By: Jolene Perry
Release Date: September 1, 2015
Our eyes meet, and I think we're both stuck in the moment.
Are we...friends? Do I have a friend in New York? A corner of his mouth quirks up in a partial smile.
In this second, my world gets bigger and makes me feel smaller, and when I start to feel how big the world is, half of me is thrilled and the other half begs to shut it out. Why did I have to meet Rhodes now?
The acceptance letter doesn't seem quite real to Clara: college in New York City, at the school that stands for all her dreams. It's hard to imagine the future, whether it's New York or at home in Alaska with her boyfriend, Elias. She's not ready for the rest of her life to begin—at least not until the deep scars on her face are fixed. Then people will stop staring and asking questions.
The last thing Clara expected was for a stranger to see her for who she is—a writer. When Rhodes, the new student teacher, recognizes her talent, the things she barely dared hope for suddenly feel possible. but will she risk everything to go after what she really wants?
I’ve always loved reading anything by Jolene Perry. She knows how to bring you into a story and keep you there until the minute you finish the book and this was no different. There are many choices you need to make in life and its how you make those choices that matter most. You can’t think of anyone else sometimes these choices you have to make, have to be for you and not everyone around you. This is what Has to Be Love is all about. Choices and learning to love yourself.
Clara has been through a lot in her short lifetime, but now that she is getting ready to graduate high school and move on with her life, or at least hope to move on things become more difficult for her. She has added anxiety in her life because when she was younger she was attacked by a bear (she lives in Alaska, so totally possible). Of course her scars are not only visible to her but to everyone around her because it’s on her face and this is what is holding her back. Her entire life since she’s had them she hasn’t learned how to deal with people’s reactions to them and has never felt comfortable about them. You know that whole love thyself, its not something she subscribes to. It’s tough I can only imagine but this book explores her many decisions, including that of Elias.
Elias, he’s Clara’s boyfriend, and quite honestly sounds like a really perfect guy not only for her but for anyone. He is sweet, thoughtful and only wants forever with Clara but she’s not ready. Decisions, decisions, there are so many decisions to be made. In comes an outsider who really tips her off the straight and narrow. She doesn’t know how to handle everything and starts to make the wrong decisions in life. It’s entertaining to watch. And I can completely hear her inner struggle with her life, her faith and her future. This book isn’t about love, this book is about finding yourself and being happy with yourself. Some people just tend to get in the way or help you along the way.
I really have to say that I’m completely rooting for Elias in the end whether that’s what is going to happen or not I still think he’s the sweetest book boyfriend ever. So back to the decisions that need to be made, all her life Clara has wanted to go to Columbia like her mother and she finally has the opportunity, only time will tell if she will follow through (well that and you have to read the book).
There were a lot of great coming of age bits in this book that were put together quite nicely and not everything will be perfect and rosy and will work out in the end. Sometimes you have to let go to move on and be happy with yourself. Overall I loved the characters, the setting and all the situations because they are real and believable and made you connect with everything and everyone at once. I felt like I was in Alaska on that 4 wheeler checking out the house that was being built. It’s all right there in my mind because it was described so beautifully.
Love the cover, think it’s absolutely adorable and I would pick it up in a minute. It’s cute and I think what Clara has with Elias, well it just Has to Be Love!
I received this book from NetGalley and Albert Whitman & Company (AW Teen), so that I may give my honest opinion and a review. Whether it is good or not please do not let it discourage you from purchasing/reading the book yourself and forming your own opinion. What might be good for me may not be good for you and vice versa. With that said, Happy Reading Everyone!!!