Next book

WOLFSONG

A bloated backstory makes this a “to-read” for die-hard fans only.

A lonely man gets a second chance with his shape-shifting boyhood love in this emotional paranormal romance.

Oxnard Matheson is only 12 when his abusive father abandons him and his mother, leaving the boy to quickly step into the role of provider. For a multitude of reasons, Ox lives a solitary life though he’s desperate for connection. His dad’s cruelty dented his self-esteem. He's bullied at school because of his slow speech, and working a full-time job before becoming a teenager doesn't leave much room for a social life. A bright spot comes in the way of new neighbors—the Bennett family—who show up when Ox is 16. He’s instantly accepted by them, finding a close friend in the youngest Bennett, Joe, who’s 10. They’re an odd group, but they take a liking to Ox and soon feel close enough to reveal their secret: They're actually a pack of wolf shifters. Ox hopes they'll become a permanent fixture in the Green Creek community, and they stay for several years. But nothing good lasts forever in Ox’s world, and a devastating murder drives the Bennett family away. It's only years later, when Joe reappears, that Ox can start to address the trauma he's experienced over his frequent abandonment. The vignettes telling the story of Ox's early life feel clunky compared to Klune's more lyrical fantasy offerings. For a large part of the story, Ox is a teenager in desperate need of guidance, falling in love with someone six years his junior. While experiencing Ox’s formative years and constant yearning for connection is undoubtedly important to the story, his adulthood makes for a more compelling (and comfortable) read.

A bloated backstory makes this a “to-read” for die-hard fans only.

Pub Date: July 4, 2023

ISBN: 9781250890313

Page Count: 528

Publisher: Tor

Review Posted Online: May 9, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2023

Awards & Accolades

Likes

  • Readers Vote
  • 462


Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT


  • New York Times Bestseller


  • IndieBound Bestseller

Next book

IT ENDS WITH US

Packed with riveting drama and painful truths, this book powerfully illustrates the devastation of abuse—and the strength of...

Awards & Accolades

Likes

  • Readers Vote
  • 462


Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT


  • New York Times Bestseller


  • IndieBound Bestseller

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

Next book

JUST FOR THE SUMMER

A wallowing, emotionally wrenching family drama that leaves little time for romance.

Two people with bad luck in relationships find each other through a popular Reddit thread.

Emma Grant and her best friend, Maddy, are travel nurses, working at hospitals for three-month stints while they see the country. Just a few weeks before they’re set to move to Hawaii, Emma reads a popular “Am I the Asshole” Reddit thread from a Minnesota man who thinks he’s cursed—women he dates find their soulmates after breaking up with him, and the latest one found true love with his best friend! Emma has had a similar experience, which inspires her to DM the man and commiserate. She’s delighted by her witty, lively interactions with software engineer Justin Dahl, and is intrigued when he suggests that if they date each other, maybe they’ll each find their soulmate afterward. Emma upends the Hawaii plan and convinces Maddy to move to Minneapolis for the summer so she can meet Justin in person. The overly complex setup brings Emma and Justin together and the two hit it off, with Justin immediately falling head over heels for Emma. Jimenez then pivots to creating romantic roadblocks and melodramatic subplots centering on each character’s family of origin. Justin’s mother is about to serve six years in prison for embezzlement, which means Justin must move back home to care for his three much younger siblings. Emma was traumatized by her own mother for much of her childhood, left to fend for herself and eventually abandoned in the foster system. When her mother shows up in Minnesota, Emma must face her traumatic childhood and admit that she has prioritized her mother’s well-being over her own. There is little time devoted to Emma’s painful efforts to heal herself enough to accept Justin’s love, which leaves the novel feeling unsatisfying.

A wallowing, emotionally wrenching family drama that leaves little time for romance.

Pub Date: April 2, 2024

ISBN: 9781538704431

Page Count: 432

Publisher: Forever

Review Posted Online: Feb. 3, 2024

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2024

Close Quickview