Renée’s story is romantic, suspenseful and far from over.  A solid read, this one will leave readers wanting more.

READ REVIEW

LIFE ETERNAL

From the Dead Beautiful series , Vol. 2

Renée Winters knows about the Undead: Her soul mate, Dante, has been Undead for years.

But having been saved by Dante at the end of the series opener (Dead Beautiful, 2010), Renée is left to wonder whether she too is now one of the Undead. Renée is sent to Montreal to protect her after a series of attacks at Gottfried Academy. At St. Clément, the curriculum is designed to train students as Monitors, who police the Undead and prevent them from murdering humans. Knowing that Dante only has five more years of animation before he will need to either take a life or die a second time, Renée searches the school’s library and mystical texts for a solution. Following clues left by the school’s founders, she’s trailed by Noah, a fellow Monitor who would like to be more than just a friend. But for Renée, this isn’t a romantic lark or a quick trip into the history of a charming city; it’s a race against time. Her body is changing, the effect of Dante’s life-saving kiss. And both are pursued by The Brotherhood, an order of Undead dedicated to extending their own existence at all costs. Renée's narration takes readers through the twisting streets of Montreal, effectively drawing them into her distress over Dante, boarding-school psychodrama and the world of the Undead.

Renée’s story is romantic, suspenseful and far from over.  A solid read, this one will leave readers wanting more.   (Paranormal romance. 13 & up)

Pub Date: Jan. 24, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-4231-1957-9

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Hyperion

Review Posted Online: Nov. 9, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2011

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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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A probably harmless, entirely forgettable series opener.

THE SELECTION

From the Selection series , Vol. 1

It's a bad sign when you can figure out the elevator pitch for a novel from the get-go.

In this case, if it wasn't "The Bachelor meets The Hunger Games," it was pretty darn close. In a rigid, caste-based dystopian future, Illéa’s Prince Maxon has come of age and needs to marry. One girl will be chosen by lottery from each province to travel to the Capital and live in the palace so the prince can make his choice. The winning girl will become queen, and her family will all be elevated to Ones. America, a Five, doesn't want to join the Selection because she is in love with Aspen, a Six. But pressure from both her family and Aspen causes her to relent, and the rest is entirely predictable. She's chosen, she goes to the palace, she draws the ire of the other girls with her beauty and the interest of the prince with her spunky independence. Prince Maxon is much nicer than she expected, but she will remain loyal to Aspen. Maybe. Shabby worldbuilding complements the formulaic plot. Scant explanation is made for the ructions that have created the current political reality, and the palace is laughably vulnerable to rebels from both the North and the South, neither of whom are given any credible motives. But there's lots of descriptions of dresses.

A probably harmless, entirely forgettable series opener. (Dystopian romance. 13 & up)

Pub Date: April 24, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-06-205993-2

Page Count: 336

Publisher: HarperTeen

Review Posted Online: Feb. 22, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2012

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