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Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Bloo's Reviews | Hate: A Love Story

“No bottle is big enough for human emotion. Love, hate, anger, happiness, and deep melancholy. Each one exists for a reason. Emotion is real. It’s meant to be released. It’s meant to be lived.”
Hate: A Love Story

Title: Hate: A Love Story
Author: Laurel Ulen Curtis
Rated: 18+ (adult content)

It's been a while since I've done a review. I've been full of good intentions, but time seems to have flown by lately and I just didn't get around to it. Anyway! On with the review.

I found Hate: A Love Story a bit of an odd read. In a weird way, it felt like it was two different books hashed together. The first half of the book covers the adolescent friendship and love triangle between Whitney (whose point of view the story is told from), Blane and Franny. Although the subject matter is very heavy from the outset and carries on like that for basically the whole first half (if not more), it reads much like a young adult novel. And I guess that makes sense considering the characters are young adults at this point. I mean there are sexual references, but no actual sexual scenes. However in the second half of the book, after time has jumped ahead ten years or so, the language subtly changes and it reads much more like an adult novel. Complete with far fetched reunion and falling into bed with each other. I don't know why this bothered me. I mean I guess it makes sense in the context of the story, but I felt like we'd made it that far without the graphic sex scenes that it wasn't really necessary.

I've read other reviews and a few complained this story should come with a clearer trigger warning, as the story does deal with some heavy issues. Such as teen pregnancy, abortion, depression, 9/11, death of a parent, suicide and a terrorist hijacking. The need for a trigger warning doesn't really apply to me as I can just about read anything, but as the characters are just hit with one thing after another it was admittedly a bit of a hard read. You just wanted them to catch a break at some point. After a little while you feel like it can't possibly carry on much longer like this, but it does. So I imagine some people might find it hard to stomach because of this.

My favourite part of the book is the comic relief provided by Whitney's gram. She is just hilarious, sassy and a little nutty. She has no filter and says what she thinks. She also offers some great wisdom and quotes like, “Monsters can only attend the meeting if we leave room for them.” She's the type of grandparent you wish you had or hope to be. I'd almost recommending reading this book just for her.

The book also makes use of a lot of time jumps. Personally I didn't mind them, and understood why they were necessary and they helped move an already slow moving read along a little faster. Some others complained it made the book feel a little disjointed in parts, but I didn't have that problem.

So yeah, this is an emotional read, with a bittersweet ending. Despite having a distaste for stories written in first person, it didn't bother me with this book. Well, once I got into it at least. It's been a while since I've read something that I've found myself highlighting quotes from, but with this I found quite a few. Despite the first half the story baring the brunt of the heaviest subject matter, I think I enjoyed it most. There was more to get your teeth into and I really enjoyed Whitney's perspective. However I did see someone else comment they wished the author had included Blane's perspective and I agree with that, as there was points where you wondered what Blane was thinking or why he did certain things that were never fully explained. Anyway, while I wouldn't recommend this if you want a light hearted read, if you would like something that will deal you blow after blow emotionally, then this is for you!

...I'm not sure I put across that I like this book very well. I need to practice including positives in my reviews.

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