A witty, honest debut that shines a light on some very real issues.

THE NIGHT WHEN NO ONE HAD SEX

A group of friends in Eugene, Oregon, make a pact to have sex with their respective partners after prom in this comedic novel.

Featuring revolving first-person narration shared by four of the characters and interspersed with a group chat that includes the whole group, this engaging, madcap comedy is refreshingly frank in its discussion of sex and the problems that can arise as couples prepare to make good on their plans at the fancy vacation house they’ve borrowed from Zoe’s uncle for the occasion. Only Alex, who rushes to be with his grandmother when she is taken to the hospital, and Leah, the prom date he met only hours earlier after they were set up by a mutual friend, are not part of the pact. Zoe and her girlfriend, Morgan, who’ve had sex before, struggle with discussing changes in their college plans. Morgan’s twin sister, Madison, and her boyfriend, Jake, arrive with condoms in hand but find that a flare of her autoimmune disorder, lupus, and his good-natured but clueless response to it complicate their plans. Finally, Julia’s disappointment that she experiences extreme pain when she and her boyfriend, Kevin, attempt to have intercourse leads them to try out a role-play scenario that ends in situational hilarity. Alex is Korean American; Kevin is Chinese American; and the rest of the characters are White.

A witty, honest debut that shines a light on some very real issues. (Fiction. 14-18)

Pub Date: Oct. 12, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-8075-5627-6

Page Count: 304

Publisher: AW Teen

Review Posted Online: July 27, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2021

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This grittily provocative debut explores the horrors of self-harm and the healing power of artistic expression.

GIRL IN PIECES

After surviving a suicide attempt, a fragile teen isn't sure she can endure without cutting herself.

Seventeen-year-old Charlie Davis, a white girl living on the margins, thinks she has little reason to live: her father drowned himself; her bereft and abusive mother kicked her out; her best friend, Ellis, is nearly brain dead after cutting too deeply; and she's gone through unspeakable experiences living on the street. After spending time in treatment with other young women like her—who cut, burn, poke, and otherwise hurt themselves—Charlie is released and takes a bus from the Twin Cities to Tucson to be closer to Mikey, a boy she "like-likes" but who had pined for Ellis instead. But things don't go as planned in the Arizona desert, because sweet Mikey just wants to be friends. Feeling rejected, Charlie, an artist, is drawn into a destructive new relationship with her sexy older co-worker, a "semifamous" local musician who's obviously a junkie alcoholic. Through intense, diarylike chapters chronicling Charlie's journey, the author captures the brutal and heartbreaking way "girls who write their pain on their bodies" scar and mar themselves, either succumbing or surviving. Like most issue books, this is not an easy read, but it's poignant and transcendent as Charlie breaks more and more before piecing herself back together.

This grittily provocative debut explores the horrors of self-harm and the healing power of artistic expression. (author’s note) (Fiction. 14 & up)

Pub Date: Aug. 30, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-101-93471-5

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: May 4, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2016

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Swoonworthy wish fulfillment that checks all the right boxes.

HERE'S TO US

Former boyfriends’ “big Broadway love story” gets a revival in this sequel to What If It’s Us (2018).

Two years after their flash romance, Ben Alejo and Arthur Seuss (both now in college) couldn’t have drifted further apart. But destiny intervenes when Arthur lands his “ultimate top-tier pie-in-the-sky dream job” interning at a queer off-Broadway theater for the summer. Their long-anticipated reunion comes with a small catch: Both boys are basically taken. Ben met Mario in his college creative writing class, and, while they aren’t boyfriends, the connection—and attraction—is definitely there. Arthur’s officially dating Mikey, whose sweetness and steadiness saved him from remaining a “Ben-addled mess.” Cue the confusion—and inevitable broken hearts—as Ben and Arthur contend with their pasts and presents while trying to figure out their futures. Who will end up with whom? Albertalli’s and Silvera’s voices blend seamlessly, balancing the complexities of the boys’ situations with heartfelt (and heartwarming) nostalgia. As in the previous book, the narrative alternates between Ben’s and Arthur’s perspectives with off-the-charts wit and chemistry. Lovable side characters have grown and matured, while new characters expand the world to create an even stronger sense of community. Loose ends are tied up believably with an epilogue. Arthur is Jewish; Ben and Mario are Puerto Rican, and Mikey is White.

Swoonworthy wish fulfillment that checks all the right boxes. (Fiction. 14-18)

Pub Date: Dec. 28, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-06-307163-6

Page Count: 448

Publisher: Quill Tree Books/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Oct. 13, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2021

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