With its young heroine and sensitive examination of adolescents in crisis, this would do well to also find a teen audience.

GIRL SENT AWAY

A troubled girl is sent to an interventionist boot camp where the teens are treated to the sadistic impulses of their counselors.

Though she can't clearly recall her mother's and sister's deaths in the devastating tsunami that hit Southeast Asia in 2004, Ava has felt the effects of their absences—both she and her father, Toby, are emotionally stunted, the happiness drained out of their lives. Now 16, she's beginning to recall moments of that fateful day in Thailand, on what was supposed to be the perfect holiday. When she remembers, she blacks out, though her father thinks she's doing drugs. After what appears to be a suicide attempt on the train tracks, Toby sends Ava to Mount Hope, a kind of tough-love recovery center for teens. Although it looks like a New England summer camp to visitors, the reality is grim. The teens, some of whom have serious mental health issues, are routinely deprived of food and water, are shamed and hit, and are sent to solitary confinement when they rebel. In therapy, they're encouraged to lie so that when their parents read their journals, the efficacy of the treatment will ensure a few more months at Mount Hope. When Toby is finally allowed to visit, he's dismayed by the cultish brutality of the place and takes Ava out. The second half of the novel focuses on the real work Toby and Ava have to do to heal from their family tragedy, one they've been trying to ignore for years. Holed up in their old Maine vacation house, Ava builds a tentative friendship with James, an artist who is their offseason caretaker, while Toby works to get Mount Hope shut down.

With its young heroine and sensitive examination of adolescents in crisis, this would do well to also find a teen audience.

Pub Date: Nov. 6, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-9831505-7-2

Page Count: 257

Publisher: SixOneSeven Books

Review Posted Online: Aug. 17, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2015

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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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The emotions run high, the conversations run deep, and the relationships ebb and flow with grace.

REGRETTING YOU

When tragedy strikes, a mother and daughter forge a new life.

Morgan felt obligated to marry her high school sweetheart, Chris, when she got pregnant with their daughter, Clara. But she secretly got along much better with Chris’ thoughtful best friend, Jonah, who was dating her sister, Jenny. Now her life as a stay-at-home parent has left her feeling empty but not ungrateful for what she has. Jonah and Jenny eventually broke up, but years later they had a one-night stand and Jenny got pregnant with their son, Elijah. Now Jonah is back in town, engaged to Jenny, and working at the local high school as Clara’s teacher. Clara dreams of being an actress and has a crush on Miller, who plans to go to film school, but her father doesn't approve. It doesn’t help that Miller already has a jealous girlfriend who stalks him via text from college. But Clara and Morgan’s home life changes radically when Chris and Jenny are killed in an accident, revealing long-buried secrets and forcing Morgan to reevaluate the life she chose when early motherhood forced her hand. Feeling betrayed by the adults in her life, Clara marches forward, acting both responsible and rebellious as she navigates her teenage years without her father and her aunt, while Jonah and Morgan's relationship evolves in the wake of the accident. Front-loaded with drama, the story leaves plenty of room for the mother and daughter to unpack their feelings and decide what’s next.

The emotions run high, the conversations run deep, and the relationships ebb and flow with grace.

Pub Date: Dec. 10, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5420-1642-1

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Montlake Romance

Review Posted Online: Oct. 14, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2019

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