BEATITUDE

10TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

A realistic and engaging love story in a finely illustrated setting.

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A debut novel focuses on two close friends in 1990s New York City.

The year is 1995, and Harry Charity and Jay Bishop work at a magazine called Element. Harry and Jay forge a bond when they discover they are both fans of the Beat generation. This enthusiasm reaches a new level when the two visit the New York Public Library. It is there that they see the famous scroll of Teletype paper that Jack Kerouac used to compose On the Road. It’s a match made in heaven. The two pals eat lunch together frequently and discuss writing something as a team. While Harry is single and (at least somewhat) looking for the man of his dreams, Jay seems to be straight. Jay dates an art student named Zahra Kaviani. They may have their ups and downs, but they are a serious couple. As for Harry, he focuses on his romantic problems and work. Whether Harry is reflecting on his past relationship with a man named Matteo Ortiz or interviewing Allen Ginsberg, he has much to contemplate. Closs’ story paints an inviting picture of ’90s New York. Subway tokens are on the way out and email is on the way in. Bookstores abound, and no one stares at a cellphone on a night out. Place in this world likable characters like Harry and Jay, and the stage is set for an enjoyable drama about unrequited love. Readers will feel sympathy for Harry when he pets his cat and stares off into the city night. But other aspects of the tale can be tedious. At one point, Jay ruminates on a potential career move: “I don’t want to seem like I’m begging for the job. If he offers it to me, I want to be able to say, ‘These are my terms.’ ” Such work-related discussions are as dull as they sound. This is especially true when there are more heartfelt matters at stake.

A realistic and engaging love story in a finely illustrated setting.

Pub Date: Sept. 6, 2022

ISBN: 9781608642274

Page Count: 272

Publisher: rEBEL SaTOri PrESS

Review Posted Online: Nov. 10, 2022

CHECK & MATE

Readers will devour this swoonworthy romance in one sitting.

Two talented chess players challenge each other on and off the board in bestselling author Hazelwood’s YA debut.

Eighteen-year-old Mallory Greenleaf is no longer interested in chess, not since her hypercompetitive dad left—the game calls up painful memories. But she grudgingly agrees to play in a charity tournament as a favor to best friend Easton Peña. After she unexpectedly beats current world champion Nolan Sawyer, she’s offered a fellowship that will prepare her to play professionally. Even though Mallory doesn’t want to play anymore, she needs the money that winning would provide; she’s delayed college to support her family, since her mother is chronically ill with rheumatoid arthritis and is unable to work regularly. The more time she spends with Nolan, the more Mallory comes to like and respect him—and the more time she spends playing chess, the more she remembers how much she loved it. But when she learns that Nolan has been keeping a big secret from her, she isn’t sure if she’ll be able to move past it to build a relationship with him. Filled with the author’s signature humor, well-developed characters, and realistic conflicts, plus the fully realized setting of competitive chess, this captivating romance will delight teen readers as well as Hazelwood’s adult fans. Mallory and Nolan are both cued white; there is some racial diversity among the supporting cast. Mallory and Easton are queer.

Readers will devour this swoonworthy romance in one sitting. (author’s note) (Romance. 14-adult)

Pub Date: Nov. 7, 2023

ISBN: 9780593619919

Page Count: 368

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: Aug. 26, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2023

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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

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