An action-packed tale of a future readers will hope never happens.

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THE LAST FULL MEASURE

From the Divided We Fall Trilogy series , Vol. 3

The Divided We Fall Trilogy series concludes with the United States on the brink of destruction.

In Volume 1, 17-year-old Pfc. Daniel Wright accidentally fired a shot that led to armed conflict between the federal government and the conservative state government of Idaho. In Volume 2, the conflict became a civil war. Now, the state of Idaho has morphed into the Republic of Idaho, and the United States has split into several independent countries. Danny Wright feels responsible: “I sparked the Battle of Boise that ignited this whole war.” When stolen nuclear warheads are detonated and destroy Washington, D.C., and New York City, the United States as Danny knows it has ended, and the rest of the planet begins to fall apart. Israel threatens the use of nuclear weapons in its conflict, and the forces of the reconstituted Soviet Union are marching across Europe, occupying German cities and threatening Great Britain. It’s a projection into the not-too-distant future (the 2020s) of the current divisive nature of politics, the nullification crisis of the 19th century, and the legacies of two world wars that seems all too real…and all too scary. Reedy makes good use of political maps, italicized news reports, and lists of death totals to provide political context for his bleak look at a possible future.

An action-packed tale of a future readers will hope never happens. (Thriller. 14 & up)

Pub Date: April 26, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-545-54877-9

Page Count: 464

Publisher: Levine/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: March 2, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2016

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This story is necessary. This story is important.

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THE HATE U GIVE

Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter is a black girl and an expert at navigating the two worlds she exists in: one at Garden Heights, her black neighborhood, and the other at Williamson Prep, her suburban, mostly white high school.

Walking the line between the two becomes immensely harder when Starr is present at the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend, Khalil, by a white police officer. Khalil was unarmed. Khalil’s death becomes national news, where he’s called a thug and possible drug dealer and gangbanger. His death becomes justified in the eyes of many, including one of Starr’s best friends at school. The police’s lackadaisical attitude sparks anger and then protests in the community, turning it into a war zone. Questions remain about what happened in the moments leading to Khalil’s death, and the only witness is Starr, who must now decide what to say or do, if anything. Thomas cuts to the heart of the matter for Starr and for so many like her, laying bare the systemic racism that undergirds her world, and she does so honestly and inescapably, balancing heartbreak and humor. With smooth but powerful prose delivered in Starr’s natural, emphatic voice, finely nuanced characters, and intricate and realistic relationship dynamics, this novel will have readers rooting for Starr and opening their hearts to her friends and family.

This story is necessary. This story is important. (Fiction. 14-adult)

Pub Date: Feb. 28, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-06-249853-3

Page Count: 464

Publisher: Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Dec. 6, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2016

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An emotionally engaging closer that fumbles in its final moments.

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ALWAYS AND FOREVER, LARA JEAN

From the To All the Boys I've Loved Before series , Vol. 3

Lara Jean prepares for college and a wedding.

Korean-American Lara Jean is finally settled into a nice, complication-free relationship with her white boyfriend, Peter. But things don’t stay simple for long. When college acceptance letters roll in, Peter and Lara Jean discover they’re heading in different directions. As the two discuss the long-distance thing, Lara Jean’s widower father is making a major commitment: marrying the neighbor lady he’s been dating. The whirlwind of a wedding, college visits, prom, and the last few months of senior year provides an excellent backdrop for this final book about Lara Jean. The characters ping from event to event with emotions always at the forefront. Han further develops her cast, pushing them to new maturity and leaving few stones unturned. There’s only one problem here, and it’s what’s always held this series back from true greatness: Peter. Despite Han’s best efforts to flesh out Peter with abandonment issues and a crummy dad, he remains little more than a handsome jock. Frankly, Lara Jean and Peter may have cute teen chemistry, but Han's nuanced characterizations have often helped to subvert typical teen love-story tropes. This knowing subversion is frustratingly absent from the novel's denouement.

An emotionally engaging closer that fumbles in its final moments. (Romance. 14-17)

Pub Date: May 2, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4814-3048-7

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: March 29, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2017

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