Release Date: September 1, 2015
Years ago, Clara survived a vicious bear attack. She’s used to getting sympathetic looks around town, but meeting strangers is a different story. Yet her dreams go far beyond Knik, Alaska, and now she’s got a secret that’s both thrilling and terrifying—an acceptance letter from Columbia University. But it turns out her scars aren’t as fixable as she hoped, and when her boyfriend begins to press for a forever commitment, she has second thoughts about New York. Then Rhodes, a student teacher in her English class, forces her to acknowledge her writing talent, and everything becomes even more confusing—especially with the feelings she’s starting to have about him. Now all Clara wants to do is hide from the tough choices she has to make. When her world comes crashing down around her, Clara has to confront her problems and find her way to a decision. Will she choose the life of her dreams or the life that someone she loves has chosen? Which choice is scarier?
I was intrigued by Has to Be Love‘s synopsis, curious about Clara and her scars, and wanted to see how it would all play out. Plus, I’ve never been to Alaska nor read a book that takes place there so I thought this would be new and exciting read.
When Clara was twelve, she and her mother were attacked by a bear. Clara survived, but her mother did not. Clara has scars covering her face, reminding her everyday of the worst day of her life. Now Clara is just about to graduate from high school. She has a wonderful boyfriend and has just received an acceptance letter from her dream school.
This book was not my favorite. It was wonderfully well written, but I just did not enjoy the story all that much. I think Clara’s problems would have easily been solved if she was honest with her dad and boyfriend from the start. If she let them know that she was accepted into her dream school, they would have been excited for her and would have supported her. Instead, she pushed them away and caused more problems for herself.
Clara annoyed me, and I had a hard time connecting with her. It was hard for me to watch her life fall apart. Clara had the perfect boyfriend, yet she let self-doubts get in the way. I did agree with her that getting married so young was the wrong decision, but Clara went about it in all the wrong ways. It was hard for me to read about her cheating with a student teacher. I really do not like student/teacher romantic relationships nor do I think cheating is acceptable.
The ending was too much for me. Her father’s stroke came out of nowhere, and Clara didn’t really have any consequences for her actions. Everything ended up working out too perfectly and was not realistic at all.
Overall, I think others might like this book, but it just wasn’t for me.
*This ARC was provided to me by the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for a honest review.*
Leave a Reply