A daring, if occasionally dreary, series installment that shows that love can be an unremitting trial—with or without...

Highway Thirteen to Manhattan

From the The Six Train to Wisconsin Series series , Vol. 2

A telepath has a near-death experience and later struggles with an inner darkness in Heintz’s (The Six Train to Wisconsin, 2013) paranormal drama.

Kai Guhn had a hand in saving a little boy after a disturbed person kidnapped them both. Her injuries put her in the hospital, but her husband, Oliver, and brother, Caleb, ensure her release when it’s clear that the meds are jamming her “psychic shield.” As a result, she’s in mental anguish, overloaded with other people’s thoughts. She already feels betrayed by Oliver: the abduction was, in part, a revenge against him, and the fact that he shared a kiss with his ex-girlfriend Mickey has done nothing to mend their own strained marriage. But she has a few secrets of her own: she once used her telepathy to hurt bullies who’d tormented her high school friend. Now she feels a “darkness” after having been trapped inside her kidnapper’s head. To break this apparent connection, Kai leaves her town of Butternut, Wisconsin, for New York City. As Oliver searches for evidence against a cop who murdered his childhood pal, Kai faces a new threat in Manhattan: an apparent frame-up against Caleb for illicit activities. This novel, like the preceding installment, is a tortured love story with shades of the supernatural. The characters’ superabilities are understated and well-incorporated in the melodrama; at one point, for example, Kai’s father loses control of his own telekinesis, possibly instigated by the darkness in his daughter’s head. Kai does tend to wallow in her misery, though, and although she’s angry that Oliver sought comfort from Mickey, she later does the same thing with Mickey’s brother, Alex. Still, her distrust of Oliver is, sadly, well-founded, and Kai is generally pragmatic throughout. The latter half of the novel is decidedly more engrossing as Kai and Oliver see what it’s like to be without each other, and her predicament in New York reveals her personal and paranormal strength.

A daring, if occasionally dreary, series installment that shows that love can be an unremitting trial—with or without superpowers.

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 2016

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: 351

Publisher: Aurea Blue Press

Review Posted Online: Sept. 6, 2016

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Packed with riveting drama and painful truths, this book powerfully illustrates the devastation of abuse—and the strength of...

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IT ENDS WITH US

Hoover’s (November 9, 2015, etc.) latest tackles the difficult subject of domestic violence with romantic tenderness and emotional heft.

At first glance, the couple is edgy but cute: Lily Bloom runs a flower shop for people who hate flowers; Ryle Kincaid is a surgeon who says he never wants to get married or have kids. They meet on a rooftop in Boston on the night Ryle loses a patient and Lily attends her abusive father’s funeral. The provocative opening takes a dark turn when Lily receives a warning about Ryle’s intentions from his sister, who becomes Lily’s employee and close friend. Lily swears she’ll never end up in another abusive home, but when Ryle starts to show all the same warning signs that her mother ignored, Lily learns just how hard it is to say goodbye. When Ryle is not in the throes of a jealous rage, his redeeming qualities return, and Lily can justify his behavior: “I think we needed what happened on the stairwell to happen so that I would know his past and we’d be able to work on it together,” she tells herself. Lily marries Ryle hoping the good will outweigh the bad, and the mother-daughter dynamics evolve beautifully as Lily reflects on her childhood with fresh eyes. Diary entries fancifully addressed to TV host Ellen DeGeneres serve as flashbacks to Lily’s teenage years, when she met her first love, Atlas Corrigan, a homeless boy she found squatting in a neighbor’s house. When Atlas turns up in Boston, now a successful chef, he begs Lily to leave Ryle. Despite the better option right in front of her, an unexpected complication forces Lily to cut ties with Atlas, confront Ryle, and try to end the cycle of abuse before it’s too late. The relationships are portrayed with compassion and honesty, and the author’s note at the end that explains Hoover’s personal connection to the subject matter is a must-read.

Packed with riveting drama and painful truths, this book powerfully illustrates the devastation of abuse—and the strength of the survivors.

Pub Date: Aug. 2, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-5011-1036-8

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Atria

Review Posted Online: May 31, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2016

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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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