A quick, entertaining read.

SAME LOVE

A gay boy is sent away to a summer camp for bad Christian teens.

Shy, Christian closet case Adam Lethbridge, a white 17-year-old, is discovered by his mom’s nosy, gossipy best friend shopping at The Gap with his secret bestie, Mike, a fast-talking boy who describes himself as brown and who often dresses in drag. She leaks the story to his uber-Christian parents, who have also discovered the gay-themed graphic novels he drew and hid in his bedroom. Unsurprisingly, drama ensues, with his dad calling him “faggot” repeatedly, and as a result of the outing, Adam is shipped off to a Christian summer camp for bad teens in the middle of nowhere, British Columbia. Once there, he falls for Korean, karaoke-loving Paul, who is also struggling to strike the balance between what he feels and what his religion tells him he should feel. Though fast-paced and entertaining, Correia’s latest rarely dives below the surface. The action is usually predictable, but what stands out are Correia’s characters’ abilities to throw some serious shade: “Beneath that good Christian girl act beats the heart of a hussy.” Readers may be somewhat disappointed to discover that nothing really new or provocative is revealed about what happens at the camp itself, but the budding romance between Adam and Paul and Mike’s and another minor character’s one-liners keep the pages turning.

A quick, entertaining read. (Romance. 13-16)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4594-1234-7

Page Count: 186

Publisher: James Lorimer

Review Posted Online: June 27, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2017

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An enjoyable, if predictable, romantic holiday story.

10 BLIND DATES

Is an exuberant extended family the cure for a breakup? Sophie is about to find out.

When Sophie unexpectedly breaks up with her boyfriend, she isn’t thrilled about spending the holidays at her grandparents’ house instead of with him. And when her grandmother forms a plan to distract Sophie from her broken heart—10 blind dates, each set up by different family members—she’s even less thrilled. Everyone gets involved with the matchmaking, even forming a betting pool on the success of each date. But will Sophie really find someone to fill the space left by her ex? Will her ex get wind of Sophie’s dating spree via social media and want them to get back together? Is that what she even wants anymore? This is a fun story of finding love, getting to know yourself, and getting to know your family. The pace is quick and light, though the characters are fairly shallow and occasionally feel interchangeable, especially with so many names involved. A Christmas tale, the plot is a fast-paced series of dinners, parties, and games, relayed in both narrative form and via texts, though the humor occasionally feels stiff and overwrought. The ending is satisfying, though largely unsurprising. Most characters default to white as members of Sophie’s Italian American extended family, although one of her cousins has a Filipina mother. One uncle is gay.

An enjoyable, if predictable, romantic holiday story. (Fiction. 13-16)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-368-02749-6

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Review Posted Online: June 23, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2019

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An overall entertaining read.

THE PRETENDERS

From the Similars series , Vol. 2

In this sequel to The Similars (2018), tensions rise as the villains reveal a ploy to exact revenge on the Ten and their families and ultimately take over the world.

When Emma Chance returns to her elite boarding school, Darkwood Academy, for her senior year, things are different: Her best friend, Ollie Ward, is back while Levi Gravelle, Ollie’s clone and Emma’s love interest, has been imprisoned on Castor Island. More importantly, Emma is coming to terms with the contents of a letter from Gravelle which states that she is Eden, a Similar created to replace the original Emma, who died as a child. To complicate matters further, other clones—who are not Similars—infiltrate Darkwood, and Emma and her friends uncover a plot that threatens not only the lives of everyone they care about, but also the world as they know it. Hanover wastes no time delving right into the action; readers unfamiliar with the first book may get lost. This duology closer is largely predictable and often filled with loopholes, but the fast-paced narrative and one unexpected plot twist make for an engaging ride. As before, most of the primary characters read as white, and supporting characters remain underdeveloped. Despite its flaws and often implausible turns of events, the novel calls attention to larger questions of identity, selfhood, and what it means to be human.

An overall entertaining read. (Dystopia. 13-16)

Pub Date: Dec. 10, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4926-6513-7

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Review Posted Online: Sept. 29, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2019

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