The Order of the Poison Oak by Bret Hartinger

3 stars! The plot is predictable but still enjoyable and character development realistic as Russel reacts well to some moral dilemmas and fails to do the right thing in other instances. A must-read for fans, will make those new to the characters want to go back and read Geography Club.

Playing the Palace by Paul Rudnick

4 stars! This laugh-out-loud funny, boy-meets-prince romance between an urban (assistant) events planner — excuse me, event ARCHITECT — and the heir to the throne is a fast-paced romp littered with pop culture nods, product placement and name-dropping, angst, superhero references, social gaffs and outright disasters, and a dash of social justice.