Mary Kay Andrews Saves the Date for Readers
Mary Kay Andrews’s latest novel, Save the Date, debuted at #11 on our Hardcover Fiction bestseller list this week. The book follows Cara Kryzik, a divorced florist, who no longer believes in love but is all for cashing in on it by creating beautiful floral arrangements for weddings. After Cara is hired to do the flowers for a society wedding, she meets Jack Finnerty, the best man, whom she previously encountered dragging her runaway puppy down the street with a string around its neck, because he thought it was his own missing pet.
Andrews insists that she’s a “hopeless romantic.” She’s also intrigued by the “stubborn, optimistic nature of love,” especially when it hits someone who’s been burned before. And she loves “those old romantic screwball comedies” about couples who end up together after meeting under awkward circumstances, like the classic 1934 film It Happened One Night. Andrews says that the “meet cute” is a great plot device, admitting that some of her “most enjoyable moments as a writer” have been spent thinking up improbable situations that bring two characters together in a shower of flying sparks.—Claire Kirch
For the many fans of John Green’s bestselling YA novel The Fault in Our Stars, the long wait is finally over. The movie adaptation, starring Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort, debuted on June 6 and grossed $48.2 million during its opening weekend, earning it the #1 spot at the box office. No small feat for a movie with a $12 million budget that was competing against summer blockbusters starring Tom Cruise (Edge of Tomorrow) and Angelina Jolie (Maleficent). The romantic drama, which screened in almost 3,200 theaters nationwide, is expected to reach $100 million in worldwide ticket sales. For tearful filmgoers, Twentieth Century Fox provided a preparedness kit that included tissues with the movie’s logo. The fan base of the book—predominantly women under 25, according to Box Office Mojo—had a major impact on the makeup of the movie audience, which was reported by the studio to be 82% female. This is a huge victory for female protagonists and book adaptations alike. Green, who was involved in the making of and promotion for the film, won’t have much time to relax: his 2008 YA novel Paper Towns is headed to the big screen in 2015. —Astrid Brown
A Summer Read With Substance
Considering how hard Dorothea Benton Frank is working to promote her 15th novel, Hurricane Sisters, it’s no surprise that the book has landed at the #2 spot on our Hardcover Fiction list this week. Frank—who lives in New Jersey, but originally hails from Sullivan’s Island, S.C.—launched a grueling 30-plus city tour on June 3 in Landrum, S.C., that takes her around the South, up into New England and the Mid-Atlantic region, and ends on July 1 at Books & Greetings in Northvale, N.J.
Like her other novels, Hurricane Sisters is set primarily in South Carolina’s Lowcountry—a region her publisher describes as a “sultry land of ancient magic, glorious sunsets, and soothing coastal breezes.” Hurricane Sisters might be a breezy summer read, but there’s a lot of substance to it: the book follows three generations of women in a dysfunctional family who are trying to confront hard truths about their lives and achieve some sort of reconciliation and healing.
According to Frank, while doing research on domestic violence—an issue that figures prominently in the story—she discovered that South Carolina ranks first in the U.S. in domestic homicide. “I didn’t know any of this before I started writing this book,” she writes in an author’s note. “I mention it here because I want to start a conversation with you and for you to have conversations with each other.”—Claire Kirch
Top 10 Overall
|Rank||Title||Author||Imprint||This Week Units|
|1||The Fault in Our Stars||John Green||Penguin/Speak||171,946|
|2||The Fault in Our Stars (movie tie-in)||John Green||Penguin/Speak||94,147|
|3||Mr. Mercedes||Stephen King||Scribner||81,014|
|4||One Nation||Ben Carson||Pengun/Sentinel||32,883|
|5||City of Heavenly Fire||Cassandra Clare||S&S/McElderry||30,944|
|6||The Fault in Our Stars (hardcover)||John Green||Dutton||29,236|
|7||Looking for Alaska||John Green||Penguin/Speak||28,425|
|8||Oh, the Places You’ll Go!||Dr. Seuss||Random House||27,778|
|9||Dork Diaries #7: Tales from a Not-So-Glam...||Rachel Renée Russell||S&S/Aladdin||26,096|