Although the insights are sometimes too explicit, Kaplan’s stories confidently, capably explore the switchbacks of human...

UNRAVISHED

Relationships—flawed, ruptured, secret, evolving—are sifted and scrutinized in this latest collection from Kaplan (The Tell, 2013, etc.).

Several of the eight stories collected here are set in the author's hometown of Providence, Rhode Island. The first story (and title tale) sets the tone with an economical portrait of the crises in Alice’s 10-year marriage to a man who is “proud, boastful, know-it-all, sometimes a bully” and who is enraging their community with plans to build a waterfront home that will destroy the classic vista from a revered artist’s historic homestead. Alice’s compromised response is echoed in “The School of Politics,” where museum director Francine reconnects with the “criminal, thug, intimidator” she once dated and who is now the mayor of her city and on trial for corruption. Kaplan’s insights into the waxing and waning of marital arrangements have their quirky side. Hollis, who breaks a tooth at the start of “The Aerialist,” returns to his old, none-too-gentle dentist, whose daughter, a trapeze artist, helps unlock the tension in Hollis' latest relationship. In “Companion Animal,” a husband whose single instance of infidelity has exposed his hollow marriage moves into shabby new digs and begins to understand some of the relationship deals we make. Children often play a role as game-changer, like the pregnant stepdaughter in “Lovesick” who reveals the truth behind an infertile marriage. The final, longest story is a departure, following two unattuned colleagues at a deserted private school who reluctantly link up in the face of the apocalypse. This narrative also hinges on a child and secrets declared, but its departure into horror and mortality sits oddly with the more familiar domestic upheavals that have gone before.

Although the insights are sometimes too explicit, Kaplan’s stories confidently, capably explore the switchbacks of human interaction.

Pub Date: June 10, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-935439-90-5

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Ig Publishing

Review Posted Online: May 7, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 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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