Berg’s masterful portraits and keen insight makes for a memorable read.

ONCE UPON A TIME, THERE WAS YOU

The prolific Berg delivers the goods in this perceptive novel about a divorced couple reunited when their daughter goes missing.

Eighteen-year-old Sadie spends most of the year in San Francisco with her mother Irene (neurotic, funny, lonely) and a few weeks a year with her architect father John in their native St. Paul. When Sadie returns home from one of these visits, she convinces Irene to let her go rock climbing with a group of friends—at John’s urging, Irene agrees. However, neither of them know that Sadie is in love and is instead meeting Ron for a romantic weekend. Ron’s late, Sadie’s furious, she gets a lift with a stranger and the worst happens—the stranger kidnaps her, threatens her life and locks her in a windowless shed. When Sadie doesn’t return home, Irene panics and calls John, who hops on the next flight to San Francisco. As soon as they are together, it is clear why they divorced—they infuriate and mistrust one another, they share no common language. By this time, Berg has built their respective back stories: their equally tragic childhoods, their mutual terror of marriage, their miserable attempts at relationships in the 10 years since their divorce. After days of contemplating her impending death, Sadie is rescued by the police (thanks to Ron), and when she finally calls home, she has some news for her parents—she and Ron have eloped. Though grateful Sadie is alive, relief quickly turns to anger and disbelief that their level-headed girl could do something as foolish as get married. All of John and Irene’s dysfunction comes to bear on the issue, and Berg fashions an affecting portrait of divorce, of a couple for whom love was not enough. The seemingly romantic title refers to John and Irene and their too-late realization that they didn’t know how to make love grow, though now there may be a chance for John back in St. Paul with a pretty widow, and a younger man for Irene.

Berg’s masterful portraits and keen insight makes for a memorable read.

Pub Date: April 5, 2011

ISBN: 978-1-4000-6865-4

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: May 4, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2011

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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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The emotions run high, the conversations run deep, and the relationships ebb and flow with grace.

REGRETTING YOU

When tragedy strikes, a mother and daughter forge a new life.

Morgan felt obligated to marry her high school sweetheart, Chris, when she got pregnant with their daughter, Clara. But she secretly got along much better with Chris’ thoughtful best friend, Jonah, who was dating her sister, Jenny. Now her life as a stay-at-home parent has left her feeling empty but not ungrateful for what she has. Jonah and Jenny eventually broke up, but years later they had a one-night stand and Jenny got pregnant with their son, Elijah. Now Jonah is back in town, engaged to Jenny, and working at the local high school as Clara’s teacher. Clara dreams of being an actress and has a crush on Miller, who plans to go to film school, but her father doesn't approve. It doesn’t help that Miller already has a jealous girlfriend who stalks him via text from college. But Clara and Morgan’s home life changes radically when Chris and Jenny are killed in an accident, revealing long-buried secrets and forcing Morgan to reevaluate the life she chose when early motherhood forced her hand. Feeling betrayed by the adults in her life, Clara marches forward, acting both responsible and rebellious as she navigates her teenage years without her father and her aunt, while Jonah and Morgan's relationship evolves in the wake of the accident. Front-loaded with drama, the story leaves plenty of room for the mother and daughter to unpack their feelings and decide what’s next.

The emotions run high, the conversations run deep, and the relationships ebb and flow with grace.

Pub Date: Dec. 10, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5420-1642-1

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Montlake Romance

Review Posted Online: Oct. 14, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2019

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