Pine Lake as counselors-in-training, ready to try everything they couldn’t do when they were younger: find cute boys, stay up late, and sneak out after hours. Even Andy, their straight-laced supervisor, can’t dampen their excitement, especially after they meet the crushworthy Olly and Jake. An intuitive 17-year-old, Esme is ready to jump in and teach her cute little campers. But when a threatening message appears, Esme and Kayla realize the secret they’ve kept hidden for nearly a decade is no longer safe. Paranoia and fear soon cause Esme and Kayla to revisit their ominous secret and realize that nobody in the camp can be trusted. The slow buildup of suspense and the use of classic horror elements contrast with lighthearted camp activities, bonding with new friends, and budding romance. Similarly, Esme’s first-person point of view allows for increased tension and action as well as offering insight into her emotional and mental well-being. Discussions of adulthood, trauma, and recovery are subtle and realistic, but acts of sexism and machismo aren’t fully analyzed. While the strong buildup of action comes late, it leads to a shockingly satisfying finale. Major characters are White.

An eerie thriller reminiscent of summer horror movies that will keep readers on edge. (Thriller. 12-16)

Pub Date: March 2, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-593-12497-0

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: Dec. 9, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2021

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LEGEND

From the Legend series , Vol. 1

This is no didactic near-future warning of present evils, but a cinematic adventure featuring endearing, compelling heroes

A gripping thriller in dystopic future Los Angeles.

Fifteen-year-olds June and Day live completely different lives in the glorious Republic. June is rich and brilliant, the only candidate ever to get a perfect score in the Trials, and is destined for a glowing career in the military. She looks forward to the day when she can join up and fight the Republic’s treacherous enemies east of the Dakotas. Day, on the other hand, is an anonymous street rat, a slum child who failed his own Trial. He's also the Republic's most wanted criminal, prone to stealing from the rich and giving to the poor. When tragedies strike both their families, the two brilliant teens are thrown into direct opposition. In alternating first-person narratives, Day and June experience coming-of-age adventures in the midst of spying, theft and daredevil combat. Their voices are distinct and richly drawn, from Day’s self-deprecating affection for others to June's Holmesian attention to detail. All the flavor of a post-apocalyptic setting—plagues, class warfare, maniacal soldiers—escalates to greater complexity while leaving space for further worldbuilding in the sequel.

This is no didactic near-future warning of present evils, but a cinematic adventure featuring endearing, compelling heroes . (Science fiction. 12-14)

Pub Date: Nov. 29, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-399-25675-2

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: April 8, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2011

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