Even if one-note, Rory’s story will still ring a chord with die-hard romantics.


From the Bookish Boyfriends series , Vol. 2

The Campbell girls’ (mis)adventures at Hero High pick up without missing a beat in this follow-up to Bookish Boyfriends (2018).

Merri has adjusted to high school and is now dating Fielding, the headmaster’s son. She’s also assisting older sister Lilly with her upcoming nuptials. Meanwhile youngest sister Rory is feeling like the odd-man out. Rory’s sophomore mentor, Toby, who is supposed to help her acclimate to the school, is so smitten with Merri that he does not always seem to remember Rory; Toby certainly doesn’t notice that Rory has fallen for him. Merri and Lilly leave Rory out of wedding planning, and ordinarily, Rory would escape into her art, but upperclassmen jealous of her talent are deliberately sabotaging her work. What’s a girl to do? If English teacher Ms. Gregoire has anything to say about it, Rory will take a page from a classic. If The Great Gatsby, with its pining protagonist, doesn’t suit her, then how about Little Women? Told in the first-person, Rory takes cues from literature, attaining great insights about her self-worth and expectations for love. The love focus is so exclusive that secondary characters and plotlines fall into the background, including the possibility of a life-changing opportunity to study with an illustrious New York City artist. The Campbells are white, Toby is Latinx, and ethnicity is difficult to determine for other characters.

Even if one-note, Rory’s story will still ring a chord with die-hard romantics. (Fiction. 12-15)

Pub Date: May 21, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4197-3436-6

Page Count: 448

Publisher: Amulet/Abrams

Review Posted Online: Feb. 20, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2019

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


From the Legend series , Vol. 1

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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In an unnamed country (a thinly veiled Philippines), three teenage boys pick trash for a meager living. A bag of cash in the trash might be—well, not their ticket out of poverty but at least a minor windfall. With 1,100 pesos, maybe they can eat chicken occasionally, instead of just rice. Gardo and Raphael are determined not to give any of it to the police who've been sniffing around, so they enlist their friend Rat. In alternating and tightly paced points of view, supplemented by occasional other voices, the boys relate the intrigue in which they're quickly enmeshed. A murdered houseboy, an orphaned girl, a treasure map, a secret code, corrupt politicians and 10,000,000 missing dollars: It all adds up to a cracker of a thriller. Sadly, the setting relies on Third World poverty tourism for its flavor, as if this otherwise enjoyable caper were being told by Olivia, the story's British charity worker who muses with vacuous sentimentality on the children that "break your heart" and "change your life." Nevertheless, a zippy and classic briefcase-full-of-money thrill ride. (Thriller. 12-14)

Pub Date: Oct. 12, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-385-75214-5

Page Count: 240

Publisher: David Fickling/Random

Review Posted Online: Aug. 31, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2010

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