The Hopefuls by Jennifer Close

August 17, 2016 Contemporary Fiction 6

Greetings Bookworms!

Prior to BEA I’d only been to two author events, but I must admit that having interacted with an author especially in person makes for a different reading experience. Fun fact: I am fond of people who are nice to me. Granted, when authors are trying to promote their books, they tend to be nice to those who might purchase and/or talk other folks into purchasing their books. Just because being nice is also in an author’s best interest doesn’t make me enjoy it any less when they compliment my penguin cardigan. All this is to say that Jennifer Close complimented my (admittedly adorable) penguin cardigan when I got my book signed at BEA. And now we have a special bond. Obviously.

thehopefulsHer latest offering, The Hopefuls, is super timely considering that we’re in the midst of a (seemingly endless) election year. Beth knew going into her relationship with Matt that his eventual goal was to work in politics and eventually run for office, but that all seemed far away when they were living in New York and he was working as a lawyer. When they uproot their lives in New York to move to DC and follow Matt’s career, Beth has a hard time adjusting to her new reality. She hates everything about the city from the traffic circles to the casual discussions of government security clearances. Things begin to turn around when Matt and Beth meet charismatic White House staffer Jimmy and his wife Ashleigh. The two couples strike up a fast and intense friendship, but things soon get complicated. Politics, jealousy, and rumors threaten to tear apart the fragile sense of normalcy Beth has only recently attained.

This book was very cheeky and a lot more fun than I expected it would be. The whole political sphere isn’t something that’s ever been a huge interest of mine. I mean, DUH, I have opinions and I CARE, but I have no interest in engaging in debates or anything. Which is why I find the desire to work in politics so baffling. (For the record, I’m super grateful that there are people who DO want to run things,  but campaigning sounds like the ninth circle of Hell to me.) Thanks to the Beaks and Geeks Podcast (which is great fun if you have the time to give it a listen) I learned that author Jennifer Close had the same reaction to DC that Beth did upon moving there. The Hopefuls isn’t autobiographical or anything, but Beth’s DC rants came straight from Close’s initial reactions. No WONDER it felt so authentic!

Is this glowing review the result of the author’s complimenting my ensemble? Not really. At least not intentionally. I really did like the book. But, you know how it is. Unconscious bias and all that. Why don’t you give The Hopefuls a read yourself and form your own opinion?

Talk to me Bookworms! Would you ever consider running for office or does it sound as awful to you as it does to me?

*If you make a purchase through a link on this site, I will receive a small commission. I’ll probably use it to buy more penguin things. Because PENGUINS.*


6 Responses to “The Hopefuls by Jennifer Close”

  1. Sarah's Book Shelves

    I really loved this book…and agree that her initial reactions upon moving to DC really made it! And I’m with you – running for office sounds like the ninth circle of hell to me also!!! Can you imagine having to be “on” essentially every single hour you’re awake?!!

    • Words For Worms

      Imagining being “on” so much is more than I can take. I really just do not understand the desire to be in a job that would bring sooooooooo much scrutiny.

  2. Megan M.

    Completely agreed on the politics front. I could never, never, never campaign or debate. I can’t even disagree with people on Facebook without practically having a panic attack thinking about what they might say back to me! I’m similarly glad I am beneath the trolls’ notice on Twitter.

    • Words For Worms

      Twitter debates make me feel like the weenie in Hamilton telling everyone not to rebel against England. “Don’t modulate the key then not debate with me!” I won’t modulate the key. I just won’t. I am ill equipped to deal with an internet full of Hamiltons. It’s just too easy to say the wrong thing and piss off the wrong person- even when you’re on the same political wavelength. Just. No thanks.

  3. Jenny @ Reading the End

    Dear God no, you could not pay me enough to run for office. Can you imagine how awful? All the people I ever said snotty things to in high school would come out of the woodwork and be like “Jenny slutshamed me back in the day and it was ruhlly uncool” and I’d be all like “meeble meeble no I would never do that.” AWFUL.

Talk to me, Bookworms!

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