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Has to Be Love

3.18  ·  Rating details ·  257 ratings  ·  98 reviews
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 bo ...more
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published September 1st 2015 by AW Teen
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Average rating 3.18  · 
Rating details
 ·  257 ratings  ·  98 reviews

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Sarah Elizabeth
(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Albert Whitman & Company and NetGalley.)

“Let go of the idea that you should be without the marks that are part of you.”

This was a realistic story about a girl who basically didn’t know what to do with her life because she had scars on her face.

At times I felt for Clara in this story, and at other times I didn’t really understand her at all. I got that she had these thick, raised scars, and that she
Jun 11, 2015 marked it as did-not-finish  ·  review of another edition
DNF 36%

This book should probably be called Has to Be Hormones, because that would be a more accurate description. I got over a third of the way in, and it was mostly the main character talking about how she got all these sexy feelings around her boyfriend and wanted to go all the way, but couldn’t because religion. Enter sexy older teacher and Clara’s hormones go nuts. Enter confused-as-hell love triangle that mostly deals with a lot of confused hormones.

I was intrigued by the fact that Clara ha
Quick review for a quick read. My thoughts on "Has to Be Love" in retrospect are a streamline of "Nope, nope, noppity, nope, nope, nope" to just about everything in this book. I tried to have so much patience for the events and narration, but after a certain point, I couldn't do it anymore. I don't think it had a clear focus of what it wanted to be as a story, which is interesting because Clara's very scatterbrained for narrative voice and that's precisely how the story comes across - meandering ...more
Jul 09, 2015 rated it really liked it

Has to be Love, is a great book that is heartwarming, sad, beautiful and most importantly, authentic. I really loved Clara's voice, and while I did find a lot of her decisions to be frustrating, I also understood why she did them. Being a teenager is filled with extreme indecision,stress,regret and strong emotions. I felt that the author really did the reader a favour by keeping her so natural and age appropriate. A lot of what she is feeling, and even some of the specific issues, are issues tha
I received an Advance Reader Copy from the publisher via NetGalley. This in no way impacted on my view.

Has to Be Love was a nice, and enjoyable story. I read it in under a day, and was quite intrigued about Clara, and her life. When she was younger, Clara survived a bear attack which killed her mother, but no unscathed. She was left with scars running across her face, her shoulder, and her back. She has felt disfigured and ugly ever since that has happened, and is basically putting her life, and
Paula M
Aug 08, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dnf
(view spoiler) ...more
Shannon (It Starts At Midnight)
This review was originally posted on It Starts at Midnight
I am going to try to stay away from spoilers, however some of the stuff that made me the angriest probably falls into spoiler territory. I’ll try to mark them, but… proceed with caution.

When I started Has to Be Love, I didn’t hate it, didn’t love it. I didn’t feel much of a connection to Clara, nor did I feel that I knew a lot about her, other than “likes to write” and “bear attack facial scar”. She wants to leave Alaska, but how can she
Jun 10, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-to-review
(I received a copy from Netgalley, In exchange for an honest review.)

I felt really sorry for Clara in this. What she went through was awful, and to be left with scars on your face that were impossible to hide wouldn't have been very nice either.

This started out okay, although after a bit I found it be pretty slow, which made the story drag. I wasn't a fan of the romance either, which really didn't help.

Overall, Not a bad read, but not as good as I thought it would be.
rachel ☾
There has been a lot of comparison between Has to Be Love and another new release, Truest. I kind of get why. There are some similar elements between the two stories: love triangles (a “forbidden” love interest that tempts the protagonist away from her steady boyfriend), religious elements, small town settings, links to Alaska, female protagonists, elements of tragedy etc. You get the idea. However, I thought both of these books were very, very different in execution.

Truest, while not my favour
Tanya (Girl Plus Books)

I will start by saying that Jolene Perry's The Summer I Found You was one of my favorites of 2014. I clicked with those characters so completely and was so emotionally invested in their story. That book truly made an impact on me.

Fast forward one year to when I saw Has to Be Love on NetGalley. And my delight when I was approved for an advanced copy. I was beyond ready to immerse myself in another offering by Perry.

And now fast forward once again to where I'm left completely disappointed
*I received digital ARC of this book from Skyspace through Netgalley*

Review is also posted on Let’s Say It’s A Blog.

When I first saw this book, I thought of Has to be Love as a cute teen’s romance book which funny as well. Well, modified letters with those animated doodles kind of implying that impression to me. When it’s not really true, it turns out not wrong either. This book is funny on certain scene and sweet romance does exist somewhere on the story but the entirety of the book is complica
Jun 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
I am a big fan of Jolene's work, so when I saw Has to Be Love on NetGalley I made my request and kept my fingers crossed, and within hours I was approved. When I first got this from NetGalley the synopsis did not mention anything about a bear attack, or losing her Mum so I didn't know that was a big factor in the book until I began reading.

