A thrilling romp through a fangirl fantasy in which everything crashes and burns and the heroine emerges stronger

GRACE AND THE FEVER

A fangirl finds herself entangled in the real lives of the boy band she loves.

White teen Grace Thomas lives in a suburb of LA, working as a barista over the summer before college. She leads a double life: one with her best friends, who’ve grown distant, the other online as “Gigi,” a member of the Fever Dream fandom. Grace keeps her time on Tumblr secret from her friends and never shares photos or her real name online. So when she runs into Jes Holloway, the bad boy, mixed-race (Indian and white) heartthrob from Fever Dream, hanging out on her very street, it’s as if two parts of herself collide. She plays it cool, but then a paparazzo shows up—and Grace is suddenly the mystery girl all over the internet photographed with Jes. As she enters the private world of Fever Dream, she struggles to separate her identity as a fan from the person she wants Jes to see. Soon she learns that everything she’s imagined about her favorite band isn’t real—and she’s lying to everyone around her. Tumblr posts from the fandom and Grace’s ruminations on the community anchor the dreamlike scenario, related in a closely focused third-person present tense. Her growth coupled with the drama of a burgeoning celebrity scandal make for an immersive, touching read.

A thrilling romp through a fangirl fantasy in which everything crashes and burns and the heroine emerges stronger . (Fiction. 12-17)

Pub Date: May 16, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-5247-2084-1

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: Feb. 4, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2017

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

LEGEND

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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Despite some missteps, this will appeal to readers who enjoy a fresh and realistic teen voice.

THE FIELD GUIDE TO THE NORTH AMERICAN TEENAGER

A teenage, not-so-lonely loner endures the wilds of high school in Austin, Texas.

Norris Kaplan, the protagonist of Philippe’s debut novel, is a hypersweaty, uber-snarky black, Haitian, French-Canadian pushing to survive life in his new school. His professor mom’s new tenure-track job transplants Norris mid–school year, and his biting wit and sarcasm are exposed through his cataloging of his new world in a field guide–style burn book. He’s greeted in his new life by an assortment of acquaintances, Liam, who is white and struggling with depression; Maddie, a self-sacrificing white cheerleader with a heart of gold; and Aarti, his Indian-American love interest who offers connection. Norris’ ego, fueled by his insecurities, often gets in the way of meaningful character development. The scenes showcasing his emotional growth are too brief and, despite foreshadowing, the climax falls flat because he still gets incredible personal access to people he’s hurt. A scene where Norris is confronted by his mother for getting drunk and belligerent with a white cop is diluted by his refusal or inability to grasp the severity of the situation and the resultant minor consequences. The humor is spot-on, as is the representation of the black diaspora; the opportunity for broader conversations about other topics is there, however, the uneven buildup of detailed, meaningful exchanges and the glibness of Norris’ voice detract.

Despite some missteps, this will appeal to readers who enjoy a fresh and realistic teen voice. (Fiction. 13-16)

Pub Date: Jan. 8, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-06-282411-0

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Oct. 15, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2018

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