Women on the Move: Pop Fiction Previews, Jul. 2019, Pt. 1 | Prepub Alert

Debut authors, YA authors crossing to the adult arena, and successful author teams like Hazel Gaynor and Heather Webb make for personal reading.

Baker, Chandler. Whisper Network. Flatiron: Macmillan. Jul. 2019. 320p. ISBN 9781250319470. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9781250319494. CD. WOMEN'S

YA author Baker (This Is Not the End) taps into the #MeToo movement with this story of Sloane, Ardie, Grace, and Rosalita, concerned to learn that their boss will likely be taking over as CEO of Truviv, Inc. So far, whispers about his troublesome behavior have been shushed, but now the women decide it’s time to act. Getting a big push, including a five-city tour.

Collette, Katherine. The Helpline. Atria. Jul. 2019. 224p. ISBN 9781982111335. $26; ebk. ISBN 9781982111359. WOMEN'S

Great with numbers if socially maladroit, the recently laid-off Germaine Johnson gets work at City Hall answering calls on the Senior Citizens Helpline. But there's a secret agenda: helping the mayor and golf club manager Don, a fallen national Sudoku champion Germaine hero-worships, shut down the senior citizens center near the club. She’s all for it until she meets the center’s feisty seniors. A debut from Melbourne-based Collette promising enough to merit a 75,000-copy first printing.

Dermansky, Marcy. Very Nice. Knopf. Jul. 2019. 304p. ISBN 9780525655633. $25.95; ebk. ISBN 9780525655640. Downloadable. HUMOR

Rachel Klein is crushing so hard on her soulful creative writing teacher, famed American novelist Zahid Azzam, that she manages to kiss him—and then invites him to her stately Connecticut home. He arrives with his standard apricot poodle, Princess, and is immediately enchanted by the pool, the food—and Rachel’s beautiful mother. The author of the acclaimed The Red Car draws one sticky triangle.

Gaynor, Hazel & Heather Webb. Meet Me in Monaco. Jul. 2019. 384p. ISBN 9780062913548. $26.99; pap. ISBN 9780062885364. $16.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062885371. lrg. prnt. WOMEN'S

Coauthors of the LJ-starred Last Christmas in Paris, Gaynor and Webb take us to the 1950s Cannes film festival, where Grace Kelly attempts to dodge press and paparazzi by hiding in the little perfume shop run by Sophie Duval, with whom she develops a lasting friendship. Meanwhile, British press photographer James Henderson is so taken with Sophie as she successfully puts him off that he arranges to cover Grace’s wedding to Prince Rainier of Monaco, just to visit that perfume shop again. With a 100,000-copy paperback and 25,000-copy hardcover first printing.

Henry, Madeleine. Breathe In, Cash Out. Atria. Jul. 2019. 304p. ISBN 9781982114534. $26; ebk. ISBN 9781982114558 WOMEN'S

Honors Princeton grad Allegra Cobb works as an analyst at a major bank, as her demanding single father would want, but she’s also a one-time American Yoga National Competition Champion plotting to abandon the hated banking world to start her own yoga practice. Encounters with a high-flying colleague and the #blessed yoga guru make her realize how rugged that path will be. A debut with a 50,000-copy first printing; see former Goldman Sachs employee Henry on Instagram at @MadeleineHenryYoga.

Littlefield, Sophie & Lauren Gershell. That’s What Frenemies Are For. Ballantine. Jul. 2019. 320p. ISBN 9781984817969. $27; ebk. ISBN 9781984817976. Downloadable. WOMEN'S

Multi-award-winner Littlefield and first-timer Gershell join forces to tell the story of influential Manhattan socialite Julia Summers, who realizes that she's lost her edge and needs to sharpen up. So she strategizes to make a star out of Tatum, a bright-eyed young instructor of the upscale new fitness craze called Flame. But Julia’s plans go dangerously awry, especially when Tatum comes to appreciate her newly granted powers. 

Moriarty, Jaclyn. Gravity Is the Thing. Harper. Jul. 2019. 416p. ISBN 9780062883735. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062883742. WOMEN'S

A best-selling YA author who claims honors (e.g., NSW Premier’s Literary Award, the ALA’s Best Books for Young Adults), Moriarty goes adult with the story of Abigail Sorenson, whose brother disappeared 20 years ago as she was turning 16. Since then, anonymously sent excerpts from a self-help manual called the Guidebook have proved a comfort, and now she has an invitation to an all-expenses-paid weekend retreat to learn everything there is to know about the Guidebook—and, she’s convinced, about her missing brother, for isn't there a link?

Raheem, Zara. The Marriage Clock. Morrow Paperbacks. Jul. 2019. ISBN 9780062877925. pap. $15.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062877932. FAMILY LIFE

Leila Abid’s parents want to find a husband for her in their South AsianMuslim American community, but Leila is holding out for true love. Only she’s not having much luck, so she strikes a deal with her parents that if she can’t find someone in three months, they can do the job for her. Plenty of unsatisfying blind dates and online mismatches follow, and both Leila and the reader wonder where this will lead. With a 40,000-copy first printing; a debut generating interest.

Savage, Lila. Say Say Say. Knopf. Jul. 2019. 176p. ISBN 9780525655923. $24; ebk. ISBN 9780525655930. Downloadable. FAMILY LIFE

Nearing 30, once-aspiring artist Ella has settled for caregiving and currently tends to Jill, who suffered a brain injury in a car accident and hardly says more than the title’s “say say say.” But watching Jill’s husband, Bryn, gently manage his wife makes Ella reconsider her feelings toward girlfriend Alix and think about relationships of all kinds. First-timer Savage packs good credentials: she’s a Wallace Stegner fellow and recent graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop.

Stibbe, Nina. Reasons To Be Cheerful. Little, Brown. Jul. 2019. 288p. ISBN 9780316309370. $26; ebk. ISBN 9780316309356. lib. ebk. ISBN 9780316422512. HUMOR

Author of the best-selling memoir Love, Nina, plus Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize–nominated fiction, Stibbe delivers the tale of ditzy teenager Lizzie, who works contentedly at the local dentist’s office and is much taken with Andy Nicolello when he drops by to deliver a crown. She even starts calling him her boyfriend, though they’ve hardly spoken, and Andy has some surprises in store. With a 25,000-copy first printing.

Tomar, Ruchika. A Prayer for Travelers. Riverhead. Jul. 2019. 352p. ISBN 9780525537014. $27; ebk. ISBN 9780525537038. Downloadable. WOMEN'S

Raised by her grandfather, then set adrift as a terrible secret explodes in her face, solitary bookworm Cale waitresses at the local diner. There she reencounters a former classmate named Penélope with big ideas and energy to burn, and they’re soon close as a hug. But a moment of violence destroys everything, and Cale must cross the Nevada desert in search of her lost friend. Debut novelist Tomar is a former Wallace Stegner Fellow.



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Barbara Hoffert

Barbara Hoffert (bhoffert@mediasourceinc.com, @BarbaraHoffert on Twitter) is Editor, LJ Prepub Alert; past chair of the Materials Selection Committee of the RUSA (Reference and User Services Assn.) division of the American Library Association; and past president, awards chair, and treasurer of the National Book Critics Circle.

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