GOOD LUCK WITH THAT

Higgins’ astute, perceptive eye to the best and worst of human nature enhances the poignancy of a sensitive topic, which she...

Two friends who have fought weight issues their whole lives must decide how to move forward when another friend dies after reminding them of a list of "someday" tasks they created as teens to help them appreciate their lives.

Georgia, Marley, and Emerson met as girls at Camp Copperbrook—a summer camp where they were sent to lose weight—and have remained friends since. When Emerson summons Marley and Georgia, they are stunned to learn she is morbidly obese and dying of a variety of ailments, including a blood clot in her lungs. "Why hadn't she told us? I knew the answer: shame." With her last breaths, Emerson hands them an envelope which contains a list of “Things We’ll Do When We’re Skinny” that they created at camp years ago. The two friends agree to follow the list. Obviously, Emerson’s goal for Marley and Georgia is to build lives that make them happy, since their unhealthy obsession with being physically smaller has diminished them emotionally. Georgia, who’s left a law practice to become a nursery school teacher, must re-evaluate difficult family relationships and try to keep her beloved and emotionally vulnerable nephew safe while revisiting the end of her marriage. Marley’s unresolved issues include a twin who died very young and the man she’s been involved with for five years, who treats her like a booty call. Higgins explores a very complicated emotional landscape through the lens of three friends who’ve endured society’s hateful attitude toward heavy people. Emerson, the largest and most besieged, tells her point of view through diary entries leading up to her death. The ending is uplifting, but the book may be a difficult read for women who routinely live through such judgment and hostility.

Higgins’ astute, perceptive eye to the best and worst of human nature enhances the poignancy of a sensitive topic, which she navigates with humor and grace.

Pub Date: Aug. 7, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-451-48939-5

Page Count: 480

Publisher: Berkley

Review Posted Online: May 14, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2018

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IT ENDS WITH US

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

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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 30, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2016

LOVE AND OTHER WORDS

With frank language and patient plotting, this gangly teen crush grows into a confident adult love affair.

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. 22, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2018

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