A charming sequel of self-discovery, first love, and forgiveness.

PRETTY RUDE FOR A GIRL

Haylah furthers her comedy career and deals with romantic and familial entanglements.

Set a few months after the events of 2020’s Pretty Funny for a Girl, this follow-up continues the adventures of newly more confident aspiring stand-up comedian Haylah (who now goes by Hay instead of Pig, the fatphobic nickname she had tried to reclaim and defuse). The 15-year-old English girl has begun to upload snarky comedy bits to YouTube and isn’t quite as insecure about her size or looks as she was before. But Hay still faces challenges: She’s not sure why her boyfriend, Dylan, spends hours with her but has yet to kiss her; she’s got mixed feelings about her divorced mum’s increasingly serious partner; and her estranged father makes a surprise appearance at a gig, and the shock of seeing him throws her off stride. Elliott digs deeper into the residual self-doubt that creeps up, even as Hay feels more assured about her worth and talent. There’s still deprecating humor, but this time it’s more balanced, and the slow-burn romance is thoughtfully (and funnily) described. Hay’s relationship with her much-younger brother, Noah, is once again a highlight, and her character growth is evident in how she resolves conflict with her family and best friends. Most characters are cued as White; Dylan is Chinese and implied White.

A charming sequel of self-discovery, first love, and forgiveness. (Fiction. 12-18)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-68263-148-5

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Peachtree

Review Posted Online: Aug. 16, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2021

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

This grittily provocative debut explores the horrors of self-harm and the healing power of artistic expression.

Reader Votes

  • Readers Vote
  • 20

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • New York Times Bestseller

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

Did you like this book?

A crackerjack thriller done in by its own dopey protagonist.

LOCK THE DOORS

A blended family seeks a fresh start in a new home.

Tom’s mother believes that the family may have finally found happiness. After years of dating losers, she’s finally settled down with a nice guy—and that nice guy, Jay, happens to have a daughter, Nia, who is just a little older than Tom. The new family has moved into a nice new house, but Tom can’t shake the feeling that something’s wrong. They discover a strange message written on the wall when they are stripping the old wallpaper, and there’s clear evidence that the previous owners had installed locks on the exteriors of the bedroom doors. Those previous owners happen to live a little farther down the street, and Tom quickly becomes obsessed with their teenage daughter, Amy, and the secrets she’s hiding. This obsession unfortunately becomes a repetitive slog involving many pages of Tom’s brooding and sulking over the same bits of information while everyone tells him to move on. Readers will be on everyone’s side. But then, a blessed breath of fresh air: The perspective shifts to Amy, and readers learn in spectacularly propulsive fashion exactly what she’s hiding. Regret and intrigue blend perfectly as Amy divulges her secrets. Alas, we return to navel-gazing Tom for the book’s final pages, and everything ends with a shrug. Main characters default to White.

A crackerjack thriller done in by its own dopey protagonist. (Thriller. 14-18)

Pub Date: March 1, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-72823-189-1

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Review Posted Online: Dec. 15, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2022

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more