A satisfying fairy-tale nerd love story.

BOOKISH AND THE BEAST

From the Once Upon a Con series , Vol. 3

A small-town girl transforms a spoiled star in this third installment in the Once Upon a Con series.

High school senior Rosie Thorne loves the science-fiction space opera Starfield, connecting with her recently deceased mother through the old TV show, the newly rebooted movie series, and the tie-in novels. In real life, though, Rosie is struggling with her grief, her college essay, and the unwanted attentions of Gaston-stand-in Garrett Taylor. When Rosie’s unfortunate run-in with the town’s newest resident leads to her cataloging the library of an eccentric castlelike house, she also must deal with the beastly moods of Hollywood bad boy Vance Reigns, who is staying there. Seventeen-year-old co-narrator Vance is a self-proclaimed prisoner, exiled to North Carolina by his stepfather after filming the newest Starfield movie. Spoiled, sulky, and self-loathing, publicity-shy Vance fears that he’s irredeemable. Tying in 2017’s Geekerella and 2019’s The Princess and the Fangirl but expanding outside the enchanted bubble/fever-pitch world of conventions, Poston adds a dash more reality to this romance. The world of Starfield—initially, a Star Wars/Star Trek knockoff, with a rebel princess, too-good hero, and cocky bad boy—begs for a TV adaptation. Despite the setting, both Rosie and Vance are white; their sidekicks are more diverse, in gender, if not race; nonbinary Quinn is a scene stealer while Rosie’s bisexual, former-punk rocker, librarian dad is adorkable.

A satisfying fairy-tale nerd love story. (Romance. 12-18)

Pub Date: June 16, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-68369-193-8

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Quirk Books

Review Posted Online: March 25, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2020

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THE PAPER GIRL OF PARIS

Passionate, impulsive Chloe and her popular older sister, Adalyn, were inseparable—until the Nazis invaded France in 1940 and Adalyn started keeping secrets.

Over half a century later, Alice, Chloe’s 16-year-old American granddaughter, has just inherited her childhood home in Paris. The fully furnished apartment has clearly been neglected for decades and raises more questions than it answers: Why didn’t Gram talk about her childhood? Who is the second girl in the photos throughout the apartment? Why didn’t Gram’s family return there after the war? Alice’s father is reluctant to discuss anything that might upset Alice’s mother, who’s still reeling from her mother’s death, so Alice decides to find answers on her own. What she eventually learns both shocks and heals her family. Chapters alternate between Alice’s and Adalyn’s voices, narrating Adalyn’s experience as a French Christian of the Nazi occupation and Alice’s attempts to understand what happened after the war. The girls’ stories parallel one another in significant ways: Each has a romance with a young Frenchman, each has a parent struggling with depression, and each must consider the lengths she would go to protect those she loves. Though at times feeling a bit rushed, Alice’s engaging contemporary perspective neatly frames Adalyn’s immersive, heartbreaking story as it slowly unfolds—providing an important history lesson as well as a framework for discussing depression. Alice and her family are white.

Gripping. (Historical fiction. 12-18)

Pub Date: May 26, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-06-293662-2

Page Count: 368

Publisher: HarperTeen

Review Posted Online: Feb. 9, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2020

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Part cautionary tale, part juicy love story, this will appeal to action and adventure fans who aren't yet sick of the genre.

SHATTER ME

A dystopic thriller joins the crowded shelves but doesn't distinguish itself.

Juliette was torn from her home and thrown into an asylum by The Reestablishment, a militaristic regime in control since an environmental catastrophe left society in ruins. Juliette’s journal holds her tortured thoughts in an attempt to repress memories of the horrific act that landed her in a cell. Mysteriously, Juliette’s touch kills. After months of isolation, her captors suddenly give her a cellmate—Adam, a drop-dead gorgeous guy. Adam, it turns out, is immune to her deadly touch. Unfortunately, he’s a soldier under orders from Warner, a power-hungry 19-year-old. But Adam belongs to a resistance movement; he helps Juliette escape to their stronghold, where she finds that she’s not the only one with superhuman abilities. The ending falls flat as the plot devolves into comic-book territory. Fast-paced action scenes convey imminent danger vividly, but there’s little sense of a broader world here. Overreliance on metaphor to express Juliette’s jaw-dropping surprise wears thin: “My mouth is sitting on my kneecaps. My eyebrows are dangling from the ceiling.” For all of her independence and superpowers, Juliette never moves beyond her role as a pawn in someone else’s schemes.

Part cautionary tale, part juicy love story, this will appeal to action and adventure fans who aren't yet sick of the genre. (Science fiction. 12 & up)

Pub Date: Nov. 15, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-06-208548-1

Page Count: 352

Publisher: HarperTeen

Review Posted Online: April 5, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2011

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