Wednesday, August 27, 2014

How To Love

17332564How to Love is definitely not a book for everyone.  I hesitated to read it because I don't like books dealing with teen pregnancy.  This book does have a teenage mother, but it isn't about her being pregnant.  In fact, her entire pregnancy is skipped over.  This book jumps back and forth between Before and After, letting the past and present unfold simultaneously.  It tells the story of Reena and Sawyer, from Reena's point of view.

In the Before, she has been in love with Sawyer since the seventh grade.  Their parent's are best friends, so they have grown up side by side.  Sawyer is two years older than her.  Despite her obsession with him, he doesn't seem to even notice her.  Then one day, he asks her to hang out and the rest is history.  The two fall in love.  He is far from perfect though.  He drags her around to parties she has no interest in going to.  All she wants is to graduate early and get out of town.  With college acceptance on the horizon she discovers she is pregnant.  When she goes to Sawyer's to tell him, she watches him packing into his jeep like he is going on a trip.  Little does she know, his trip will last over two years, with no word to anyone on where he is or if he is okay.

The After begins with Sawyer's return to town.  He wants to pick things back up with Reena, but she is less than thrilled to see him.  When he learns about their daughter, Hannah, he wants to be a part of her life.  Reena has a new boyfriend, a new life.  Sawyer, however, cannot be ignored.  He keeps popping up at inconvenient times, forcing her to deal with him.  This is definitely an unconventional love story, but that is indeed what it is.  Both Reena and Sawyer have to learn what it truly means to love someone else and even more importantly, how to love themselves.  Both characters are very flawed.  A lot of people don't like Sawyer, which makes them not like this book.  I listened to it on audio, and the reader did a good job of capturing his character.  If I had read him instead, I may not have liked him.  In the audio version, I couldn't help myself from cheering him on.  I wanted him to get it together.  I had an easier time excusing his idiocy and empathizing with him.  Reena's best friend, Shelby, was lots of fun.  Overall, I enjoyed the book.  Like I said, Sawyer will either make or break this book for you.  It definitely isn't for everybody, but I liked it.  Happy reading!

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