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


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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Queer, fluffy fun.


Senior year brings an entire list of changes to Jay’s life.

Jay, a gay 17-year-old, experiences a dramatic shift when his mother’s promotion to grocery store district manager transports their family from a small, not-very-diverse town in Eastern Washington to Seattle for his last year in high school. Jay will have to leave his best friend, Lu, but their friendship can survive the distance, right? It also means the chance to cross off items on Jay’s Gay Agenda, a list that ranges from finally meeting another gay boy (after being the only one who is out at his school) to, hopefully, going all the way. Things look up when Jay is taken under the wing of exuberant, genderqueer Max, a new Seattle classmate who helps him make moves toward sexy (and fun) Tony and sexy (and endearing) Albert. The story will amuse readers who are looking for a light read, although the characters at times read more like sitcom versions of teenagers than the real things. While the overall tone is more slapstick and humorous, a subplot concerning orphaned Lu’s financial problems is handled with sensitivity. The coronavirus is mentioned in a context indicating that the story is set in the near post-pandemic future, after quarantines have ended. Most main characters are implied White; Albert is Chinese American, and secondary characters in Seattle reflect the diversity of the city.

Queer, fluffy fun. (Fiction. 13-17)

Pub Date: June 1, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-06-301515-9

Page Count: 368

Publisher: HarperTeen

Review Posted Online: March 31, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2021

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Skip this uninspired entry into the world of medieval love and court intrigue.


From the Betrothed series , Vol. 1

In an imagined setting evoking medieval England, King Jameson of Coroa pursues Hollis Brite.

The independent teenager makes Jameson laugh, but she lacks the education and demeanor people expect in a queen. Her friend Delia Grace has more knowledge of history and languages but is shunned due to her illegitimate birth. Hollis gets caught up in a whirl of social activity, especially following an Isolten royal visit. There has been bad blood between the two countries, not fully explained here, and when an exiled Isolten family also comes to court, Jameson generously allows them to stay. Hollis relies on the family to teach her about Isolten customs and secretly falls in love with Silas, the oldest son, even though a relationship with him would mean relinquishing Jameson and the throne. When Hollis learns of political machinations that will affect her future in ways that she abhors, she faces a difficult decision. Romance readers will enjoy the usual descriptions of dresses, jewelry, young love, and discreet kisses, although many characters remain cardboard figures. While the violent climax may be upsetting, the book ends on a hopeful note. Themes related to immigration and young women’s taking charge of their lives don’t quite lift this awkwardly written volume above other royal romances. There are prejudicial references to Romani people, and whiteness is situated as the norm.

Skip this uninspired entry into the world of medieval love and court intrigue. (Historical romance. 13-16)

Pub Date: May 5, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-06-229163-9

Page Count: 320

Publisher: HarperTeen

Review Posted Online: Feb. 5, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2020

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