A charming and thoughtful tale of love and the power of second chances.

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A DATE FOR HANNAH

From the Love is for Everyone series , Vol. 1

A teenager thinks love is out of reach until a chance encounter changes her outlook on life and romance in this debut YA novel.

High school student Hannah Giacomina feels awkward and ill at ease as she enters I Tri Merli Cellars and Vineyard. She is there to attend her sister Bree’s wedding, and while she is happy for her, she is self-conscious about her weight and how she looks in her dress. Before the ceremony begins, she meets another wedding guest named Liam Callahan. They share an instant rapport, and over the course of the evening, they discuss their aspirations and insecurities. Liam got into trouble after his parents’ divorce and repeated a year of school. Swimming provides a sense of purpose. Hannah’s parents had a tumultuous relationship and as a result she believes that “love will hurt you.” He is attracted to her, but she does not see herself as someone a guy would be interested in, much less a gorgeous swimmer like Liam. Gradually, he wins her over and she finds herself falling in love. The next day, she receives news that causes her to question his motivations. Liam wants to regain her trust, but has he lost Hannah forever? This first installment of Henry’s series is a sensitively observed tale of love and acceptance. The author excels at creating appealing and relatable protagonists and a well-paced love story. Hannah is a bright and sensitive student whose feelings about romance are shaped by her parents’ marriage and her insecurity about her weight. She is surprised by Liam’s attraction to her. Henry effectively captures that astonishment in subtle details, like Hannah’s reaction to Liam telling her he is a fan of Shakespeare. Liam is a talented swimmer who believes in second chances in both life and love. The narrative is fast-paced and most of the action unfolds on the day of the wedding. The author develops her characters through witty and poignant dialogue in which they discuss their pasts and hopes for their futures. 

A charming and thoughtful tale of love and the power of second chances.

Pub Date: Aug. 6, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-944810-34-4

Page Count: 150

Publisher: Moon & Back

Review Posted Online: Aug. 25, 2018

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A strange, subtle, and haunting novel.

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THE GLASS HOTEL

A financier's Ponzi scheme unravels to disastrous effect, revealing the unexpected connections among a cast of disparate characters.

How did Vincent Smith fall overboard from a container ship near the coast of Mauritania, fathoms away from her former life as Jonathan Alkaitis' pretend trophy wife? In this long-anticipated follow-up to Station Eleven (2014), Mandel uses Vincent's disappearance to pick through the wreckage of Alkaitis' fraudulent investment scheme, which ripples through hundreds of lives. There's Paul, Vincent's half brother, a composer and addict in recovery; Olivia, an octogenarian painter who invested her retirement savings in Alkaitis' funds; Leon, a former consultant for a shipping company; and a chorus of office workers who enabled Alkaitis and are terrified of facing the consequences. Slowly, Mandel reveals how her characters struggle to align their stations in life with their visions for what they could be. For Vincent, the promise of transformation comes when she's offered a stint with Alkaitis in "the kingdom of money." Here, the rules of reality are different and time expands, allowing her to pursue video art others find pointless. For Alkaitis, reality itself is too much to bear. In his jail cell, he is confronted by the ghosts of his victims and escapes into "the counterlife," a soothing alternate reality in which he avoided punishment. It's in these dreamy sections that Mandel's ideas about guilt and responsibility, wealth and comfort, the real and the imagined, begin to cohere. At its heart, this is a ghost story in which every boundary is blurred, from the moral to the physical. How far will Alkaitis go to deny responsibility for his actions? And how quickly will his wealth corrupt the ambitions of those in proximity to it? In luminous prose, Mandel shows how easy it is to become caught in a web of unintended consequences and how disastrous it can be when such fragile bonds shatter under pressure.

A strange, subtle, and haunting novel.

Pub Date: March 24, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-525-52114-3

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: Nov. 25, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2019

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A strict report, worthy of sympathy.

THE CATCHER IN THE RYE

A violent surfacing of adolescence (which has little in common with Tarkington's earlier, broadly comic, Seventeen) has a compulsive impact.

"Nobody big except me" is the dream world of Holden Caulfield and his first person story is down to the basic, drab English of the pre-collegiate. For Holden is now being bounced from fancy prep, and, after a vicious evening with hall- and roommates, heads for New York to try to keep his latest failure from his parents. He tries to have a wild evening (all he does is pay the check), is terrorized by the hotel elevator man and his on-call whore, has a date with a girl he likes—and hates, sees his 10 year old sister, Phoebe. He also visits a sympathetic English teacher after trying on a drunken session, and when he keeps his date with Phoebe, who turns up with her suitcase to join him on his flight, he heads home to a hospital siege. This is tender and true, and impossible, in its picture of the old hells of young boys, the lonesomeness and tentative attempts to be mature and secure, the awful block between youth and being grown-up, the fright and sickness that humans and their behavior cause the challenging, the dramatization of the big bang. It is a sorry little worm's view of the off-beat of adult pressure, of contemporary strictures and conformity, of sentiment….

A strict report, worthy of sympathy.

Pub Date: June 15, 1951

ISBN: 0316769177

Page Count: -

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Nov. 2, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1951

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