cover image How to Be a Grown-Up

How to Be a Grown-Up

Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus. Atria, $25 (256p) ISBN 978-1-4516-4345-9

Bestselling team McLaughlin and Kraus (The Nanny Diaries) join forces again for a story their fans will recognize, with a single-mother twist. Over the span of a few days, Rory McGovern goes from feeling like she has it together to feeling like her life is exploding around her. Her husband, Blake, has just lost out on a career-changing role in a Netflix series, and as a result he has decided that he needs a vacation from marriage and parenthood. Her freelance job as a photo stylist for Stellar Media’s magazines will not become full-time as she’d hoped, and worse, her editor Kathryn wants her to go undercover at JeuneBug, a new children’s lifestyle website, to bring it down from the inside. Facing Blake’s lack of accountability and her children’s confusion over their missing father, a decisive and empowered side to Rory’s character emerges. Though the story is entertaining, the reader feels little emotional connection to the characters, or more significantly, to Rory’s situation. The novel doesn’t add anything new to the genre, and the story is predictable, but it’s nonetheless a funny and worthwhile diversion. (July)