On the Radar: Five Books to Check Out in April

by vkovenmatasy

Get your library card handy and reserve your place in line for these new April releases! If you place a hold now, they can be in your hands before they even hit the shelf.

Please note: all summaries are taken from the Boston Public Library catalog unless otherwise noted. They may have been edited for length and clarity.


run the risk cover

Run the Risk by Allison van Diepen

Summary: Grace has done her best to move on since her ex-boyfriend Mateo chose gang life over her. But even though years have passed, she hasn’t forgotten him–especially since she’s seen her younger brother Alex drawn to a life on the streets. She can’t bear to think of Alex making the same mistakes as Mateo, but she feels him slipping away. So when Mateo suddenly resurfaces, insisting he’s left gang life behind him, Grace sees an opportunity. Maybe he could be the one to reach Alex and pull him away from the edge. She tells herself she’s only talking to Mateo again because of Alex, but her feelings quickly return. Can she ever trust Mateo again? And is saving her brother worth risking a broken heart? With everyone she loves in danger, Grace must decide how much to sacrifice before it’s too late.

Why We’re Excited: Allison van Diepen has built up a solid reputation for exciting realistic fiction since Street Pharm came out in 2006, and I know her fans will be eager for to get their hands on her latest! Loosely related prequels to Run the Risk include On the Edge and Light of Day. If you haven’t tried out van Diepen before but you love Simone Elkeles’s super-popular Perfect Chemistry series, you might just have a new favorite series waiting for you.


stone heart cover

The Stone Heart by Faith Erin Hicks

Summary: Kaidu and Rat have only just recovered from the assassination attempt on the General of All Blades when more chaos breaks loose in the Nameless City: deep conflicts within the Dao nation are making it impossible to find a political solution for the disputed territory of the City itself. To complicate things further, Kaidu is fairly certain he’s stumbled on a formula for the lost weapon of the mysterious founders of the City… but sharing it with the Dao military would be a complete betrayal of his friendship with Rat. Can Kai find the right solution before the Dao find themselves at war?

Why We’re Excited: Faith Erin Hicks has a really unique, charming art style, and I’ve been keeping an eye out for her ever since I read the criminally underrated Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong, which Hicks illustrated (the writing is by Prudence Shen, who is brilliant and should have more books published so I can buy them). I enjoyed The Nameless City a lot, so I’m looking forward to the continuing adventures of Kaidu and Rat!


vincent and theo cover

Vincent and Theo: The Van Gogh Brothers by Deborah Heiligman

Summary: The true story of the relationship between brothers Theo and Vincent van Gogh.

Why We’re Excited: Charles and Emma (about Charles Darwin and his wife) is probably Deborah Heiligman’s best-known work thus far, but considering the cultural resonance of van Gogh — dude even has a Doctor Who episode devoted to him, which puts him in the same club as Shakespeare — I think Vincent and Theo stands a chance of being an even bigger hit! I personally am always down to read tales of sibling devotion, so learning more about van Gogh’s relationship with his brother sounds absolutely perfect to me.


takedown cover

The Takedown by Corrie Wang

Summary: In this near-future mystery, Kyla Cheng, the smartest, hottest, most popular student at her Brooklyn high school, gets taken down a peg by a faked sex tape that goes viral.

Why We’re Excited: LOOK AT THAT GORGEOUS COVER. How could you not be excited?


upside of unrequited cover

The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli

Summary: Seventeen-year-old Molly Peskin-Suso knows all about unrequited love. No matter how many times her twin sister, Cassie, tells her to woman up, Molly can’t stomach the idea of rejection. So she’s careful. Fat girls always have to be careful. Then a cute new girl enters Cassie’s orbit, and for the first time ever, Molly’s cynical twin is a lovesick mess. Meanwhile, Molly’s totally not dying of loneliness–except for the part where she is. Luckily, Cassie’s new girlfriend comes with a cute hipster-boy sidekick. If Molly can win him over, she’ll get her first kiss and she’ll get her twin back. There’s only one problem: Molly’s coworker, Reid. He’s a chubby Tolkien superfan with a season pass to the Ren Faire, and there’s absolutely no way Molly could fall for him. Right?

Why We’re Excited: I don’t need to talk up Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, right? I mean, it won the Morris Award for best YA debut novel in 2015 and it’s being turned into a movie that’s supposed to come out next year. So when I hear that Becky Albertalli’s next book features (a) a plus-sized heroine (b) girls who love girls (c) Tolkien fans and (d) TWINS, obviously I’m going to be interested. And you should be too!


icon of VeronicaDid I get you interested in reading one of these books? Just click the title of the one you want and the link will take you to the relevant page in the catalog. From there you can click the green “Place a Hold” button and you’re all set!

Need a library card? Wondering how long you can borrow a book? Borrowing and Circulation information can be found here.


*”On the Radar” features book previews by Veronica, the Teen Librarian at the Dudley Branch, on the last Tuesday or Friday of every month.