Teen Book Reviews (page 543)

THE SPEED OF LIGHT by Ron Carlson
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: June 1, 2003

"What boys do (but not why), bullies, parents, and sleepovers outside are carefully limned, but readers never lose a sense that this all happened very long ago (the late '50s, to judge from the song 'Earth Angel') in a downtrodden small town near Everywhere. (Fiction. YA)"
In the summer that he's 12, Larry and his friends, Witt and Rafferty, do what boys do in this literary, if not quite satisfying, coming-of-ager. Read full book review >
HANG ON IN THERE, SHELLEY by Kate Saksena
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: June 1, 2003

"Saksena offers hope that things will get better and portrays the ups and downs of living with an alcoholic, but in the whole, this is simply unrealistic. (Fiction. 12-14)"
Ostensibly about Shelley's trying to deal with school bullies and a mother with a drinking problem, this epistolary novel consists of Shelley's letters to rock star Ziggy and his postcards in return. Read full book review >

FICTION
Released: June 1, 2003

"Several horrifying ends can be imagined along the way, but the one that actually occurs is no less grim for being unpredictable. (Fiction. YA)"
This probing exploration of whether a ninth-grader can already be "irreparably damaged" is upsetting and scary. Read full book review >
BOTTLED UP by Jaye Murray
FICTION
Released: June 1, 2003

"No easy ending ensues, but Pip's emerging strength, realistically portrayed, bodes well for his future. (Fiction. 12+)"
Tackling a familiar theme, Murray pens a compelling debut about a teenage boy with an abusive, alcoholic father. Read full book review >
THE NEW RULES OF HIGH SCHOOL by Blake Nelson
FICTION
Released: June 1, 2003

"Readers will recognize, if not themselves, fellow students like Max who lose their bearings while trying to fulfill everyone else's expectations. (Fiction. YA)"
Narrator Max Caldwell is editor-in-chief of the student newspaper, and in his account of his last year in high school, his voice sounds appropriately like a journalist. Read full book review >

ALICE, I THINK by Susan Juby
Released: June 1, 2003

"Hilarious. (Fiction. 12-14)"
Comedy rules in Juby's satirical, laugh-out-loud debut about a wacky home-schooled teenager who decides to try public high school. Read full book review >
DEEP by Susanna Vance
FICTION
Released: May 13, 2003

"While the story could have been cut considerably and a key subplot is left hanging, this offering nevertheless presents readers with both high drama and compelling characterization. (Fiction. 12+)"
Two wildly dissimilar teenage girls find themselves thrown together on a Caribbean island, fighting for their lives. Read full book review >
THE GREAT GOD PAN by Donna Jo Napoli
FICTION
Released: May 13, 2003

"As the tale moves on to Iphigenia's sacrifice at Aulis, the tension ratchets up almost unbearably, and Pan's newly gained understanding provides an elegant and tragic solution. (Fiction. YA)"
When readers first meet Pan, the nature god, he is perfectly happy with his half-god, half-goat nature, enjoying bodily pleasures but unhampered by the complications of love. Read full book review >
THE LAST MALL RAT by Erik E. Esckilsen
FICTION
Released: May 12, 2003

"It's a credible effort. (Fiction. 12-15)"
Mitch desperately wants a job, but can't work legally until he turns 16. Read full book review >
LUCAS by Kevin Brooks
FICTION
Released: May 1, 2003

"Admirers of Martyn Pig, however, will not find the same clever plot and dark humor. (Fiction. YA)"
In this bleak, ambitious story, tragedy ensues following the arrival on an English island of a wandering stranger named Lucas. Read full book review >
POOL BOY by Michael Simmons
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: May 1, 2003

"It's no mean feat, rendering a character who is both detestable and sympathetic; Simmons has done this, and hilariously so, his first time out. (Fiction. 12+)"
Brett Gerson has it tough: fabulously rich for 15 years, his life is capsized when his father is jailed for insider trading. Read full book review >
Released: May 1, 2003

"This work, despite its flaws, does bring to a child audience one of the most egregious instances of American injustice, and thus merits consideration. (Nonfiction. 12+)"
An awkward and problematic beginning gives way to a provocative, if occasionally histrionic, account of the 1955 trial of the murderers of Emmett Till, one of the flashpoint moments in the early civil-rights movement. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Libba Bray
author of LAIR OF DREAMS
August 25, 2015

In Lair of Dreams, the second installment of Libba Bray’s bestselling young adult Diviners series, after a supernatural showdown with a serial killer, Evie O'Neill has outed herself as a Diviner. Now that the world knows of her ability to "read" objects, and therefore, read the past, she has become a media darling, earning the title "America's Sweetheart Seer." But not everyone is so accepting of the Diviners' abilities....Meanwhile, mysterious deaths have been turning up in the city, victims of an unknown sleeping sickness. Can the Diviners descend into the dreamworld and catch a killer? “Weaving together a chilling mystery with a truly elusive solution, several poignant love stories, agonizing injustice, terrifyingly monstrous dreams, and even a cameo by legendary psychiatrist Carl Jung, this installment wraps enough up to satisfy but clearly sets the stage for more,” our reviewer writes in a rare starred review. “How will readers stand the wait?” View video >