MixedBooklistUnfortunately, Mackler’s first adult novel doesn’t charm the way her beloved YA books have, with awkward sex scenes that don’t quite fit and unrealistic characters and situations more reminiscent of moneyed New York than middle-class women trying to juggle it all. Still, the character development of each of the protagonists, the nod to breaking down gender norms, and a satisfying ending all point to potential for Mackler among the beach-read set.
PositiveBooklistMother-daughter relationships take center stage in Jackson’s latest novel, which digs into how far each will go for the other ... Suspense readers will enjoy plot twists and motivations that hit close to home (despite a somewhat predictable ending), but the novel’s depth lies in exploring the role of a mother to protect and teach her children. Are we destined to remain our mother’s child, surrounded by her protection, no more responsible to others than she taught us?
PositiveBooklistHawkins twists together the suspense and storytelling of Jane Eyre with the atmosphere, tension, and odd characters of a Southern-gothic novel into a tale of a young woman trying to escape her past ... The bleak setting provides the appropriate mood to each of Jane’s discoveries, leading to well-plotted surprises that may not be entirely shocking, especially for fans of Charlotte Brontë’s work. First-person narration by Jane allows for a slow reveal of her past, and occasional perspectives from other characters provide clues to their motivations. An altogether sinister novel that will make readers of Jennifer McMahon, Ruth Ware, and Donna Tartt shudder.
RaveBooklistFans of Linda Holmes’ Evvie Drake Starts Over (2019) or Jen DeLuca’s Well Met (2019) will delight in O’Leary’s latest ... The Switch brilliantly encompasses all the humor and whimsy of The Flatshare while delving into emotional topics like grief and the importance of watching out for neighbors. Charismatic Eileen stands out as the star of this witty, joyful show, illustrating that mature women need love, too.
RaveBooklist... another novel full of heart and giggles ... Narration alternates between Jessica and Emily, garnering sympathy on both sides and illustrating the classic adage, \'two sides to every story.\' Waxman shines at creating characters that feel like best friends, inspiring compassion, laughs, and cheers, and fans of Katherine Center and Linda Holmes’ Evvie Drake Starts Over (2019) will adore this.
PositiveBooklistThe glamorous, privileged mommies of New York might appear to have it all, but Hankin’s sophomore novel has great fun satirizing that perception ... With a devilish sense of humor, Hankin crushes the perception that anyone’s life is perfect, despite how it may appear. A slow build to hidden motives and a clever sense of humor make this a fast read, but it’s Claire’s thoughtful look at our expectations of women and mothers that give the novel its depth. Fans of Sophie Kinsella’s My (not so) Perfect Life (2017) will read this in one sitting.
Marisa De Los Santos
PositiveBooklistAs fans know, de los Santos uses exquisitely luxurious, poetic writing to tell her characters’ stories. She knows exactly where she’s going and how and when to get there. The rhythm of the prose will more than please those who love the thoughtful, precise language of Anne Tyler and Joshilyn Jackson.
PositiveBooklistBerg’s debut novel captures the plucky spirit of a 1950’s telephone operator, the charm of a Midwest small town, and the secrets that threaten to change both of them forever ... Vivian is a delightful character, a woman convinced she \'knows people\' and one who refuses to stand by when she realizes she’s been blissfully ignorant of her husband’s past. Fans of Fannie Flagg or Katerina Bivald’s The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend will soak up the small town flavor.
Gigi Levangie Grazer
PositiveBooklistThose who can’t get enough Real Housewives of Beverly Hills will have great fun with Levangie’s latest send up of the over-the-top lives of Hollywood movers and shakers ... Readers of Levangie’s previous books will find that they’ve \'been there, read that,\' given the book’s familiar larger than life characters and exaggerated descriptions of every Hollywood stereotype, but the fast pace and quick change of scenes contribute to the depiction of life in the fast lane. The tale is full of one-liners, sarcasm, and scandal, making it hard not to laugh at Agnes’ woes. Fans of Lauren Weisberger and Candace Bushnell will inhale this in one sitting.
