This is a young adult contemporary novel, and it’s told in alternating chapters of “before” and “after”– that is, before Reena’s boyfriend/baby daddy vanished for two years and after he came back in her and their daughter’s life. Interestingly, my novel Truest also does this back-and-forth thing, but it felt different than mine. How to Love was equal parts before and after, whereas the bulk of my novel is the before– the after is just tiny glimpses. Anyway, it was fascinating to watch how another novelist made this work for her so well. The hard thing about it though was switching back and forth. Just when I’d really get into either the before or after, we’d switch. Still, it drove the novel forward.
How to Love is really the story of Reena and Sawyer– but also a story about family and about failed friendships and secrets and drugs and ohmygosh really enjoyed this. If you like contemporary, go! Read! Enjoy!
P.S. If you do read this one, let me know. I have a couple things I want to discuss with someone!