ARC Review | The How & The Why by Cynthia Hand

The How & the WhyTitle: The How & THe Why

Author: Cynthia Hand

Rating: ★★★★☆

Publisher: HarperTeen

Release Date: November 5, 2019

“The point is, I hope you get it – the why of the whole thing. I hope you have a good life- a boring, no-drama, no-real-problems kind of life.
Good luck, X. I wish you the best.”


I have such a weakness for family stories. I will without fail, pick up a book if family is a central focus, and I can say The How & the Why is a great addition to the emotional family-centric stories that I love. The story is told in 2 perspectives: 18 year old Cass as she’s getting ready for all that comes with senior year , and letters from 16 year old, ‘S’ who gave her up 18 years ago.

I really liked Cass as a character. She’s honest and flawed and it’s so easy to feel for her through all of her struggles. Her friendships with Nyla and Bastian are wonderful. Seeing from her birth mother’s perspective was really nice, and woven into the story seamlessly. (S can really set a scene). My biggest complaint with the story was that I didn’t really buy Cassa and Nyla’s acting prowess, so some of that stuff fell falt for me. Otherwise, The How & the Why is an emotionally raw story about family and identity that will tug on your heartstrings.

Sidenote: I would LOVE a novella that explores what happens after the epiloge. I think the story ends in the right place narratively. But as soon as I finished the book, I put it down in my lap and said “NO.” so I would really love to see “the next” of The How & the Why.

I received a copy of the book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

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