RaveBooklistWhile Cummins alternates points of view, Luca’s voice in particular sings with innocent optimism in the face of a series of near misses. The journey towards the prospect of safety is not only that of Luca and Lydia but of many other migrants, and complex secondary characters serve as both warnings and signs of possibility. Beautiful, straightforward language drives home the point that migration to safer places is not a political issue but a human one ... may be the don’t-miss book of 2020.
PositiveBooklistWhile the end ties up a little too neatly as the result of lucky happenstance, Moriarty keeps the pages turning with her depiction of two women who need a friend to let their secrets free. Readers who enjoy unpredictability alongside happy endings will approve.
PositiveBooklistHawkins has created a delightfully quirky town, and the ending leaves the possibility of a sequel or series. Reminiscent of Sarah Addison Allen, Abbi Waxman, and Fannie Flagg, this is a great summer read for those who love small southern towns filled with magic.
PositiveBooklist... utterly unique ... Moriarty’s characters are delightfully fun and quirky, with Wilbur’s attempt to carry out his parents’ dream a heartening subplot. Though this book may beg comparison to the suspenseful work of her sisters Liane and Nicole, this Moriarty’s graceful discourse on joy is more likely to please readers of Marian Keyes and Maria Semple.
RaveBooklistJackson builds on her talent for creating imperfect, capable, and multilayered characters to write smart suspense driven by the intelligence and determination of the instigator and her prey. Amy’s work as a diving instructor adds impressive depth (who can resist?) to the character and plot. Current fans will recognize Jackson’s exquisite writing, reminiscent of Marisa de los Santos and Ann Patchett, even as her plot takes them around corners they didn’t see coming. Never Have I Ever marks a new high in Jackson’s career that will attract new readership.
RaveBooklistBook nerds will feel strong kinship with the engaging, introverted Nina Hill ... Readers will be captivated by Nina’s droll sense of humor and sympathize with her tendency towards anxiety ... Waxman’s...perspective includes a wry narration of Nina’s life as well as getting into Nina’s head, and it’s this style that will continue to build her deserved readership.
RaveBooklistThe charm of Holmes’ novel comes not only from a genuine friendship turned sweet romance between Evvie and Dean but also from watching amiable Evvie stumble through the process of finding herself. A warm and funny book that will captivate fans of Abbi Waxman and Taylor Jenkins Reid.
PositiveBooklistThe vivid description of this isolated town sets the stage for the revelation of Littleport’s secrets. The structure isn’t as smooth as it could be as it moves among the summer of Sadie’s death, the present, and moments in between, but Miranda’s exploration of how Avery’s and Sadie’s lives intertwine gives the story its depth. Fans of Michele Campbell and Mary Kubica, who like family drama supporting their suspense, will enjoy.
PositiveBooklist\"With equal parts humor and empathy, Tanen’s first novel for adults employs multiple narrators and a skillfully drawn cross-generational family to examine how relatives impact one another.\
Taylor Jenkins Reid
RaveBooklistFramed as a tell-all biography compiled through interviews and articles, Reid’s novel so resembles a memoir of a real band and conjures such true-to-life images of the seventies music scene that readers will think they’re listening to Fleetwood Mac or Led Zeppelin. Reid is unsurpassed in her ability to create complex characters working through emotions that will make your toes curl.
PositiveBooklistDark, tense, and completely absorbing ... While full of hand-clenching suspense, the novel’s real strength comes from its study of relationships ... Gripping to the last page, it’s the desperation in the connections among these characters that will stay with readers.
PositiveBooklistChamberlain...steps up her game with her latest, a departure from her usual plot and structure that still maintains the southern style that makes her so well loved among readers ... With a little tension and a lot of heart, The Dream Daughter will delight Chamberlain’s fans and hook new readers.
PositiveBooklistA dark atmosphere permeates journalist Meuleman’s debut, as Hannah falls further into the shadows, facing the possibility that she may never escape the losses that define her life. Parallel stories taking place 18 years apart and excerpts from Hannah’s book glimpsing into the lives of the disappeared authors result in a crooked structure perfect for fans of Gillian Flynn and J.P. Delaney.