While it lacks the bite of Weisberger’s beloved The Devil Wears Prada, this is still a fun, fast-paced read filled with...

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THE SINGLES GAME

Bestseller Weisberger (Revenge Wears Prada, 2013, etc.) follows her formula of launching a naïve young woman into uncharted territory.

After a devastating injury at Wimbledon, tennis pro Charlotte “Charlie” Silver knows she needs a major change if she wants to take her career to the next level. Known for her squeaky-clean and always-polite image, Charlie doesn’t argue when the Wimbledon officials deem her sneakers in violation of their strict uniform standards. At the last minute, she's forced to scramble and play one of the biggest matches of her life in someone else’s shoes, resulting in a fall that injures both her wrist and her Achilles tendon. As she heals, she knows she'll have to fire her good friend and sweetheart of a coach, Marcy, and sets her sights on Todd Feltner, a tough men’s coach known for his brash attitude and cultivation of champions. Todd not only overhauls Charlie’s training and fitness regimen, barking at her if she even glances at a cup of coffee or a simple carbohydrate, but he makes over her image as well. Gone is good-girl Charlie with her bright outfits and ribbon woven through her cheery braid. After all, did she really work her whole life to settle for being “the twenty-third best female tennis player on earth”? Rebranded and restyled as the “Warrior Princess,” she feels fierce in her all-black tennis garb. Todd even goes so far as to help orchestrate a steamy romance with tennis champion Marco Vallejo, giving plenty of fodder to the press. While Charlie’s tennis game definitely improves, she struggles with some of the nastier aspects of her new life.

While it lacks the bite of Weisberger’s beloved The Devil Wears Prada, this is still a fun, fast-paced read filled with well-crafted and memorable characters.

Pub Date: July 12, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4767-7821-1

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: May 4, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2016

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An enjoyable, cozy novel that touches on tough topics.

THE AUTHENTICITY PROJECT

A group of strangers who live near each other in London become fast friends after writing their deepest secrets in a shared notebook.

Julian Jessop, a septuagenarian artist, is bone-crushingly lonely when he starts “The Authenticity Project”—as he titles a slim green notebook—and begins its first handwritten entry questioning how well people know each other in his tiny corner of London. After 15 years on his own mourning the loss of his beloved wife, he begins the project with the aim that whoever finds the little volume when he leaves it in a cafe will share their true self with their own entry and then pass the volume on to a stranger. The second person to share their inner selves in the notebook’s pages is Monica, 37, owner of a failing cafe and a former corporate lawyer who desperately wants to have a baby. From there the story unfolds, as the volume travels to Thailand and back to London, seemingly destined to fall only into the hands of people—an alcoholic drug addict, an Australian tourist, a social media influencer/new mother, etc.—who already live clustered together geographically. This is a glossy tale where difficulties and addictions appear and are overcome, where lies are told and then forgiven, where love is sought and found, and where truths, once spoken, can set you free. Secondary characters, including an interracial gay couple, appear with their own nuanced parts in the story. The message is strong, urging readers to get off their smartphones and social media and live in the real, authentic world—no chain stores or brands allowed here—making friends and forming a real-life community and support network. And is that really a bad thing?

An enjoyable, cozy novel that touches on tough topics.

Pub Date: Feb. 4, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9848-7861-8

Page Count: 368

Publisher: Pamela Dorman/Viking

Review Posted Online: Oct. 27, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2019

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A strict report, worthy of sympathy.

THE CATCHER IN THE RYE

A violent surfacing of adolescence (which has little in common with Tarkington's earlier, broadly comic, Seventeen) has a compulsive impact.

"Nobody big except me" is the dream world of Holden Caulfield and his first person story is down to the basic, drab English of the pre-collegiate. For Holden is now being bounced from fancy prep, and, after a vicious evening with hall- and roommates, heads for New York to try to keep his latest failure from his parents. He tries to have a wild evening (all he does is pay the check), is terrorized by the hotel elevator man and his on-call whore, has a date with a girl he likes—and hates, sees his 10 year old sister, Phoebe. He also visits a sympathetic English teacher after trying on a drunken session, and when he keeps his date with Phoebe, who turns up with her suitcase to join him on his flight, he heads home to a hospital siege. This is tender and true, and impossible, in its picture of the old hells of young boys, the lonesomeness and tentative attempts to be mature and secure, the awful block between youth and being grown-up, the fright and sickness that humans and their behavior cause the challenging, the dramatization of the big bang. It is a sorry little worm's view of the off-beat of adult pressure, of contemporary strictures and conformity, of sentiment….

A strict report, worthy of sympathy.

Pub Date: June 15, 1951

ISBN: 0316769177

Page Count: -

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Nov. 2, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1951

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