The Summer Prince

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March 01, 2013 at 05:00 AM EST

There’s a great, fresh audacity to Johnson’s YA debut, The Summer Prince, a sci-fi romance starring a 17-year-old named June and her beautiful best friend Gil, both of them in love with Enki, a dreadlocked boy from the wrong part of their futuristic society. They are citizens of Palmares Três, a lush city pulsing with tradition and technology in the former Brazil. June wants to rock her world with political art, and Enki, the new Summer King doomed to sacrifice, is her fearless ally. With teenage artists for protagonists, the narrative veers toward self-serious pretentiousness, but you still root for these wild-at-heart kids. B

The Summer Prince

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Alaya Dawn Johnson
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The Summer Prince

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