Risking It All

320p. Feiwel & Friends/Swoon Reads. Jun. 2019. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781250313669.
Gr 8 Up-This contemporary romance set at Wallingford Military Academy pairs Paige, star student, determined to become a pilot in the U.S. Airforce, and directionless Logan, sent to the academy by his lawyer to avoid jail after a hit-and-run car accident. When Paige is assigned to train Logan, opposites attract and sparks fly. Koz reveals the deepening connection between Paige and Logan by using alternating chapters in first-person voice. And while the actual romantic contact is kept to a minimum, the sexual tension and development of the relationship will make readers swoon. Much of the action happens because cell phones are banned on campus, and there is a lot of hiking and physical activity driving the plot forward. The side characters are distinct and have memorable personalities. Ultimately, the students, including a former rival, stand up for Logan when he is in trouble. Even though many of the twists and turns are predictable, teens will be pleased by the inevitable optimistic conclusion. Friendship, loyalty, standing up for oneself, and approaching life with an open heart are all strong themes that are woven into the story.
VERDICT An additional purchase for larger collections where young adult readers would appreciate a military setting, inspirational main characters, and a sweet romance.-Eva Thaler-Sroussi, Wellesley Free Library, MA

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