Funny, deceptively smart and just in time for those going off to college.

YOLO

From the Internet Girls series , Vol. 4

Instant-messaging champs Maddie, Angela and Zoe return to hash out their first year away at respective colleges in this fourth installment of Myracle’s popular series that began with ttyl (2004).

Geographically speaking, the trio has some serious distance separating them. Thoughtful, reserved Zoe is enthralled with her classes at Kenyon in Ohio, even as she misses her boyfriend, Doug. At the University of Georgia, fashion-conscious Angela contends with a freaky roommate who seems to be stealing her stuff while she pledges to a sorority, causing her to become increasingly unsure about the Greek system. And confident Maddie, usually the one who takes charge, finds herself the odd girl out with her suitemates at the University of California at Santa Cruz. As in the first three books, the entirety of this novel is written as texts and instant messages among the young women. While there are a few instances in which this format feels a little forced—usually when a character requires more than two or three lines to sum things up—it remains an incredibly appealing narrative device. The friends’ honesty with one another, even about things like embarrassing sexual experiences and depression, is lifelike (and heartwarming, to boot), and their jargon—“fugly,” “ex-fucking-scuse me?”—will ring true to many a teen reader.

Funny, deceptively smart and just in time for those going off to college. (Fiction. 14-20)

Pub Date: Aug. 26, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4197-0871-8

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Amulet/Abrams

Review Posted Online: June 29, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2014

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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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