Release date: May 3, 2016
Sam Bennett falls for Hadley St. Clair before he knows her last name. When Sam finds out she is that St. Clair, daughter of the man who destroyed Sam’s family, he has a choice: follow his heart or tell the truth about the scandal that links their families. Funny and passionate, Suffer Love is a story about first love, family dysfunction, and the fickle hand of fate.
The premise of Suffer Love is slightly Romeo & Juliet-ish, with Sam and Hadley being the children of two people who had extra marital affair with each other. Their individual home lives are terrible, with Sam’s mother hating him for reacting badly to her getting caught, his father leaving, and Hadley’s mother being passive-aggressive towards her cheating father. Both had moved and by a trick of fate settled into the same town and go to the same school. He falls for her at first sight, but when he realizes whose daughter she is, he tries to stay away from that messy situation. However, she is done distracting herself with boys, and is looking to be his friend, but his mood swings are hurting her. They soon grow closer, but he still feels bad about keeping it from her, their connection. She finds a kindred spirit in him, and his sister, and their band of friends that forms.
The story is mainly about reconciliation, and forgiveness. Being the hold-a-grudge-as-long-as-you-can type, I am not a fan of easy forgiveness, and I found that certain situations were looked over too easily. Like the fact that the affair had been going on for a year, and how traumatized Sam and Liv had to be, how shitty the parents were, how shitty Em’s friend was to her, how that bullying girl was barely given a mention, and other things. But despite my personal stance on the matter, I found the book itself to be well-written, with plenty of skill devoted to characters and their psyches, the process of healing and hope (that was perhaps the thing I liked best about it). Overall, it is an intense book and a good read.
Received a free galley from HMH Books for Young Readers, via Edelweiss, in exchange for an honest review.