The How and the Why by Cynthia Hand
Published by HarperTeen
Published: November 5, 2019
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A poignant exploration of family and the ties that bind, perfect for fans of Far From the Tree, from New York Times bestselling author Cynthia Hand.
Today Melly had us writing letters to our babies…
Cassandra McMurtrey has the best parents a girl could ask for. They’ve given Cass a life she wouldn’t trade for the world. She has everything she needs—except maybe the one thing she wants. Like, to know who she is. Where she came from. Questions her adoptive parents can’t answer, no matter how much they love her.
But eighteen years ago, someone wrote Cass a series of letters. And they may just hold the answers Cass has been searching for.
Alternating between Cass’s search for answers and letters from the pregnant teen who gave her up for adoption, this voice-driven narrative is the perfect read for fans of Nina LaCour and Jandy Nelson.
I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Back in 2015, I picked up a book called The Last Time We Say Goodbye by Cynthia Hand. She was a new to me author (although I had heard of her Unearthly series). It had been on my TBR for about 9 months and I decide to read it and fell completely in love with it. I was engrossed from the start and devoured it in 2 days. So to say I was excited for The How and the Why when I got my hands on it is an understatement. But just like she did with The Last Time We Say Goodbye, Hand once again blew me away with The How and the Why. Simply put, it was phenomenal.
The How and the Why is about Cassandra McMurtrey, a girl that was adopted and given an amazing life with two parents that love her and have given her almost everything she has wanted. No matter how much they want, they can’t give her answers about her birth parents. But there are letters out there written to Cassandra that may just hold the answers to what she is looking for. It is just a matter of deciding if it is worth the effort to find out or if it is better to stay in the unknown.
First and foremost, what I loved about this book was the way the story was told. Each chapter alternates between Cassandra’s search for answers and the letters written 18 years earlier. It was a genius way to have the story unfold. As a reader I was able to see what Cassandra was feeling and the feelings of her birth mother at the same time. I was able to notice similarities between the two stories and make connections while I read which I really enjoyed.
I don’t want to say too much more because I don’t want to give anything away about the story. And really all I wanted to do for this review was to yell to read the book, but I will tell you that it is powerful and emotional and you may need the tissues. This is a book you do not want to miss, especially if you like realistic contemporary YA. A must read!
Prize: Win a copy of The How and the Why (US Only)
Stars: 30th October 2019
Ends: 13th November 2019