From the Bookish Boyfriends series , Vol. 3

Sure to leave romantics with an afterglow.

Fans will be thrilled with this third installment in the Bookish Boyfriends series that focuses on brainy Eliza and her intellectual equal.

In the first two books, it was the Campbell girls who fell under the spell of Ms. Gregoire’s English class and found romance. But Eliza has absorbed the evidence her scientist parents provided demonstrating that dating is detrimental for adolescents. Or is it as she fears: that she is not lovable? Her parents are always off on research expeditions, monitor her actions from afar, and do not prioritize emotions. Eliza knows rationally they must care about her, but the lack of warmth and affection she feels becomes painfully clear when Eliza begins to identify with Frankenstein’s monster, an outcome Ms. Gregoire may have feared when she tried to steer Eliza away from using the book for the class project. Eliza switches to another book, Anne of Green Gables. As Eliza relates to Anne, she wonders if class clown Curtis is her Gilbert. Readers will be charmed by Curtis’ gentle consistency and Eliza’s confusion as her feelings change from combative to happy. As Eliza develops in confidence, her relationship with her parents improves, too, allowing her to finally feel settled. Eliza and most main characters are white; Curtis is biracial (white/Egyptian).

Sure to leave romantics with an afterglow. (Fiction. 12-15)

Pub Date: May 19, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4197-4010-7

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Abrams

Review Posted Online: May 2, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2020


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


Flat secondary characterizations and humdrum dialogue won’t keep teens from relishing this histrionic tale of love, death...

Wealthy high school junior Mcalister “Caggie” Caulfield seeks relief from grief over her younger sister’s death by entering into a dangerous relationship with a mysterious boy.

After her little sister drowns in the pool at her family’s beach house in the Hamptons, Caggie wants to die too, to the point that she contemplates jumping off the roof at a friend’s party in Manhattan. A schoolmate named Kristen saves her at the last minute but nearly falls herself. Caggie actually ends up pulling Kristen back and is credited as a hero, which only makes her feel worse. In her grief, Caggie spurns the attentions of her best friend and devoted boyfriend, but she finds a kindred spirit in Astor, a tall, dark and damaged new boy at school who recently lost his mother to cancer. But what Caggie comes to realize about her relationship with Astor is that “[d]arkness stacked on darkness just makes it that much harder to find the light.” After another nearly fatal disaster with Astor at the beach house, Caggie is forced to confront the falsehoods she has told her family and friends and let go of her guilt over her sister’s death. Though Caggie makes a point of telling readers that her paternal grandfather called people like her “phony,” almost nothing is made of the connection to Catcher in the Rye, and it serves merely to make Caggie’s tale suffer by comparison.

Flat secondary characterizations and humdrum dialogue won’t keep teens from relishing this histrionic tale of love, death and lies. (Fiction. 12-15)

Pub Date: March 18, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4424-3316-8

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Simon Pulse/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Jan. 14, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2014

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