FAKE PLASTIC GIRL

From the Fake Plastic Girl series , Vol. 1

A salaciously entertaining debut that is also a disturbing and often depressing look at celebrity obsession, scandal, and...

Jaded teens, tabloid travails, and murder, oh my!

Early in Lisbon’s novel it’s clear that 17-year-old former child star Eva-Kate Kelly is dead, and 16-year-old Justine Childs, obsessive Taylor Swift fan and daughter of a celebrity therapist, wants readers to know that she didn’t do it. Justine has lightly rubbed elbows with celebrities all her life, but to her enduring agony, she’s never truly been a part of that world. When emancipated Eva-Kate becomes her new Venice Beach neighbor, star-struck Justine, whose mom is on vacation, is free to enter Eva-Kate’s world—and it’s a strange one. Eva-Kate makes Justine her new bestie, introduces her to oodles of drugs and alcohol, and plays plenty of mind games. The alternately naïve and world-weary Justine is enthralled with the dynamic Eva-Kate and may not be a trustworthy narrator. After all, Justine mentions that she’s on medication and has spent time in a psychiatric ward, although she elaborates little. Of course, Justine discovers that Eva-Kate has been keeping an explosive secret. Soon after, Eva-Kate is dead, and Justine is the main suspect. Frustratingly, readers hoping to delve into Eva-Kate’s murder and the aftermath will have to wait until the next book. All main characters assume a white default.

A salaciously entertaining debut that is also a disturbing and often depressing look at celebrity obsession, scandal, and teen angst, lit with a lurid sheen of Hollywood noir. (Fiction. 14-18)

Pub Date: March 26, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-250-15629-7

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: Dec. 17, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2019

IF HE HAD BEEN WITH ME

There’s not much plot here, but readers will relish the opportunity to climb inside Autumn’s head.

The finely drawn characters capture readers’ attention in this debut.

Autumn and Phineas, nicknamed Finny, were born a week apart; their mothers are still best friends. Growing up, Autumn and Finny were like peas in a pod despite their differences: Autumn is “quirky and odd,” while Finny is “sweet and shy and everyone like[s] him.” But in eighth grade, Autumn and Finny stop being friends due to an unexpected kiss. They drift apart and find new friends, but their friendship keeps asserting itself at parties, shared holiday gatherings and random encounters. In the summer after graduation, Autumn and Finny reconnect and are finally ready to be more than friends. But on August 8, everything changes, and Autumn has to rely on all her strength to move on. Autumn’s coming-of-age is sensitively chronicled, with a wide range of experiences and events shaping her character. Even secondary characters are well-rounded, with their own histories and motivations.

There’s not much plot here, but readers will relish the opportunity to climb inside Autumn’s head.   (Fiction. 14 & up)

Pub Date: April 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-4022-7782-5

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Review Posted Online: Feb. 12, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2013

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A GOOD GIRL'S GUIDE TO MURDER

From the Good Girl's Guide to Murder series , Vol. 1

A treat for mystery readers who enjoy being kept in suspense.

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Everyone believes that Salil Singh killed his girlfriend, Andrea Bell, five years ago—except Pippa Fitz-Amobi.

Pip has known and liked Sal since childhood; he’d supported her when she was being bullied in middle school. For her senior capstone project, Pip researches the disappearance of former Fairview High student Andie, last seen on April 18, 2014, by her younger sister, Becca. The original investigation concluded with most of the evidence pointing to Sal, who was found dead in the woods, apparently by suicide. Andie’s body was never recovered, and Sal was assumed by most to be guilty of abduction and murder. Unable to ignore the gaps in the case, Pip sets out to prove Sal’s innocence, beginning with interviewing his younger brother, Ravi. With his help, Pip digs deeper, unveiling unsavory facts about Andie and the real reason Sal’s friends couldn’t provide him with an alibi. But someone is watching, and Pip may be in more danger than she realizes. Pip’s sleuthing is both impressive and accessible. Online articles about the case and interview transcripts are provided throughout, and Pip’s capstone logs offer insights into her thought processes as new evidence and suspects arise. Jackson’s debut is well-executed and surprises readers with a connective web of interesting characters and motives. Pip and Andie are white, and Sal is of Indian descent.

A treat for mystery readers who enjoy being kept in suspense. (Mystery. 14-18)

Pub Date: Feb. 4, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9848-9636-0

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: Oct. 27, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2019

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