Packs a punch on many levels: personal, political, and even mythic.

BLUE LABEL

The story of a quest of sorts, as a high school student in Chávez's Venezuela tries to make sense of love and life—and also tries desperately to leave a country for which she has no affection.

In this deftly and idiomatically translated novel, Eugenia Blanc has enrolled in a special course to complete her high school education, but she finds it boring and irrelevant, especially because her one desire is to locate Laurent Blanc, her paternal grandfather, who's “retreat[ed] to the Andes”; she thinks his French origin might give her the possibility of moving to France and thus away from her estranged parents, her brother’s suicide, and Venezuela’s social and political problems. Luis Tévez, a charismatic (and gorgeous) fellow student, plans to visit a friend and offers to take her on this quest, and along the way they wind up stealing 24 bottles of Johnny Walker Blue Label, a drink that pervades the narrative, serving as a social lubricant, an excuse to get drunk or have sex, a sacrament for a wedding, and even a liquid to refill an empty radiator. They inadvertently take along another passenger, Vadier Hernández, whose drugged and drunken irreverence both expresses and disguises his joie de vivre. Eugenia becomes somewhat obsessed with Luis, and she finds herself extremely attracted to him despite his severe mood swings. Eugenia’s quest for her grandfather eventually becomes less important to her when she recovers a long letter from her estranged father that helps her make some sense of her life. Several days after her return from her journey, she as well as the reader receives a shock regarding Luis. Eventually, in an epilogue, we learn of the importance of the intoxicating memories of that indelible journey she took as a teenager.

Packs a punch on many levels: personal, political, and even mythic.

Pub Date: Oct. 16, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-885983-57-2

Page Count: 239

Publisher: Turtle Point

Review Posted Online: July 31, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2018

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

LOVE AND OTHER WORDS

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. 23, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2018

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Heartfelt and funny, this enemies-to-lovers romance shows that the best things in life are all-inclusive and nontransferable...

THE UNHONEYMOONERS

An unlucky woman finally gets lucky in love on an all-expenses-paid trip to Hawaii.

From getting her hand stuck in a claw machine at age 6 to losing her job, Olive Torres has never felt that luck was on her side. But her fortune changes when she scores a free vacation after her identical twin sister and new brother-in-law get food poisoning at their wedding buffet and are too sick to go on their honeymoon. The only catch is that she’ll have to share the honeymoon suite with her least favorite person—Ethan Thomas, the brother of the groom. To make matters worse, Olive’s new boss and Ethan’s ex-girlfriend show up in Hawaii, forcing them both to pretend to be newlyweds so they don’t blow their cover, as their all-inclusive vacation package is nontransferable and in her sister’s name. Plus, Ethan really wants to save face in front of his ex. The story is told almost exclusively from Olive’s point of view, filtering all communication through her cynical lens until Ethan can win her over (and finally have his say in the epilogue). To get to the happily-ever-after, Ethan doesn’t have to prove to Olive that he can be a better man, only that he was never the jerk she thought he was—for instance, when she thought he was judging her for eating cheese curds, maybe he was actually thinking of asking her out. Blending witty banter with healthy adult communication, the fake newlyweds have real chemistry as they talk it out over snorkeling trips, couples massages, and a few too many tropical drinks to get to the truth—that they’re crazy about each other.

Heartfelt and funny, this enemies-to-lovers romance shows that the best things in life are all-inclusive and nontransferable as well as free.

Pub Date: May 14, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5011-2803-5

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Gallery Books/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: March 3, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2019

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