A thoughtful exploration of how poverty impacts people's choices and blurs the lines between good and bad behavior.


A 19-year-old Kentucky girl—the product of a one-night stand—finds her addict mother dead and ends up spending the summer in Texas with her father and his family.

After a lifetime of active neglect from her mother, Beyah Grim comes home one day from her shift at McDonald’s to find her dead on the sofa, needle still in her arm. All the child support money sent by her father has been spent on her mother’s addictions. The system has failed her. She taught herself to use a stove at age 6 and did whatever was necessary throughout her life to make sure there was food on the table. She's vowed never to become like her mother, and volleyball is her way out—all she needs is a place to stay for two months until her full ride to Penn State begins on Aug. 3. So when she's quickly evicted from the trailer she and her mother shared, she calls her father; he books her a ticket on the earliest possible flight to Houston. When she arrives, she discovers that Alana, her father’s wife of a year, has a daughter named Sara who's just a little older than Beyah and a summer house on the beach on Bolivar Peninsula, where Beyah and her father head straight from the airport. Once Beyah settles in, Sara and her boyfriend, Marcos, begin trying to set her up with their friend Samson. Pegging the guy as a rich douchebag, Beyah soon realizes there's more to him that he lets on and that despite his purported wealth he is just as damaged as her. This is the story of a summer love affair as Beyah and Samson get to know one another, sharing their darkest secrets until Samson’s past catches up with him. Hoover spends a lot of time dissecting class prejudices against a gossamer backdrop of summer love that evolves to become much more.

A thoughtful exploration of how poverty impacts people's choices and blurs the lines between good and bad behavior.

Pub Date: Jan. 31, 2023

ISBN: 9781668021910

Page Count: 368

Publisher: Atria

Review Posted Online: Dec. 24, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2023

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Through palpable tension balanced with glimmers of hope, Hoover beautifully captures the heartbreak and joy of starting over.

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The sequel to It Ends With Us (2016) shows the aftermath of domestic violence through the eyes of a single mother.

Lily Bloom is still running a flower shop; her abusive ex-husband, Ryle Kincaid, is still a surgeon. But now they’re co-parenting a daughter, Emerson, who's almost a year old. Lily won’t send Emerson to her father’s house overnight until she’s old enough to talk—“So she can tell me if something happens”—but she doesn’t want to fight for full custody lest it become an expensive legal drama or, worse, a physical fight. When Lily runs into Atlas Corrigan, a childhood friend who also came from an abusive family, she hopes their friendship can blossom into love. (For new readers, their history unfolds in heartfelt diary entries that Lily addresses to Finding Nemo star Ellen DeGeneres as she considers how Atlas was a calming presence during her turbulent childhood.) Atlas, who is single and running a restaurant, feels the same way. But even though she’s divorced, Lily isn’t exactly free. Behind Ryle’s veneer of civility are his jealousy and resentment. Lily has to plan her dates carefully to avoid a confrontation. Meanwhile, Atlas’ mother returns with shocking news. In between, Lily and Atlas steal away for romantic moments that are even sweeter for their authenticity as Lily struggles with child care, breastfeeding, and running a business while trying to find time for herself.

Through palpable tension balanced with glimmers of hope, Hoover beautifully captures the heartbreak and joy of starting over.

Pub Date: Oct. 18, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-668-00122-6

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Atria

Review Posted Online: July 27, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2022

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The years pass by at a fast and steamy clip in Blume’s latest adult novel (Wifey, not reviewed; Smart Women, 1984) as two friends find loyalties and affections tested as they grow into young women. In sixth grade, when Victoria Weaver is asked by new girl Caitlin Somers to spend the summer with her on Martha’s Vineyard, her life changes forever. Victoria, or more commonly Vix, lives in a small house; her brother has muscular dystrophy; her mother is unhappy, and money is scarce. Caitlin, on the other hand, lives part of the year with her wealthy mother Phoebe, who’s just moved to Albuquerque, and summers with her father Lamb, equally affluent, on the Vineyard. The story of how this casual invitation turns the two girls into what they call "Summer sisters" is prefaced with a prologue in which Vix is asked by Caitlin to be her matron of honor. The years in between are related in brief segments by numerous characters, but mostly by Vix. Caitlin, determined never to be ordinary, is always testing the limits, and in adolescence falls hard for Von, an older construction worker, while Vix falls for his friend Bru. Blume knows the way kids and teens speak, but her two female leads are less credible as they reach adulthood. After high school, Caitlin travels the world and can’t understand why Vix, by now at Harvard on a scholarship and determined to have a better life than her mother has had, won’t drop out and join her. Though the wedding briefly revives Vix’s old feelings for Bru, whom Caitlin is marrying, Vix is soon in love with Gus, another old summer friend, and a more compatible match. But Caitlin, whose own demons have been hinted at, will not be so lucky. The dark and light sides of friendship breathlessly explored in a novel best saved for summer beachside reading.

Pub Date: May 8, 1998

ISBN: 0-385-32405-7

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 1998

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