Wolf writes with insight and authority about an issue that society cannot afford to ignore as she points out that, even...

DANNY'S MOM

Former educator Wolf pens a debut adult novel (Camp, 2012) about an American high school where bullying and intolerance seem to be the rule rather than the exception.

High school guidance counselor Beth Maller’s world is turned inside out on a wintry evening when her son, Danny, dies in a car crash on an icy road. Returning to work three weeks later, Beth does her best to rein in her grief and perform her day-to-day duties with little emotional support from school administrators or her husband, Joe. While a small group of teachers and her father try to provide comfort, Beth increasingly turns to a student’s grandmother for encouragement and understanding. She blames her husband for allowing her son to drive that night and is wracked by guilt because she did nothing to stop him. As these feelings spill over into her professional life, Beth becomes frustrated with an insensitive and rigid administration that prefers to adhere to rules at all costs, even if by doing so, a student’s welfare might be endangered. She struggles to cope with the realization that, contrary to traditional beliefs, good guys don’t always triumph, and integrity is not valued by everyone. When colleagues excuse incidents of bullying and intolerance by sweeping them under the rug, and a group of mean girls threaten a fragile student and even Beth herself, Beth decides to take action. And while the author presents Meadow Brook High as an improbably teeming mass of bullies of all shapes, sizes and ages, she makes a valid point: Abuse of power can occur at any level, can take many forms and can harm numerous people, as it certainly does in this brutally honest, no-holds-barred narrative that, in addition to illustrating this point, expertly blends the account of Beth’s personal loss into the story.

Wolf writes with insight and authority about an issue that society cannot afford to ignore as she points out that, even though many schools have implemented effective programs to deal with bullying and intolerance, recent cases serve as proof that institutions like Meadow Brook High do, indeed, exist and that more needs to be done.

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-61145-694-3

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Arcade

Review Posted Online: Sept. 16, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2012

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Hoover is one of the freshest voices in new-adult fiction, and her latest resonates with true emotion, unforgettable...

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MAYBE SOMEDAY

Sydney and Ridge make beautiful music together in a love triangle written by Hoover (Losing Hope, 2013, etc.), with a link to a digital soundtrack by American Idol contestant Griffin Peterson. 

Hoover is a master at writing scenes from dual perspectives. While music student Sydney is watching her neighbor Ridge play guitar on his balcony across the courtyard, Ridge is watching Sydney’s boyfriend, Hunter, secretly make out with her best friend on her balcony. The two begin a songwriting partnership that grows into something more once Sydney dumps Hunter and decides to crash with Ridge and his two roommates while she gets back on her feet. She finds out after the fact that Ridge already has a long-distance girlfriend, Maggie—and that he's deaf. Ridge’s deafness doesn’t impede their relationship or their music. In fact, it creates opportunities for sexy nonverbal communication and witty text messages: Ridge tenderly washes off a message he wrote on Sydney’s hand in ink, and when Sydney adds a few too many e’s to the word “squee” in her text, Ridge replies, “If those letters really make up a sound, I am so, so glad I can’t hear it.” While they fight their mutual attraction, their hope that “maybe someday” they can be together playfully comes out in their music. Peterson’s eight original songs flesh out Sydney’s lyrics with a good mix of moody musical styles: “Living a Lie” has the drama of a Coldplay piano ballad, while the chorus of “Maybe Someday” marches to the rhythm of the Lumineers. But Ridge’s lingering feelings for Maggie cause heartache for all three of them. Independent Maggie never complains about Ridge’s friendship with Sydney, and it's hard to even want Ridge to leave Maggie when she reveals her devastating secret. But Ridge can’t hide his feelings for Sydney long—and they face their dilemma with refreshing emotional honesty. 

Hoover is one of the freshest voices in new-adult fiction, and her latest resonates with true emotion, unforgettable characters and just the right amount of sexual tension.

Pub Date: March 18, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4767-5316-4

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Atria

Review Posted Online: May 7, 2014

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Finding positivity in negative pregnancy-test results, this depiction of a marriage in crisis is nearly perfect.

ALL YOUR PERFECTS

Named for an imperfectly worded fortune cookie, Hoover's (It Ends with Us, 2016, etc.) latest compares a woman’s relationship with her husband before and after she finds out she’s infertile.

Quinn meets her future husband, Graham, in front of her soon-to-be-ex-fiance’s apartment, where Graham is about to confront him for having an affair with his girlfriend. A few years later, they are happily married but struggling to conceive. The “then and now” format—with alternating chapters moving back and forth in time—allows a hopeful romance to blossom within a dark but relatable dilemma. Back then, Quinn’s bad breakup leads her to the love of her life. In the now, she’s exhausted a laundry list of fertility options, from IVF treatments to adoption, and the silver lining is harder to find. Quinn’s bad relationship with her wealthy mother also prevents her from asking for more money to throw at the problem. But just when Quinn’s narrative starts to sound like she’s writing a long Facebook rant about her struggles, she reveals the larger issue: Ever since she and Graham have been trying to have a baby, intimacy has become a chore, and she doesn’t know how to tell him. Instead, she hopes the contents of a mystery box she’s kept since their wedding day will help her decide their fate. With a few well-timed silences, Hoover turns the fairly common problem of infertility into the more universal problem of poor communication. Graham and Quinn may or may not become parents, but if they don’t talk about their feelings, they won’t remain a couple, either.

Finding positivity in negative pregnancy-test results, this depiction of a marriage in crisis is nearly perfect.

Pub Date: July 17, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5011-7159-8

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Atria

Review Posted Online: May 1, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2018

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