Switching back and forth between modern times and 1930s Broadway, Riggle (Hope Out Loud, 2015, etc.) plays with a number of...

VIVIAN IN RED

A Broadway producer of the 1930s is confronted by a vision from his past that may represent a problem in his present.

Getting older isn’t what Milo Short bargained for. Instead of being the power behind his company, Milo Short Productions, he ends up being the one managed by his large family, each member of whom has no end of suggestions about how he should be living his life. Well, less so his granddaughter, Eleanor, though that may be because her lack of steady income means she’s a target for the Short family’s helpful suggestions, too. All Milo wants is to play some piano and live independently, which he can do just fine, thank you very much, but his relatives treat him like an invalid just because he’s old. His problem worsens when he suffers a stroke that deprives him of speech. Milo makes a medical recovery, but something seems to be holding him back from talking, though he couldn’t explain what was wrong even if he recovered the ability to speak. Seconds before his stroke, a woman from his youth, Miss Vivian Adair, appeared from nothing right in front of his face. He’s not sure what to make of this vision in red. His reaction makes it clear that he’s done Vivian wrong, but it’s not so clear how. Meanwhile, Eleanor, seeking to protect her now-fragile grandfather from outsiders, agrees to write the biography their family is demanding. Perhaps what she uncovers will set Milo free.

Switching back and forth between modern times and 1930s Broadway, Riggle (Hope Out Loud, 2015, etc.) plays with a number of possible outcomes between the hero and his mysterious vision, though the mystery is never exactly high-stakes.

Pub Date: Sept. 13, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-943-81816-7

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Polis Books

Review Posted Online: June 22, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 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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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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