Readers drawn in by Mapson’s warmhearted style should not overlook how rigidly she divides the line between good and evil,...

FINDING CASEY

Mapson follows the ever-so-uplifting characters she developed in Solomon’s Oak (2010) to their new home in Sante Fe, N.M., where they face past demons as they build their future.

Middle-aged newlyweds Glory and Joseph—she met him after the death of her beloved first husband in California—have moved to Joseph’s hometown to be close to the disabled former policeman’s large extended family. They have moved into a house that they love, although it may be haunted by a ghost they have named Dolores. Glory’s adopted daughter, Juniper, precocious and no longer even the teensiest bit rebellious or angry, has begun college at 16 and, driven to excel as an anthropology major, is dismissive of superficial dorm social life. Juniper is still haunted by the childhood disappearance of her sister, Casey, a tragedy that destroyed her family and would have destroyed Juniper if Glory and Joseph had not embraced her so warmly. Now, Glory is pregnant at 41; Joseph is completing a cookbook of New Mexican/Latino recipes; and Juniper is smitten with a spoiled rich boy from the East. Meanwhile, on a commune in Española, 26 miles outside Santa Fe, a young mother named Laurel runs away from her creepy, abusive “husband,” Seth, to get her critically ill child to the hospital with the help of a local Indian potter. At the hospital, a kindly social worker befriends Laurel and gradually gets her to remember her tragic past. By the time Juniper comes to Española to research native pottery with a charmingly geeky teaching assistant, the commune has been deserted. Juniper discovers the pot she is studying is not native. Revelations ensue.

Readers drawn in by Mapson’s warmhearted style should not overlook how rigidly she divides the line between good and evil, right and wrong.

Pub Date: Oct. 2, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-60819-763-7

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Bloomsbury

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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