A coming-of-age story with a working-class, reality TV twist.

THE GIRL WHO WAS SATURDAY NIGHT

A young Montreal woman tries to escape her minor fame to have a normal life but can’t see past her bizarre family.

Nouschka Tremblay's family ties are stronger than most; when she was young, her father, Étienne, a folk singer, catapulted her and her twin brother, Nicolas, into the small but intense spotlight of Montreal media by using them as props on late-night TV shows to help promote his music and the cause of French-Canadian separatism. At the start of the book, though she is now 19, she and Nicolas still sleep in the same bed and are still embedded in Montreal’s consciousness. When Nicolas dropped out of high school, she followed—no matter how many bad choices she makes about men, no one else is worthy of her devotion—but now she is starting to regret it. When a documentarian starts filming her family to see what has come of the famous Tremblays, Nouschka starts to imagine a life beyond her family, first going back to school for her diploma and then getting married to a man her brother loathes. The story is delightfully bizarre, flush with the free-form vacuity of early adulthood, but what really shines here is O’Neill’s writing. The author (Lullabies for Little Criminals, 2006) stuns with the vivid descriptions and metaphors that are studded throughout the book, such as “[h]e looked at me some days like I was a hostage that no one was paying the ransom for” and “[The swan] held its wings in front of it, like a naked girl with only her socks on, holding her hands over her privates.” As Nouschka begins to see herself as a separate person, O’Neill’s writing grows ever more distinct and direct. This vigorous writing makes the book; the story is surprising and satisfying, but the real star is Nouschka and how she tells it.

A coming-of-age story with a working-class, reality TV twist.

Pub Date: June 3, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-374-16266-5

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: April 16, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2014

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

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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