50 Booklist April 15, 2017 www.booklistreader.com
detailed illustrations from Eliza’s webcomic,
drawn by Zappia herself. A fervent celebration
of online fandom, sure to leave readers craving
an actual Monstrous Sea comic. —Caitlin Kling
Four Weeks, Five People.
By Jennifer Yu.
May 2017. 352p. Harlequin Teen, $18.99
(9780373212309). Gr. 9–12.
Five teens are sent to a wilderness therapy
camp for a month to work through mental
illness in this debut novel. Clarissa wants to
overcome her OCD; Ben is dissociative and
lives through movies; Mason is a narcissist;
Andrew struggles with anorexia; and sarcastic Stella battles anger and depression. Four
weeks is a pretty quick time frame for a major psychological turnaround, but the group
makes steady progress as they bond over hikes,
late-night campfires, and romance. Somewhat
predictably a tragedy strikes, but it’s handled
well, and the group members show continued growth through their individual narrative
chapters. Throughout the story, the main
characters’ struggles are uniquely developed,
and Yu portrays therapy in a positive light,
helping to dismantle some of the stigma associated with mental illness. Readers looking for
contemporary fiction that thoughtfully tackles the challenges inherent to psychological
and emotional disorders will easily connect
with this book. Shari Goldhagen’s 100 Days
of Cake (2016) and Susin Nielsen’s Optimists
Die First (2017) would make good companion titles. —Sarah Bean Thompson
Girl out of Water.
By Laura Silverman.
May 2017. 368p. Sourcebooks/Fire, paper, $10.99
(9781492646860). Gr. 9–12.
Anise has few needs in life. Just the surf,
her board, and her tight-knit posse of friends.
Then Anise’s aunt is in a terrible car accident
and needs her family to come help care for her
children in landlocked Nebraska. One place
her younger cousins enjoy is the skate park,
where Anise meets a handsome black skater
boy, Lincoln. After Anise claims that surfing is
harder that skateboarding, Lincoln challenges
her to give skating a try. It’s a fiasco, but Anise
becomes determined to learn to skateboard,
and Nebraska slowly grows on her. Debut
novelist Silverman realistically captures Anise’s love for her surfing life and the terrible
sacrifice she makes when leaving it behind for
a whole summer, and her relationships with
her family are bittersweet and loving, giving
her depth of character. Meanwhile, Lincoln is
a charmer, and thanks to Silverman’s excellent
portrayal of a boy who is not defined by his
disability, readers like Anise, will easily forget
that he is missing an arm. Hand to fans of
Sarah Dessen and Jenny Han. —Diane Colson
By Veronica Chambers.
May 2017. 208p. Delacorte, $16.99 (9781101930953);
e-book, $16.99 (9781101930960). Gr. 7–10.
Chambers’ (Plus, 2010) latest offers a distinct
perspective on the complex and current issue
of Mexican immigration to the U.S. Cammi’s
mother is one of the most famous telenovela
stars in Mexico, and her family enjoys a deca-
dent lifestyle in the heart of Mexico City. The
problem is, she has never quite fit in with the
other #RichKidsOfMexicoCity at her school,
who flaunt their wealth on social media for at-
tention. When Cammi’s mother lands a role on
a popular American sitcom, the whole family
gets the opportunity to reinvent themselves
in L.A. After she arrives at her new school,
Cammi must decide how to confront being
stereotyped. Cammi’s sharp but sincere voice
guides readers through her reasoning to, at
first, play the part of “poor housemaid’s daugh-
ter,” but eventually explore her identity as both
a Mexican and an American. Cammi’s is a
short but rich tale that illuminates the nuanced
experience of a girl who, despite her privilege,
still grapples with who she is and where she be-
longs. —Caitlin Kling
Grace and the Fever.
By Zan Romanoff.
May 2017. 352p. Knopf, $17.99 (9781524720841);
lib. ed., $20.99 (9781524720858); e-book, $17.99
(9781524720865). Gr. 7–12.
