By: Ashley Herring Blake
Release Date: May 3rd 2016
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Format: Print ARC
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.
In the past I’ve not been a huge fan of the contemporary genre but lately I’ve been delving deeper into these books and finding that I do enjoy them. They are a perfect break from the fantasy and science fiction I typically read.
Suffer Love was a fast paced book that quickly grabbed my interest. It flips between Hadley’s and Sam’s point of view. Both of them have suffered recently with family troubles. I was impressed that Blake approached the family dynamics and the impact parents have on their children.
Both Hadley and Sam had poignant point of views and I felt that Blake did a great job of giving them distinct voices. Both lead characters were well developed and likeable though I did find myself preferring Sam a tiny bit.
I enjoyed his sections more I think because I preferred the people he surrounded himself with. The relationship between Sam and his sister, Livy, was very special and well done. Hadley’s point of view was a little less interesting to me and I found her best friend grating at times (because of her constant disapproval of Hadley’s actions regarding guys). I could understand the rift in their friendship but it wasn’t nearly as enjoyable to read as other parts of the story.
Really though, the secondary cast was very well executed and developed enough that I was fond of many of them and not so fond of others. It’s always good when I have real feelings towards characters other than the main leads. I was able to understand the motivations that drove these people and even Sam and Hadley’s parents were looked into enough that I could understand though not agree with some of their actions.
Though the two leads fell for each other quickly it felt very realistic. I think these two brought out the good in each other and I really enjoyed their scenes together. This was the type of romance that you keep flipping pages just waiting for them to be together. I feel that the factors that pull them apart were well done too and really original. I completely understood any lack of communications between these two and the tension was great.
This book did delve into some deep topics-divorce, affairs, etc. These topics I feel need to be addressed and they were handled with care and realistically. Overall I think this book was very successful.
I felt that Suffer Love was an original contemporary novel since it addressed topics I’ve not read about typically in young adult. I was pleased to see that family had a lot to do with this story and that what parents do affects their children immensely. The romance, tension, pacing and friendships were all very well executed.