Ann Napolitano is perhaps best known for Dear Edward, a best seller but the sort of tearjerker that might scare away some readers. And while there are tragic aspects to her new novel—the book begins “For the first six days of William Waters’s life, he was not an only child,” presaging a loss that will define the character’s life—the tender narrative is at its best when it’s exploring the strength of familial bonds. William, shunned by grieving parents, finds salvation in basketball and particularly the structure of a team. He falls in with another family when he becomes romantically entangled with Julia and, by extension, her three sisters. The four girls bicker about which March sibling each would be in Little Women. Hello Beautiful achieves a similar alchemy to that classic novel as it builds up those sisterly relationships and then pushes them to the brink while simultaneously weaving in William’s own compelling story of growth. —Eliana Dockterman
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