Publisher: Avid Reader Press

#BookReview Greta & Valdin by Rebecca K Reilly @simonschuster @AvidReaderPress #Greta&Valdin #RebeccaKReilly #SimonSchuster

#BookReview Greta & Valdin by Rebecca K Reilly @simonschuster @AvidReaderPress #Greta&Valdin #RebeccaKReilly #SimonSchuster Title: Greta & Valdin

Author: Rebecca K Reilly

Published by: Avid Reader Press on Feb. 6, 2024

Genres: General Fiction, LGBTQIA

Pages: 352

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Simon & Schuster

Book Rating: 9/10

For fans of Schitt’s Creek and Sally Rooney’s Normal People, an irresistible and bighearted international bestseller that follows a brother and sister as they navigate queerness, multiracial identity, and the dramas big and small of their entangled, unconventional family, all while flailing their way to love.

It’s been a year since his ex-boyfriend dumped him and moved from Auckland to Buenos Aires, and Valdin is doing fine. He has a good flat with his sister Greta, a good career where his colleagues only occasionally remind him that he is the sole Maaori person in the office, and a good friend who he only sleeps with when he’s sad. But when work sends him to Argentina and he’s thrown back in his former lover’s orbit, Valdin is forced to confront the feelings he’s been trying to ignore—and the future he wants.

Greta is not letting her painfully unrequited crush (or her possibly pointless master’s thesis, or her pathetic academic salary…) get her down. She would love to focus on the charming fellow grad student she meets at a party and her friendships with a circle of similarly floundering twenty-somethings, but her chaotic family life won’t stop her mother is keeping secrets, her nephew is having a gay crisis, and her brother has suddenly flown to South America without a word.

Sharp, hilarious, and with an undeniable emotional momentum that builds to an exuberant conclusion, Greta & Valdin careens us through the siblings’ misadventures and the messy dramas of their sprawling, eccentric Maaori-Russian-Catalonian family. An acclaimed bestseller in New Zealand, Greta & Valdin is fresh, joyful, and alive with the possibility of love in its many mystifying forms.


Review:

Fresh, deft, and exceptionally memorable!

Greta & Valdin is a tender, hopeful, intimate multi-generational story that delves into all the emotional bonds and intricate ties that exist between family members, especially two siblings, Greta and Valdin and immerses you in a tale about accepting the things you cannot change, following your heart, learning to heal, and embracing whatever comes next.

The prose is evocative and controlled. The characters are young, self-aware, and relatable. And the tightly crafted, witty plot, told from alternating perspectives, unfolds seamlessly, unravelling all the motivations, behaviours, personalities, desires, needs, insecurities, heartbreak, and complex relationships within it.

Overall, Greta & Valdin is a nuanced, atmospheric, uplifting debut by Reilly that does a remarkable job of highlighting all the universal struggles of navigating the world as an adult, acquiring self-confidence, forging friendships, experiencing love, and feeling entitled to be loved.

This novel is available February 6, 2024.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

         

 

 

 

Thank you to Simon & Schuster for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Rebecca K Reilly

Rebecca K Reilly (Ngaati Hine, Ngaati Rehua Ngaatiwai ki Aotea), born 1991, is a Maaori novelist from Waitaakere, New Zealand. She has a BA (hons) in German and European studies from the University of Auckland and an MA from the International Institute of Modern Letters at Victoria University of Wellington, where she won the Adam Foundation Prize in Creative Writing for 2019.

Photograph by AMP Berry.

#BookReview Little Monsters by Adrienne Brodeur @adriennebrodeur @SimonSchusterCA @AvidReaderPress #LittleMonsters #AdrienneBrodeur #SimonSchusterCA

#BookReview Little Monsters by Adrienne Brodeur @adriennebrodeur @SimonSchusterCA @AvidReaderPress #LittleMonsters #AdrienneBrodeur #SimonSchusterCA Title: Little Monsters

Author: Adrienne Brodeur

Published by: Avid Reader Press on Jun. 27, 2023

Genres: General Fiction

Pages: 320

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Simon & Schuster Canada

Book Rating: 8/10

From the author of the bestselling memoir Wild Game comes a riveting novel about Cape Cod, complicated families, and long-buried secrets—for fans of the New York Times bestsellers The Paper Palace and Ask Again, Yes .

Ken and Abby Gardner lost their mother when they were small and they have been haunted by her absence ever since. Their father, Adam, a brilliant oceanographer, raised them mostly on his own in his remote home on Cape Cod, where the attachment between Ken and Abby deepened into something complicated—and as adults their relationship is strained. Now, years later, the siblings’ lives are still deeply entwined. Ken is a successful businessman with political ambitions and a picture-perfect family and Abby is a talented visual artist who depends on her brother’s goodwill, in part because he owns the studio where she lives and works.

As the novel opens, Adam is approaching his seventieth birthday, staring down his mortality and fading relevance. He has always managed his bipolar disorder with medication, but he’s determined to make one last scientific breakthrough and so he has secretly stopped taking his pills, which he knows will infuriate his children. Meanwhile, Abby and Ken are both harboring secrets of their own, and there is a new person on the periphery of the family—Steph, who doesn’t make her connection known. As Adam grows more attuned to the frequencies of the deep sea and less so to the people around him, Ken and Abby each plan the elaborate gifts they will present to their father on his birthday, jostling for primacy in this small family unit.

Set in the fraught summer of 2016, and drawing on the biblical tale of Cain and Abel, Little Monsters is an absorbing, sharply observed family story by a writer who knows Cape Cod inside and out—its Edenic lushness and its snakes.


Review:

Dramatic, simmering, and sincere!

Little Monsters is a tender, engaging tale that sweeps you away to the idyllic Cape Cod during 2016 and into the lives of the Gardner family, especially siblings Ken and Abby, as the preparations for their father’s upcoming seventieth birthday party will have them finally confronting all the jealousy, resentment, pain, scars, long-buried secrets, and despicable behaviours that have tied them together since childhood.

The prose is fluid and smooth. The characters are bitter, troubled, and flawed. And the plot is a captivating tale about life, loss, heartache, guilt, love, secrets, revelations, acceptance, familial drama, friendship, hope, mental illness, forgiveness, and introspection.

Overall, Little Monsters is a heartfelt, intricate, nuanced tale by Brodeur that reminds us that families are complicated and messy, the choices we make often have far-reaching consequences, and skeletons often find their way to the surface no matter how well they’re buried.

 

This novel is available June 27, 2023.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

        

 

 

Thank you to Simon & Schuster Canada for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Adrienne Brodeur

Adrienne Brodeur is the author of the memoir Wild Game, which was selected as a Best Book of the Year by NPR and The Washington Post and is in development as a Netflix film. She founded the literary magazine Zoetrope: All-Story with Francis Ford Coppola, and currently serves as executive director of Aspen Words, a literary nonprofit and program of the Aspen Institute. She splits her time between Cambridge and Cape Cod, where she lives with her husband and children.

Photograph by Tony Luong.