A thoughtfully subversive exploration of the diverging pathways of the human heart.

AGAIN AGAIN

A rising senior’s summer follows diverging romantic trajectories in parallel timelines.

Adelaide Buchwald is spending the summer dogsitting for her teachers at Alabaster Prep, an elite New England boarding school—and processing both her recent breakup and her brother Toby’s opioid addiction. Soon she runs into Jack Cavallero, a boy who wrote a poem about her two years prior—“She contains / contradictions,” he wrote—and whom she’s idealized ever since. The narrative then breaks into several possibilities of how their relationship might progress. Adelaide also works to complete a set design for Sam Shepard’s Fool for Love to save a failing grade from the previous year and tremulously starts to rebuild her bond with her brother despite her feelings of betrayal after the pain his addiction has caused the family. In addition to the fractured timelines, Adelaide’s narrative voice occasionally fractures with added line breaks when her emotions are most heightened. Adelaide is white, Jewish, and on reduced tuition at the largely wealthy and WASP-y Alabaster; Jack is olive-skinned, and several secondary characters are racially diverse. What begins as a typical YA romance becomes a thoughtful exploration of the expectations Adelaide places on herself and others; in each timeline, she must confront her own fears and shortcomings. Toby’s addiction is sensitively portrayed; the sibling relationship emerges as the true heart of this story in any timeline.

A thoughtfully subversive exploration of the diverging pathways of the human heart. (Fiction. 14-18)

Pub Date: June 2, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-385-74479-9

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: March 29, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2020

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An enticing, turbulent, and satisfying final voyage.

THE NOBLEMAN'S GUIDE TO SCANDAL AND SHIPWRECKS

From the Montague Siblings series , Vol. 3

Adrian, the youngest of the Montague siblings, sails into tumultuous waters in search of answers about himself, the sudden death of his mother, and her mysterious, cracked spyglass.

On the summer solstice less than a year ago, Caroline Montague fell off a cliff in Aberdeen into the sea. When the Scottish hostel where she was staying sends a box of her left-behind belongings to London, Adrian—an anxious, White nobleman on the cusp of joining Parliament—discovers one of his mother’s most treasured possessions, an antique spyglass. She acquired it when she was the sole survivor of a shipwreck many years earlier. His mother always carried that spyglass with her, but on the day of her death, she had left it behind in her room. Although he never knew its full significance, Adrian is haunted by new questions and is certain the spyglass will lead him to the truth. Once again, Lee crafts an absorbing adventure with dangerous stakes, dynamic character growth, sharp social and political commentary, and a storm of emotion. Inseparable from his external search for answers about his mother, Adrian seeks a solution for himself, an end to his struggle with mental illness—a journey handled with hopeful, gentle honesty that validates the experiences of both good and bad days. Characters from the first two books play significant secondary roles, and the resolution ties up their loose ends. Humorous antics provide a well-measured balance with the heavier themes.

An enticing, turbulent, and satisfying final voyage. (Historical fiction. 14-18)

Pub Date: Nov. 16, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-06-291601-3

Page Count: 464

Publisher: Katherine Tegen/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Sept. 1, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2021

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Many teen novels touch on similar themes, but few do it so memorably.

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ALL THE BRIGHT PLACES

Two struggling teens develop an unlikely relationship in a moving exploration of grief, suicide and young love.

Violet, a writer and member of the popular crowd, has withdrawn from her friends and from school activities since her sister died in a car accident nine months earlier. Finch, known to his classmates as "Theodore Freak," is famously impulsive and eccentric. Following their meeting in the school bell tower, Finch makes it his mission to re-engage Violet with the world, partially through a school project that sends them to offbeat Indiana landmarks and partially through simple persistence. (Violet and Finch live, fortunately for all involved, in the sort of romantic universe where his throwing rocks at her window in the middle of the night comes off more charming than stalker-esque.) The teens alternate narration chapter by chapter, each in a unique and well-realized voice. Finch's self-destructive streak and suicidal impulses are never far from the surface, and the chapters he narrates are interspersed with facts about suicide methods and quotations from Virginia Woolf and poet Cesare Pavese. When the story inevitably turns tragic, a cast of carefully drawn side characters brings to life both the pain of loss and the possibility of moving forward, though some notes of hope are more believable than others.

Many teen novels touch on similar themes, but few do it so memorably. (Fiction. 14 & up)

Pub Date: Jan. 6, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-385-75588-7

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: Oct. 1, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2014

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