Suspenseful and often wise.

ENDANGERED

A teen vigilante finds the tables turned when a mysterious correspondent uncovers her secret identity.

During the day, Lauren Daniels, better known at school as Panda, tries to stay unnoticed. At night, she becomes Gray, a skilled and daring photographer who captures incriminating or humiliating pictures of high school bullies and posts them to her anonymous website. (Regrettably, the homophobic undertones of two of Gray's posts go largely unremarked upon.) Furious that popular Keachin Myer attacked a disabled classmate, Panda follows Keachin and hits photographic pay dirt. That night, she receives an email from someone called SecretAdm1r3r with incriminating photos of Panda herself photographing Keachin. From then on, the game’s afoot: SecretAdm1r3r's taunting messages at first dare Panda to take risky photographs but quickly move into more sinister territory. When SecretAdm1r3r hints that something will happen to Keachin and Keachin turns up dead the next day, Panda cuts ties, at her own cost. "We're all something we don't know we are," Panda tells readers, and though the mystery takes center stage, Panda also learns important truths about her own shortcomings. The cast is refreshingly racially diverse (Panda herself is mixed-race and looks it on the cover), and though some of the attempts at misdirecting sleuthing-inclined readers are more successful than others, frequent plot twists and short, fast-moving sentences keep tension high.

Suspenseful and often wise. (Thriller. 14 & up)

Pub Date: April 21, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-06-229756-3

Page Count: 288

Publisher: HarperTeen

Review Posted Online: Jan. 10, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2015

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Beautifully written historical fiction about giddy, queer first love.

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LAST NIGHT AT THE TELEGRAPH CLUB

Finally, the intersectional, lesbian, historical teen novel so many readers have been waiting for.

Lily Hu has spent all her life in San Francisco’s Chinatown, keeping mostly to her Chinese American community both in and out of school. As she makes her way through her teen years in the 1950s, she starts growing apart from her childhood friends as her passion for rockets and space exploration grows—along with her curiosity about a few blocks in the city that her parents have warned her to avoid. A budding relationship develops with her first White friend, Kathleen, and together they sneak out to the Telegraph Club lesbian bar, where they begin to explore their sexuality as well as their relationship to each other. Lo’s lovely, realistic, and queer-positive tale is a slow burn, following Lily’s own gradual realization of her sexuality while she learns how to code-switch between being ostensibly heterosexual Chinatown Lily and lesbian Telegraph Bar Lily. In this meticulously researched title, Lo skillfully layers rich details, such as how Lily has to deal with microaggressions from gay and straight women alike and how all of Chinatown has to be careful of the insidious threat of McCarthyism. Actual events, such as Madame Chiang Kai-shek’s 1943 visit to San Francisco, form a backdrop to this story of a journey toward finding one’s authentic self.

Beautifully written historical fiction about giddy, queer first love. (author’s note) (Historical romance. 14-18)

Pub Date: Jan. 19, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-525-55525-4

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Dutton

Review Posted Online: Nov. 12, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2020

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This story is necessary. This story is important.

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THE HATE U GIVE

Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter is a black girl and an expert at navigating the two worlds she exists in: one at Garden Heights, her black neighborhood, and the other at Williamson Prep, her suburban, mostly white high school.

Walking the line between the two becomes immensely harder when Starr is present at the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend, Khalil, by a white police officer. Khalil was unarmed. Khalil’s death becomes national news, where he’s called a thug and possible drug dealer and gangbanger. His death becomes justified in the eyes of many, including one of Starr’s best friends at school. The police’s lackadaisical attitude sparks anger and then protests in the community, turning it into a war zone. Questions remain about what happened in the moments leading to Khalil’s death, and the only witness is Starr, who must now decide what to say or do, if anything. Thomas cuts to the heart of the matter for Starr and for so many like her, laying bare the systemic racism that undergirds her world, and she does so honestly and inescapably, balancing heartbreak and humor. With smooth but powerful prose delivered in Starr’s natural, emphatic voice, finely nuanced characters, and intricate and realistic relationship dynamics, this novel will have readers rooting for Starr and opening their hearts to her friends and family.

This story is necessary. This story is important. (Fiction. 14-adult)

Pub Date: Feb. 28, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-06-249853-3

Page Count: 464

Publisher: Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Dec. 6, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2016

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