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

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

An engaging, fast-paced story let down by character development.

I KISSED SHARA WHEELER

A romance with solid queer representation set against the backdrop of an Alabama Christian school.

Chloe Green is the only one who sees through Shara Wheeler’s goody-two-shoes act, and now that Shara’s pulled a disappearing act right before being crowned prom queen, she makes it her business to find her. This means teaming up with unlikely allies like Smith Parker, Shara’s jock boyfriend, and Rory Heron, the brooding boy next door, both in love with Shara, just as Chloe claims she is not. What brings the trio together is a series of notes Shara has left them, along with the awkward fact that she kissed all three of them before vanishing. McQuiston’s YA debut starts off as a fun page-turner with a rich cast of queer characters but ultimately disappoints with its predictable plot twists and protagonists whose journeys feel lackluster. In a story that uplifts the importance of friendship and found family, the main character’s tunnel vision and indifference toward her friends’ problems make for an ending that doesn’t feel earned. Rather than coming across as a complicated but earnest love interest, Shara feels superficial and narcissistic, raising the question of why so many people drop everything to pursue her. Shara and Chloe are White; Rory has a White mom and Black dad, and Smith is described as having dark brown skin. Bisexual Chloe has two moms.

An engaging, fast-paced story let down by character development. (author’s note) (Romance. 14-18)

Pub Date: May 3, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-250-24445-1

Page Count: 368

Publisher: Wednesday Books

Review Posted Online: Feb. 9, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2022

Did you like this book?

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

Reader Votes

  • Readers Vote
  • 13

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

Google Rating

  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating
  • New York Times Bestseller

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

Did you like this book?

more