A just-right combination of sweet and cheesy.

TWEET CUTE

Romance and a Twitter war brew between two New York teens whose families run competing eateries in this fresh debut.

Though unsure of her aspirations after high school, high-achieving student Pepper Evans is sure that good grades and entrance into a top college will please her mother, co-founder of Big League Burger, one of the country’s top fast-food franchises. Classmate and funny guy Jack Campbell feels overshadowed by his gifted identical twin brother, Ethan, a feeling that grows when their father hints that he expects Jack to take over their family’s deli, Girl Cheesing, while Ethan goes on to greater things. When Big League Burger announces the release of a new menu item called “Grandma’s Special,” a sandwich that is a copy of a Campbell family classic, Jack tweets a snarky response through Girl Cheesing’s account. Unbeknownst to him, Pepper, instructed by her mother, claps back, and a battle ensues. While their public slam down goes viral, Pepper and Jack anonymously confide in one another through an online messaging app called Weazel, which Jack developed himself. From meme wars to social media marketing, Lord accurately depicts various sides of today’s online culture. Amid all the digital hoopla is an engaging story about family loyalty and pursuing one’s own passions. Most characters are white except for some secondary characters whose names suggest ethnic diversity; Ethan is gay.

A just-right combination of sweet and cheesy. (Fiction. 12-18)

Pub Date: Jan. 21, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-250-23732-3

Page Count: 368

Publisher: Wednesday Books

Review Posted Online: Oct. 14, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2019

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Part cautionary tale, part juicy love story, this will appeal to action and adventure fans who aren't yet sick of the genre.

SHATTER ME

A dystopic thriller joins the crowded shelves but doesn't distinguish itself.

Juliette was torn from her home and thrown into an asylum by The Reestablishment, a militaristic regime in control since an environmental catastrophe left society in ruins. Juliette’s journal holds her tortured thoughts in an attempt to repress memories of the horrific act that landed her in a cell. Mysteriously, Juliette’s touch kills. After months of isolation, her captors suddenly give her a cellmate—Adam, a drop-dead gorgeous guy. Adam, it turns out, is immune to her deadly touch. Unfortunately, he’s a soldier under orders from Warner, a power-hungry 19-year-old. But Adam belongs to a resistance movement; he helps Juliette escape to their stronghold, where she finds that she’s not the only one with superhuman abilities. The ending falls flat as the plot devolves into comic-book territory. Fast-paced action scenes convey imminent danger vividly, but there’s little sense of a broader world here. Overreliance on metaphor to express Juliette’s jaw-dropping surprise wears thin: “My mouth is sitting on my kneecaps. My eyebrows are dangling from the ceiling.” For all of her independence and superpowers, Juliette never moves beyond her role as a pawn in someone else’s schemes.

Part cautionary tale, part juicy love story, this will appeal to action and adventure fans who aren't yet sick of the genre. (Science fiction. 12 & up)

Pub Date: Nov. 15, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-06-208548-1

Page Count: 352

Publisher: HarperTeen

Review Posted Online: April 5, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2011

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An inventive, character-driven twist breathes new life into tired fantasy trends.

RED QUEEN

From the Red Queen series , Vol. 1

Amid a war and rising civil unrest, a young thief discovers the shocking power within her that sparks a revolution.

At 17, Mare knows that without an apprenticeship or job, her next birthday will bring a conscription to join the war. She contributes to her poor family’s income the only way she can, stealing from the Silvers, who possess myriad powers and force her and her fellow Reds into servitude. The Silvers literally bleed silver, and they can manipulate metal, plants and animals, among many other talents. When Mare’s best friend, Kilorn, loses his job and is doomed to conscription, she is determined to change his fate. She stumbles into a mysterious stranger after her plan goes awry and is pulled out of her village and into the world of Silver royalty. Once inside the palace walls, it isn’t long before Mare learns that powers unknown to red-blooded humans lie within her, powers that could lead a revolution. Familiar tropes abound. Mare is revealed as a great catalyst for change among classes and is groomed from rags to riches, and of course, seemingly kind characters turn out to be foes. However, Aveyard weaves a compelling new world, and Mare and the two men in her life evolve intriguingly as class tension rises. Revolution supersedes romance, setting the stage for action-packed surprises.

An inventive, character-driven twist breathes new life into tired fantasy trends. (Fantasy. 13 & up)

Pub Date: Feb. 10, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-06-231063-7

Page Count: 400

Publisher: HarperTeen

Review Posted Online: Nov. 11, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2014

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