Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Blog Tour: How It Ends by Catherine Lo - Review and Author Q&A!

How It Ends by Catherine Lo

Publishing Date: June 7, 2016
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books For Young Readers
Pages: 304
Young Adult Contemporary

The Premise from the Publisher: "How It Ends is an honest, heart-wrenching tale of a friendship from first meeting to breakup. Told through alternating points of view, it is about two best friends' tumultuous sophomore year of bullying, boys, and backstabbing and what can happen when friends choose assumptions and fear over each other" (HMH).

My overall thoughts and review: When I was asked to participate in this blog tour, I was instantly interested because the premise of the book sounded so interesting. Ever since I read With Malice by Eileen Cook (I also have a full review and author Q&A here), I've been really loving "friendship-centered" novels. I find that with a lot of YA contemporary reads, friendship takes the backseat and a love relationship takes driver seat. It was so nice again to read a novel that focuses on friendship, how to navigate high-school and how one deals with anxiety. I love books that shed a light on mental illness and not just depicting one point of view. We get Jessie's POV, her mother's POV, and how it affects Annie too. The story is told from two perspectives: Annie and Jessie. Jessie had a terrible time at highschool before Annie arrived because she was bullied by Courtney and her crew. When Annie arrives, Jessie feels stronger, more confident and they form a beautiful friendship. However, things change when Annie begins dating the guy that Jessie likes, and Annie attempts to give Courtney a chance to right the wrongs of the past. Without saying much more and spoiling the entire narrative, the story did take a few unexpected turns which surprised me. I also really appreciated the internal monologues from Annie and Jessie and getting an understanding of not only what they were saying, but thinking. It is a wonderful read about a highschool experience, I definitely could recall similar scenarios from my highschool days. It emphasizes the importance of trust in friendship and what can happen, when we assume the worst. I know many scenarios of problems that could've easily been solved if we simply asked for clarification instead of assuming. This seems to be a very straight-forward, common sense point, but sometimes we do forget and it was nice having that reminder again. Overall, I really enjoyed this read - it had everything I could ask for in a YA contemporary read: emphasis on friendship, family, mental illness and a bit of love. I would highly recommend it especially for fans of Morgan Matson and Jenny Han!

My rating of the book:  (4/5 stars) 

And now it is time for the Author Q&A! For the blog tour, Catherine has taken the time to answer a question for each blogger! Check it out: 

Author Question and Answer

1. What do you hope readers take away from the book?
My favourite books are the ones that challenge me to re-examine my own ideas and see things from a new perspective. More than anything, I hope readers will find something to connect with in How It Ends, and that the story will inspire them to look at their own friendships in a new way. I wrote How It Ends from the dual perspectives of both Annie and Jessie to highlight the ways that people can perceive the same events differently. Sometimes there is not so much a right and wrong in a conflict as there is differing points of view. Annie and Jessie interpret events in the novel differently, and that results in misunderstandings along the way.
Thank you so much, Catherine for answering that question. I really liked how you highlighted interpreting the same thing differently. This is Catherine's first novel and I can't wait to see what she writes next. I want to take a moment to thank Catherine again for taking the time to participate in the blog tour with bloggers.  I also want to thank the lovely folks at Raincoast Books for organizing another awesome blog tour! Please be sure to check out the other stops on the tour below: 
Disclaimer: An advanced reader's copy of the book was provided by Raincoast Books for participation in the book tour. All opinions of the book are my own. 

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