Review ~ Has To Be Love by Jolene Perry

25407275Title: Has To Be Love

Author: Jolene Perry

Published by: AW Teen; September 1, 2015

Format/Source: E-Arc provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Rating: 3 Stars

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Years ago, Clara survived a vicious bear attack. She’s used to getting sympathetic looks around town, but meeting strangers is a different story. Yet her dreams go far beyond Knik, Alaska, and now she’s got a secret that’s both thrilling and terrifying–an acceptance letter from Columbia University. But it turns out her scars aren’t as fixable as she hoped, and when her boyfriend begins to press for a forever commitment, she has second thoughts about New York. Then Rhodes, a student teacher in her English class, forces her to acknowledge her writing talent, and everything becomes even more confusing–especially with the feelings she’s starting to have about him. Now all Clara wants to do is hide from the tough choices she has to make. When her world comes crashing down around her, Clara has to confront her problems and find her way to a decision. Will she choose the life of her dreams or the life that someone she loves has chosen? Which choice is scarier?


Has To Be Love, for me, was just okay. It didn’t blow me away, but I also didn’t hate it. I had pretty high hopes for this book and was a little disappointed. The writing was okay and it wasn’t too heavy of a read, but it just seemed to be missing something.

As a child, Clara survived a bear attack that left her mother dead, and her face permanently scarred. She likes being in her small Alaskan town where everyone is used to her and she hates meeting new people, because they always stare at her scar. Everyone tells her she’s still beautiful, but she doesn’t really listen.

Rhodes, the new student teacher and new friend of her father is a big fan of her writing and tries to convince her to pursue by going to her dream school, Columbia University, the school she was accepted to, but didn’t tell anyone about. Rhodes is smart, attractive, and a student at Columbia, so Clara is instantly infatuated with him. He’s exciting and sees the world as a big adventure, while her loving boyfriend wants to settle down and have safety and security with her.

My biggest problem with this book is Clara, and how she deals with her scars. She spends 5 or so years just waiting for a doctor to fix her face, not even wanting to realize that her kind of scars can never be fixed the way she wants them to be. And when she finds this out it’s like the world ends. She has let her scars hold her back, from leaving Alaska and going to New York to attend Columbia. I didn’t really feel anything for her character.

The other big thing I hated was the love triangle. I usually don’t have a big problem with love triangles, but this one kind of got on my nerves. She lets Rhodes get into her head and she lets everything around her start to fall apart. She was very indecisive about everything, and I mean, everything. She spends the majority of this book trying to figuring out what she wants to do and who she wants to be with and it got very repetitive, very quickly. She just kept going back and forth.

Also, a warning for those that don’t like books with any religious parts. The main character is Mormon and her religion is brought up quite a few times in the book. It wasn’t that big of a deal, for me, but it was very present and an important part of the story.

Ultimately, Clara figures out what she wants and who she wants, but I’m gonna be honest and say that I feel like this is a book that can be skipped. There are so many other books with similar stories that would be better than this one.

Happy Reading!


2 thoughts on “Review ~ Has To Be Love by Jolene Perry

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