The minute obsessive fandom bleeds into
real life, there’s bound to be trouble. Grace
Thomas is a self-proclaimed
ordinary person, but as music blogger Gigi, she’s an
integral part of boy band
Fever Dream’s fandom. One
night during the summer after graduation, Grace finds
herself face-to-face with the
band’s heartthrob, Jes. When
a paparazzo takes their picture and it goes viral,
Grace/Gigi finds herself straddling the worlds
of the band, fandom, and real life, forcing her
to face complicated truths about herself. This is
a realistically told tale of a fan and star falling
into a relationship that is messier and thornier
than anticipated. It explores how the comfort
of an online community can absorb one’s life
to the point of blurring boundaries, and how
falsehoods and fabrications become easier the
more they’re employed. Genuine dialogue,
texts, e-mails, online posts—albeit filled with
an excess of the word like in, like, every other
sentence—bring to life this edgy and layered
look at the glitz and secrets of stardom from
ordinary eyes. Romanoff’s (A Song to Take the
World Apart, 2016) novel will resonate with
teens who have favorite bands, and it will hit
home with those who think about those bands
a little too much. —Jeanne Fredriksen
By Gillian French.
May 2017. 304p. Harper Teen, $17.99 (9780062642554).
Feisty Darcy Prentiss is drawn to wild times.
She’ll grab at any kind of dare, chug any kind
of liquor, and kiss any kind of boy just to allevi-
ate the tedium of small-town life. The summer
before her senior year, Darcy joins her sister,
Mags, and her cousin, Nell, raking blueberries
on a local farm. There’s plenty of tension in the
air, as Darcy keeps an eye on
her nemesis, Shea Gaines.
Only Darcy and Shea know
what actually went down
between them, and Darcy’s
not telling. Then there’s re-
newed interest in Darcy’s
ex–best friend, Rhiannon,
missing without a trace since
the summer before. Is Darcy keeping mute on
something she knows about this as well? And
there’s something else Darcy is hiding to pro-
tect Nell, who is beautiful but simple-minded.
Any of these secrets could explode and rip Dar-
cy’s life apart, but debut novelist French reveals
them slowly, stretching the suspense to the very
end. French sets the story in a palpably stifling
small town, and her unapologetic main char-
acter is resplendent with her untamed sharp
tongue, an overdose of stubborn courage, and
a taste for hot sex. Keen plotting, evocative
writing, and dynamic characterization make
French a writer to watch. —Diane Colson
By Catherine Egan.
June 2017. 464p. Knopf, $17.99 (9780553533354);
e-book (9780553533378). Gr. 9–12.
At the end of Julia Vanishes (2016), Julia
and her cohort of thieves join forces with Mrs.
Och to rescue baby Theo from the clutches of
Casimir. Now they must try to put a stop to
Mrs. Och’s ruthless brother
once and for all. Their mission takes them to distant
Tianshi, where they hope
to find Ko Dan, the monk
who worked powerful magic
over Theo, and force him to
undo the spell; it is the key to
bringing about Casimir’s demise. As Julia spies for Mrs. Och, she uses her
ability to vanish between her world and Kahge,
a hellish shadow world. One day she disappears too far into Kahge, and its nightmarish
creatures attack her. Though Julia escapes, she
can feel them trying to pull her back into their
world. Egan uses this sequel, the second book
in her Witch’s Child trilogy, to further develop
the mythology of this fictional universe, as well
as its political history. Careful world building
unspools amid attacks by Casimir’s assassin and
Julia’s increasingly dangerous visits to Kahge,
where she realizes she undergoes an inexplicable transformation. Consumed with the
question of what she is, girl or monster, Julia
grows as desperate to find answers as she is to
protect Theo from harm. Complex and beautifully imagined, Julia’s saga continues to thrill.
Kill All Happies.
By Rachel Cohn.
May 2017. 288p. Hyperion, $17.99 (9781423157229).
Cohn pulls conceits from previous books
and combines them into a high-octane adven-