YA author Gayle Forman's first adult novel, Leave Me, was a delightful surprise—a book that starts out frightening and upsetting, yet develops into a story with a sensitive, warmhearted spirit. Appropriately enough, it's a book I would have cherished when I was a teenager trying to move on to adult fiction, and finding that world full of unpleasant themes and people. Although not a genre romance, I think it's one that many romance readers will also enjoy.
Maribeth Klein, a married 44-year-old magazine editor and mother of twins, doesn't realize for a staggeringly long time that she's having a heart attack. Stress, anxiety, and indigestion are pretty much her New Yorker daily routine, and she doesn't even have the time to investigate. The next thing she knows, she's having emergency bypass surgery... and then trying to recover in a world in which nothing has really changed. Responsibilities. Parenting. Taxes. A husband constantly working late, a best friend/boss who no longer seems to care about her, and a mother who causes more problems than she solves. Lice. And the constant knowledge that she almost left her family forever: