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GREY

FIFTY SHADES OF GREY AS TOLD BY CHRISTIAN

Die-hard fans might argue this gives us something new, but it doesn’t—and it's boring.

Fifty Shades of Grey, from Christian’s perspective.

Anastasia "Ana" Steele stumbles into billionaire Christian Grey's office and clambers her way into his heart despite his need for domination and her need for self-preservation. As James promised her readers, this book tells the now well-known story from Christian's point of view, which means that large swathes of the original novel featuring contact between Ana and Christian—conversations, emails, and the infamous "binding contract between the Dominant and the Submissive"—are essentially copied and pasted into this one, with Ana's first-person narration taken out and replaced by Christian's. What's surprising is how distant and hazy Ana feels, considering how Christian jumped off the pages of the original and how James made us feel connected to his struggles as seen from Ana's perspective. Christian is tortured and enigmatic, which was one of the strengths of Fifty Shades, but his narration lacks subtlety and insight. He continually simplifies his attraction to Ana, referring to her as hot or sexy and saying he wants to dominate her, without any indication that he appreciates the way she's resisting his domineering instincts—or maybe he does appreciate it but still wants to dominate her, which would make it feel even more like a bad high school relationship in which the senior tells the freshman "I really like you, but you're not what I'm looking for, so please change." Christian comes across less as damaged hero than self-centered juvenile bordering on icky creep, which definitely erodes his sexy mystique. James' storytelling here is tedious, repetitive, and sometimes even cringe-worthy. This new take on a familiar story would have been more powerful if Christian had shown the self-awareness and ability to change we saw through Ana's eyes in the original.

Die-hard fans might argue this gives us something new, but it doesn’t—and it's boring.

Pub Date: June 18, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-101-94634-3

Page Count: 576

Publisher: Vintage

Review Posted Online: June 22, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2015

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IT ENDS WITH US

Packed with riveting drama and painful truths, this book powerfully illustrates the devastation of abuse—and the strength of...

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  • New York Times Bestseller


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Hoover’s (November 9, 2015, etc.) latest tackles the difficult subject of domestic violence with romantic tenderness and emotional heft.

At first glance, the couple is edgy but cute: Lily Bloom runs a flower shop for people who hate flowers; Ryle Kincaid is a surgeon who says he never wants to get married or have kids. They meet on a rooftop in Boston on the night Ryle loses a patient and Lily attends her abusive father’s funeral. The provocative opening takes a dark turn when Lily receives a warning about Ryle’s intentions from his sister, who becomes Lily’s employee and close friend. Lily swears she’ll never end up in another abusive home, but when Ryle starts to show all the same warning signs that her mother ignored, Lily learns just how hard it is to say goodbye. When Ryle is not in the throes of a jealous rage, his redeeming qualities return, and Lily can justify his behavior: “I think we needed what happened on the stairwell to happen so that I would know his past and we’d be able to work on it together,” she tells herself. Lily marries Ryle hoping the good will outweigh the bad, and the mother-daughter dynamics evolve beautifully as Lily reflects on her childhood with fresh eyes. Diary entries fancifully addressed to TV host Ellen DeGeneres serve as flashbacks to Lily’s teenage years, when she met her first love, Atlas Corrigan, a homeless boy she found squatting in a neighbor’s house. When Atlas turns up in Boston, now a successful chef, he begs Lily to leave Ryle. Despite the better option right in front of her, an unexpected complication forces Lily to cut ties with Atlas, confront Ryle, and try to end the cycle of abuse before it’s too late. The relationships are portrayed with compassion and honesty, and the author’s note at the end that explains Hoover’s personal connection to the subject matter is a must-read.

Packed with riveting drama and painful truths, this book powerfully illustrates the devastation of abuse—and the strength of the survivors.

Pub Date: Aug. 2, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-5011-1036-8

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Atria

Review Posted Online: May 30, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2016

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LOVE AND OTHER WORDS

With frank language and patient plotting, this gangly teen crush grows into a confident adult love affair.

Eleven years ago, he broke her heart. But he doesn’t know why she never forgave him.

Toggling between past and present, two love stories unfold simultaneously. In the first, Macy Sorensen meets and falls in love with the boy next door, Elliot Petropoulos, in the closet of her dad’s vacation home, where they hide out to discuss their favorite books. In the second, Macy is working as a doctor and engaged to a single father, and she hasn’t spoken to Elliot since their breakup. But a chance encounter forces her to confront the truth: what happened to make Macy stop speaking to Elliot? Ultimately, they’re separated not by time or physical remoteness but by emotional distance—Elliot and Macy always kept their relationship casual because they went to different schools. And as a teen, Macy has more to worry about than which girl Elliot is taking to the prom. After losing her mother at a young age, Macy is navigating her teenage years without a female role model, relying on the time-stamped notes her mother left in her father’s care for guidance. In the present day, Macy’s father is dead as well. She throws herself into her work and rarely comes up for air, not even to plan her upcoming wedding. Since Macy is still living with her fiance while grappling with her feelings for Elliot, the flashbacks offer steamy moments, tender revelations, and sweetly awkward confessions while Macy makes peace with her past and decides her future.

With frank language and patient plotting, this gangly teen crush grows into a confident adult love affair.

Pub Date: April 10, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5011-2801-1

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Gallery Books/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Jan. 22, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2018

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