Sunday, May 28, 2017

How to Love

I'm a sucker for a nice romantic story. I like fluff and sweetness and first kisses and final declarations of love as the sun sets in the background. But. I like romantic stories if they're done well. I don't like forced romance, or rote romance or boring romance. And when I saw How to Love had such a great rating on Goodreads and was on sale? I thought I'd hit the jackpot.

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Retrieved from Goodreads
Before it happened, Reena was a girl in love with a boy who didn't know what he wanted. He was the bad boy and she was the good girl and that was how life had always been and always would be. After it happened, Reena became a single mother whose dreams and been put on hold. She wasn't going to college. She wasn't with the boy of her dreams. And she wasn't going to travel the world. And then one day Sawyer waltzed back into town and those dreams began to stir.

This book. Honestly, if it hadn't been for the fact that I listened to the audiobook, I don't think I would have been able to finish it because my eyes would have rolled out of my head. I'll give credit where credit is due though--How to Love is easy to read. The writing style is quick, and the jumping back and forth between Before and After sections is well done. But that's where my praise ends. I really hate giving books bad reviews because I know, intimately, how hard it is to write a book. But I had fundamental problems with the characters. Reena is awful. She cheats to be with Sawyer. Twice. Twice! And then acts shocked when people get mad at her about it. She also has no spine. Sawyer treats her like crap and she blames herself. Now, this could be an interesting part of her character. But the books treats it like it's adorable. Reena treats her friends like crap as well. And when Sawyer waltzes back into her life after disappearing without a word to anyone, she immediately falls in puppy love with him because...honestly, I don't know. Sawyer may have been the bad boy type, but usually that masks a tortured sweetie. Here, he's just a jerk. He gets mad that Reena hasn't forgiven him for skipping town without saying goodbye...after he's been in town less than a week. He treats her horribly in the Before section as well, and I see basically zero reason why these two characters should be together except that they're both horrible to each other and everyone in their lives. The only thing that redeemed Reena for me was how she stood up to her quasi mother-in-law when she pretends she's been involved in her granddaughter's life. Other than that, I did not like this book.

Goodreads Rating: 2 Stars
Up Next: Rites of Passage by Joy N. Hensley

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