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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Black is building a complex mythology; now is a great time to tune in.

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THE CRUEL PRINCE

From the Folk of the Air series , Vol. 1

Black is back with another dark tale of Faerie, this one set in Faerie and launching a new trilogy.

Jude—broken, rebuilt, fueled by anger and a sense of powerlessness—has never recovered from watching her adoptive Faerie father murder her parents. Human Jude (whose brown hair curls and whose skin color is never described) both hates and loves Madoc, whose murderous nature is true to his Faerie self and who in his way loves her. Brought up among the Gentry, Jude has never felt at ease, but after a decade, Faerie has become her home despite the constant peril. Black’s latest looks at nature and nurture and spins a tale of court intrigue, bloodshed, and a truly messed-up relationship that might be the saving of Jude and the titular prince, who, like Jude, has been shaped by the cruelties of others. Fierce and observant Jude is utterly unaware of the currents that swirl around her. She fights, plots, even murders enemies, but she must also navigate her relationship with her complex family (human, Faerie, and mixed). This is a heady blend of Faerie lore, high fantasy, and high school drama, dripping with description that brings the dangerous but tempting world of Faerie to life.

Black is building a complex mythology; now is a great time to tune in. (Fantasy. 14-adult)

Pub Date: Jan. 2, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-316-31027-7

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Sept. 26, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2017

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Aza would claim that opinions about this book are unfairly influenced by “the gut-brain informational cycle,” which makes it...

TURTLES ALL THE WAY DOWN

Nerdfighter Green’s latest takes readers through Indianapolis and the human biome.

Aza Holmes doesn’t feel like herself. But “if half the cells inside of you are not you, doesn’t that challenge the whole notion of me as a singular pronoun…?” When a local billionaire—and the father of her childhood friend, a white boy named Davis—disappears, Aza (who seems to be white) and her BFF, Daisy Ramirez (who is cued as Latina), plot to find him and claim the reward, amid rumors of corruption and an underexplored side plot about semi-immortal reptiles. The story revolves around anxious Aza’s dissociation from her body and life. Daisy chatters about Star Wars fan fiction (and calls Aza “Holmesy” ad nauseam), and Davis monologues about astronomy, while Aza obsesses over infection, the ever present, self-inflicted wound on her finger, and whether she’s “just a deeply flawed line of reasoning.” The thin but neatly constructed plot feels a bit like an excuse for Green to flex his philosophical muscles; teenagers questioning the mysteries of consciousness can identify with Aza, while others might wish that something—anything—really happens. The exploration of Aza’s life-threatening compulsions will resonate deeply with some, titillate others, and possibly trigger those in between.

Aza would claim that opinions about this book are unfairly influenced by “the gut-brain informational cycle,” which makes it hard to say what anyone else will think—but this is the new John Green; people will read this, or not, regardless of someone else’s gut flora. (Fiction. 14-18)

Pub Date: Oct. 10, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-525-55536-0

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Dutton

Review Posted Online: Oct. 10, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2017

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