Holding a mirror to the moments when we put on a brave face but deep down just need a hug and kind word, Hoover has captured the insecurities that make us human in this unforgettable novel. Told through the brutally honest viewpoint of a teenager struggling to find her footing in the world, this captivating and poignant story delves into the complexities of living in a house filled with turmoil, secrets and mental illness, and the vulnerability it takes to lean on those we love in times of need.
The Voss household is infamous, much to the upset of its youngest occupants. Merit Voss collects trophies she didn't win, her sister Honor has a relationship with death that's a bit too close for comfort, and her brother Utah has taken type-A to an unapproachable level. Unfortunately, the adults in the house are just as peculiar, with Merit's agoraphobic mother living in the basement while her father plays house upstairs with his new wife and their son. On top of it all, Merit has somehow fallen for her sister's boyfriend. Overloaded by the secrets she carries and completely unsure of her place in her family, Merit believes her family is better off without her. When her plan for escape fails, Merit is left to pick up the pieces of secrets she blew up and in the process discovers what her family is truly about. (ATRIA, Oct., 359 pp., $16.00)