by R.L. Maizes ‧ RELEASE DATE: July 14, 2020
An uncanny, appealing blend of suspense, irony, tragedy, and how-to for lock-picking, burgling, and ankle monitor removal.
When helping dad means quitting school and committing felonies.
“La La has crime in her blood as surely as the Flying Wallendas have acrobatics, and the Kennedys, politics. Maybe it’s pointless to resist it. Especially now that Zev needs her.” The protagonist of Maizes’ first novel—after We Love Anderson Cooper (2019), a collection of short stories—is the daughter of an ill-starred family. Her mother, Elissa, who never wanted children and preferred animals to people, disappeared without a trace after a nearly fatal parenting error went large in the media. Her father, Zev, left on his own with 8-year-old La La, withdrew her from school and made her his partner in a combination locksmith/burglary operation. Like her mother, La La is passionate about animals, but with her, it goes a step farther. She is an animal empath who can actually read animals’ minds and feel their aches and pains. Both parents’ legacies play a positive role in early adulthood—La La’s a star in veterinary school, and she meets her fiance, Clem, when she helps him break into his locked chiropractic office. But when Zev leaves his phone at the scene of a bungled job, the darker side of the family history takes hold: “It’s Sunday, a good day to rob churchgoing families.” Rationalizing her crimes by tending to the pets she finds locked inside the homes she breaks into, La La sacrifices almost everything in the attempt to raise legal fees for her father—and what’s left gets tossed into the flames of the torch she carries for her missing mother. While its quirky combination of fictional elements and adroit, deadpan writing give the novel a wryly comedic atmosphere, La La’s story is melancholy and moving.An uncanny, appealing blend of suspense, irony, tragedy, and how-to for lock-picking, burgling, and ankle monitor removal.
Pub Date: July 14, 2020
Page Count: 304
Publisher: Celadon Books
Review Posted Online: April 12, 2020
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2020
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by Kristin Hannah ‧ RELEASE DATE: Feb. 6, 2024
A dramatic, vividly detailed reconstruction of a little-known aspect of the Vietnam War.
A young woman’s experience as a nurse in Vietnam casts a deep shadow over her life.
When we learn that the farewell party in the opening scene is for Frances “Frankie” McGrath’s older brother—“a golden boy, a wild child who could make the hardest heart soften”—who is leaving to serve in Vietnam in 1966, we feel pretty certain that poor Finley McGrath is marked for death. Still, it’s a surprise when the fateful doorbell rings less than 20 pages later. His death inspires his sister to enlist as an Army nurse, and this turn of events is just the beginning of a roller coaster of a plot that’s impressive and engrossing if at times a bit formulaic. Hannah renders the experiences of the young women who served in Vietnam in all-encompassing detail. The first half of the book, set in gore-drenched hospital wards, mildewed dorm rooms, and boozy officers’ clubs, is an exciting read, tracking the transformation of virginal, uptight Frankie into a crack surgical nurse and woman of the world. Her tensely platonic romance with a married surgeon ends when his broken, unbreathing body is airlifted out by helicopter; she throws her pent-up passion into a wild affair with a soldier who happens to be her dead brother’s best friend. In the second part of the book, after the war, Frankie seems to experience every possible bad break. A drawback of the story is that none of the secondary characters in her life are fully three-dimensional: Her dismissive, chauvinistic father and tight-lipped, pill-popping mother, her fellow nurses, and her various love interests are more plot devices than people. You’ll wish you could have gone to Vegas and placed a bet on the ending—while it’s against all the odds, you’ll see it coming from a mile away.A dramatic, vividly detailed reconstruction of a little-known aspect of the Vietnam War.
Pub Date: Feb. 6, 2024
Page Count: 480
Publisher: St. Martin's
Review Posted Online: Nov. 4, 2023
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2023
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More About This Book
BOOK TO SCREEN
by Colleen Hoover ‧ RELEASE DATE: Oct. 18, 2022
Through palpable tension balanced with glimmers of hope, Hoover beautifully captures the heartbreak and joy of starting over.
Awards & Accolades
New York Times Bestseller
The sequel to It Ends With Us (2016) shows the aftermath of domestic violence through the eyes of a single mother.
Lily Bloom is still running a flower shop; her abusive ex-husband, Ryle Kincaid, is still a surgeon. But now they’re co-parenting a daughter, Emerson, who's almost a year old. Lily won’t send Emerson to her father’s house overnight until she’s old enough to talk—“So she can tell me if something happens”—but she doesn’t want to fight for full custody lest it become an expensive legal drama or, worse, a physical fight. When Lily runs into Atlas Corrigan, a childhood friend who also came from an abusive family, she hopes their friendship can blossom into love. (For new readers, their history unfolds in heartfelt diary entries that Lily addresses to Finding Nemo star Ellen DeGeneres as she considers how Atlas was a calming presence during her turbulent childhood.) Atlas, who is single and running a restaurant, feels the same way. But even though she’s divorced, Lily isn’t exactly free. Behind Ryle’s veneer of civility are his jealousy and resentment. Lily has to plan her dates carefully to avoid a confrontation. Meanwhile, Atlas’ mother returns with shocking news. In between, Lily and Atlas steal away for romantic moments that are even sweeter for their authenticity as Lily struggles with child care, breastfeeding, and running a business while trying to find time for herself.Through palpable tension balanced with glimmers of hope, Hoover beautifully captures the heartbreak and joy of starting over.
Pub Date: Oct. 18, 2022
Page Count: 352
Review Posted Online: July 26, 2022
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2022
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