Genre: YA Contemporary
Published: October 1, 2013 by Balzer + Bray
Length: 389 pages
Source: Balzer + Bray (ARC)
“Before: Reena Montero has loved Sawyer LeGrande for as long as she can remember: as natural as breathing, as endless as time. But he’s never seemed to notice that Reena even exists…until one day, impossibly, he does. Reena and Sawyer fall in messy, complicated love. But then Sawyer disappears from their humid Florida town without a word, leaving a devastated—and pregnant—Reena behind.
After: Almost three years have passed, and there’s a new love in Reena’s life: her daughter, Hannah. Reena’s gotten used to being without Sawyer, and she’s finally getting the hang of this strange, unexpected life. But just as swiftly and suddenly as he disappeared, Sawyer turns up again. Reena doesn’t want anything to do with him, though she’d be lying if she said Sawyer’s being back wasn’t stirring something in her. After everything that’s happened, can Reena really let herself love Sawyer LeGrande again?”
As a young adult contemporary LOVER, How To Love was a bit of a disappointment for me. First off, I did not like how it was written as a ‘before’ then the next chapter was ‘after’ then ‘before’ and you get the point. It was confusing and I often mixed the plot of the past and present which was disturbing. What I also did not like is there was only little character development (except for Reena). I hated Sawyer’s character. Period. I still don’t feel like he was sorry for what he did, and I especially hated the scenes where he tries to act all cute because he was NOT cute AT ALL. Like, can you stop? You ain’t cute, bro. Just..no. I really like Reena’s character. I think she’s the one who changed the most in this novel. She was also somewhat believable and realistic.
What I liked about How To Love is that the story is very realistic. For sure this has happened to some people, and I admire how strong they are (both fiction and the real people). Overall, it was an okay read. It wasn’t a bad book; I think it could have been better. I’m a bit sad that I didn’t love this book as much as the others who were raving about it. I say that it’s not one of the best contemporary books out there, but I still recommend it if you are looking for a book that involves friendship, romance, family and forgiveness.