Hello Beautiful by Anne Napolitano, 5 Stars

William Waters grew up in a house silenced by tragedy, where his parents could hardly bear to look at him, much less love him—so when he meets the spirited and ambitious Julia Padavano in his freshman year of college, it’s as if the world has lit up around him. With Julia comes her family, as she and her three sisters are inseparable: Sylvie, the family’s dreamer, is happiest with her nose in a book; Cecelia is a free-spirited artist; and Emeline patiently takes care of them all. With the Padavanos, William experiences a newfound contentment; every moment in their house is filled with loving chaos.

But then darkness from William’s past surfaces, jeopardizing not only Julia’s carefully orchestrated plans for their future, but the sisters’ unshakeable devotion to one another. The result is a catastrophic family rift that changes their lives for generations. Will the loyalty that once rooted them be strong enough to draw them back together when it matters most?

An exquisite homage to Louisa May Alcott’s timeless classic, Little WomenHello Beautiful is a profoundly moving portrait of what is possible when we choose to love someone not in spite of who they are, but because of it.

My Review:

When the book opens, it centers on William Waters. He’s an accomplished athlete and a golden boy, but what he really craves, his parents’ love, is denied him his entire childhood. It isn’t until he starts dating Julia that he finds a family. She is the oldest of four girls and she even brings her sisters to their first date. The message is clear. Her family is part of her.

Hello Beautiful is a spin on Little Women, if the original had focused more on Laurie. But I’ve seen this same closeness dynamic in several families with four girls. It’s like the energy and excitement (and I’m sure constant drama) pulls sisters together in an undeniable way. And it appears to compound with each additional sister.

Anne Napolitano took my breath away with Dear Edward, and while I found Hello Beautiful to have a slower start, the end result was the same. Napolitano is really something special. She’s an amazing writer and I’m so excited to see where her career takes her. Special thanks to Netgalley and Random house for an advanced digital ARC in exchange for my honest review. This one is out March 14. Pre-order your copy!

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