Kellee's Reviews > Back When You Were Easier to Love

Back When You Were Easier to Love by Emily Wing Smith
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's review
Feb 18, 2012

liked it
bookshelves: romance, teen-ya, religion-faith, teach-mentor-texts
Read in February, 2012

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*Summary: Zan is gone. He left with no good bye, no explanation, no anything. Joy doesn't understand why he left and she misses him. So, Joy feels like she must go find Zan and get closure.

What I Think: I think that teenage Kellee would have loved this book a lot more than I did. Most teenagers at some point fall into what they feel is the love of their life. I did. This is a story about that. And about obsession and heart break. I think many, many teenage girls will connect with this book.

But there are some things about it that will limit the connections and some things about it that I didn't like. The what I don't like gives away the ending, so I, unfortunately, can't rant and rave about it, but I can explain the other thing.

Joy is Mormon. And I truly believe there needs to be a variety of protagonists and a variety of religions represented in literature (specifically YA), but as someone who doesn't know much about being Mormon, I felt disconnected from the characters because I didn't feel like it was explained very well. You were thrown into this town where everything is different than every where else and with a protagonist that doesn't like it, but I just never got it. I never got why Zan would want to leave. I never got why Joy didn't feel connected. I never got why she thought Noah was a bad guy. I just never got it. I wanted to and I kept reading hoping that I would, but the connection for me was just not there.

What I did LOVE about this book was the way it was set up. It was set up as a mix of narration, flashbacks, lists, poetry and vignettes. The vignettes were my favorite! So beautifully written. This format is what made the book a 3 star-er for me instead of a 2.

Lastly, I did like that Joy was a book lover and a good girl. I like that her love is clean and this book is available. She IS really quite different than any other girl protagonist, but this story shows that no matter how different you are, girls still can fall head over heels in love with the wrong guy.
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