Entertaining and unpredictable; Reid makes a compelling argument for happiness in every life.

MAYBE IN ANOTHER LIFE

Reid’s latest (After I Do, 2014, etc.) explores two parallel universes in which a young woman hopes to find her soul mate and change her life for the better.

After ending an affair with a married man, Hannah Martin is reunited with her high school sweetheart, Ethan, at a bar in Los Angeles. Should she go home with her friends and catch up with him later, or should they stay out and have another drink? It doesn’t seem like either decision would have earth-shattering consequences, but Reid has a knack for finding skeletons in unexpected closets. Two vastly different scenarios play out in alternating chapters: in one, Hannah and Ethan reconnect as if no time has passed; in the other, Hannah lands in the hospital alone after a freak accident that marks the first of many surprising plot twists. Hannah’s best friend, Gabby, believes in soul mates, and though Hannah has trouble making decisions—even when picking a snack from a vending machine—she and Gabby discover how their belief systems can alter their world as much as their choices. “Believing in fate is like living on cruise control,” Hannah says. What follows is a thoughtful analysis of free will versus fate in which Hannah finds that disasters can bring unexpected blessings, blessings can bring unexpected disasters, and that most people are willing to bring Hannah her favorite cinnamon rolls. “Because even when it looks like she’s made a terrible mistake,” Hannah’s mother observes, “things will always work out for Hannah.” The larger question becomes whether Hannah’s choices will ultimately affect her happiness—and it’s one that’s answered on a hopeful note as Hannah tries to do the right thing in every situation she faces.

Entertaining and unpredictable; Reid makes a compelling argument for happiness in every life.

Pub Date: July 7, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-4767-7688-0

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Washington Square/Pocket

Review Posted Online: April 15, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2015

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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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Heartfelt and funny, this enemies-to-lovers romance shows that the best things in life are all-inclusive and nontransferable...

THE UNHONEYMOONERS

An unlucky woman finally gets lucky in love on an all-expenses-paid trip to Hawaii.

From getting her hand stuck in a claw machine at age 6 to losing her job, Olive Torres has never felt that luck was on her side. But her fortune changes when she scores a free vacation after her identical twin sister and new brother-in-law get food poisoning at their wedding buffet and are too sick to go on their honeymoon. The only catch is that she’ll have to share the honeymoon suite with her least favorite person—Ethan Thomas, the brother of the groom. To make matters worse, Olive’s new boss and Ethan’s ex-girlfriend show up in Hawaii, forcing them both to pretend to be newlyweds so they don’t blow their cover, as their all-inclusive vacation package is nontransferable and in her sister’s name. Plus, Ethan really wants to save face in front of his ex. The story is told almost exclusively from Olive’s point of view, filtering all communication through her cynical lens until Ethan can win her over (and finally have his say in the epilogue). To get to the happily-ever-after, Ethan doesn’t have to prove to Olive that he can be a better man, only that he was never the jerk she thought he was—for instance, when she thought he was judging her for eating cheese curds, maybe he was actually thinking of asking her out. Blending witty banter with healthy adult communication, the fake newlyweds have real chemistry as they talk it out over snorkeling trips, couples massages, and a few too many tropical drinks to get to the truth—that they’re crazy about each other.

Heartfelt and funny, this enemies-to-lovers romance shows that the best things in life are all-inclusive and nontransferable as well as free.

Pub Date: May 14, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5011-2803-5

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Gallery Books/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: March 3, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2019

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