by Ashley Herring Blake
Publishing date: May 3rd 2016
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Hadley St. Clair's life changed the day she came home to a front door covered in slips of paper, each of them revealing the ugly truth about her father. Now as her family falls apart in the wake of his year-long affair, Hadley wants everyone-her dad most of all-to leave her alone.
Then she meets Sam Bennett, a cute new boy who inexplicably "feels like home" to Hadley. Hadley and Sam's connection is undeniable, but Sam has a secret about his family that could ruin everything.
Funny and passionate, Suffer Love is a story about first love, family dysfunction, and the fickle hand of fate.
I think I have read the description of Suffer Love when I first found out about the book and then totally forgot what the book was about. I was in a mood to read a cute, fluffy romance book and I have no idea why Suffer Love sounded like a cute romance to me. See what I did there? Suffer -> cute. Well, don't ask. I have no idea what was going on in my head and why Suffer sounded like it could be cute. It must be the Love part of the name that has blinded me. All I saw was LOVE, LOVE, LOVE and boy did I love the book. I definitely did not expect this book to be so powerful and realistic. In a way, it was a cute book with a cute romance, but it was also so much more!
After Hadley's dad cheated on her mom, nothing in her home was the same. The mood in the house was almost unbearable for Hadley and her way to deal with it was to be with a different guy every week. When this new guy comes to school and she finds out that he is in a similar situation, he becomes the only person who fully understands her. Sam's mother cheated on his father, but unlike Hadley's family who is trying to work it out, Sam's father decided to leave and moved to another state. While Sam and Hadley get closer to each other, at the same time Sam tries to distance himself from Hadley because he is keeping a secret that can hurt a lot of people including her.
Suffer Love is a book full of betrayal, secrets, hurt, heartbreak, but also forgiveness and love. Maybe before I started reading this book I wanted something cute and fluffy, but as soon as I started reading, I knew I have made the right choice in choosing this one. It was so powerful in a way we often oversee. Parents part ways all the time. Parents cheat a lot too. Still we rarely reflect on how that may affect the children. We never think about how they fell in the moment when they find out. How they feel when their whole world is crushed into pieces. How they go from happy family to who-knows-what in a matter of seconds. There can be hundreds of outcomes, but every single one of them is hard in a different way.
I know both Sam and Hadley will always have a special place in my heart. They've both been through so many hard things and when they finally find happiness in each other it is still not easy. The book is written in dual POV, so we get to know both of them pretty well. I don't usually like dual POV's, but in this case, it was perfect. We get 'in' on the big secret quite early in the book, but it never decreases the amount of suspense of what will happen when the others find out. The pacing in the book was done perfectly. Sam and Hadley's relationship progressed just how I want all romances to happen, which unfortunately doesn't happen a lot. So when I find a romance like this, I love it and I gush about it. It was SO GOOD GUYS!
Books that are able to bring out different emotions out of us and leave us excited are my favorite kinds of books. Actually, I think they are everyone favorite books. If you liked Emmy & Oliver by Robin Benway or Rites of Passage by Joy N. Hensley, I think Suffer Love might just be a book you'll enjoy too. Or if you enjoyed this book, do check out the other too since they're amazing!
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Ashley Herring Blake
Ashley Herring Blake is a poet, teacher, and YA novelist. Her debut novel, SUFFER LOVE, follows two teens as they attempt to wade through an intense relationship complicated by their parents' infidelities. Ashley lives in Nashville, TN.
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