As the synopsis says, Clara was attacked by a bear when out walking with her Mum, in the forest right outside her house. Clara was lucky to survive with only
Cassie Mae
Aug 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This book showcases something that I adore: a character that has some major metaphorical mountains to climb. Clara was a girl that I especially could relate to, dealing with the teenage hormones and struggling with the fact that a lot of ways to "release the tension" is against her religion. Though the religion played a very small part in the overall story, it plays a significant part in Clara's character. It reminded me of the struggle in Miranda Kenneally's Things I Can't Forget, which I loved ...more
Perks Of Being A Fangirl
Honestly, I'm a bit disappointed with this book

I really wanted to like it but I couldn't. There wasn't anything outstanding and I failed to get into the plot and connect with the characters. The main character just rubbed me the wrong way therefore I wasn't too fond of her.

The love-triangle was messy- can I even call this a love-triangle? It was a source of escapism and thrill for the characters that failed to catch my heart.

Jul 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2020
4/5 ⭐️

At the first chapters it was hard form me to connect with the characters, I felt them kind of forced, and for some reason it was hard enouch to connect with the story, it was like if something was missing, but, by the middle of the story it kept me into it, I confess that I could not stop until I finished it.

Talking about the story, when I saw the tittle I thought like: “Oh it´s gonna be a beautiful love story between a couple” but how wrong I was, well obviously it has this couple and has
Jun 09, 2015 added it
Shelves: arc-15
So I am not sure how to rate this
I was for more than 80% of the book annoyed by Clara.
And then I felt for her and I am not sure how I feel about the end.
I would have dnfed this if it wasn't an arc... But I am so glad I finished it.
Will ponder all this and write proper review soon
Laura's Book Addiction
Apr 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2015, 2015-wishlist
OMG I love the cover and I can't wait to read it!!!!!! Edit 6/7/2015 I loved it!! full review to come closer to release date!! ...more
Mar 13, 2019 added it
I read the book Has to Be Love. Clara is a “small town” girl with not such a small town story. Years back, she was attacked by a bear and left her with a huge scar. Since then, Clara has always seen herself as a different person. She still gets odd looks around her own town, so imagine her going to a big city. Clara has a big secret that her own father doesn’t even know about. This secret has always been one of her biggest dreams and now it might actually come true. That’s not the only thing tha ...more
Lenore Kosinski
Sep 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars -- I received a paperback ARC of this book from the author!!

I'm having a tough time deciding whether to round up or down on this one, and I think I'll surprise even myself if I can make a decision.... The thing about this book is that the first half (maybe more than half, I don't remember) was a solid 5 star read!! But it didn't remain that way, and I actually had a lot of not so liking feels for a portion of the second half. But then it ended kind of 4 star for me. So I'm trying to ba
Apr 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This story was one of my favorites because it explored so many different conflicts that teenagers can go through with amazing twists. The relateablity of this story is fantastic and the details that you can't relate to, you walk a mile in the shoes of Clara and feel stronger, just by reading her story. ...more
Aug 24, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2015, arc
Has to Be Love surrounds self-discovery and hard decisions. Given her age, it was very fitting and normal for Clara to be so hormonally charged and indecisive. I get that. I do. I was seventeen once and very indecisive but not as much as her and my hormones weren't that crazy. I was more moody and emotional than anything. Her hormones were on steroids or something. I do like the plot and concept of the book, aside from the scars and bear attack, I'm sure somewhere out there teenagers are going t ...more
When I first read the blurb for Has to Be Love, my interest was immediately piqued because of what Clara had been through, and not only was I curious about how she was coping with that, but I wanted to see how she would handle everything else in her life. That interest stayed for the first chapter, but then my feelings toward Clara started to waver and I found myself a bit confused at times by the story. I wasn't sure what it was about exactly. I mean, what was conveyed in the blurb was sometime ...more
Aug 11, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, contemporary
Has to be Love by Jolene Perry is a debut contemporary YA novel following a girl named Clara who is scarred for life after a horrific bear attack that claimed her mother and mauled her face. She lives in the small town of Knik, Alaska with her father and has a lovely boyfriend and lives to write. After receiving an early acceptance letter from Columbia, her life becomes even more complicated as a boy named Rhodes shows up as a replacement teacher for her english teacher who happens to be studyin ...more
Lekeisha The Booknerd
Jun 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars *review to come*

Read full review HERE

Clara is a survivor of a bear attack, which also killed her mom, and has scars on her face. Great start right? (Well, not great that she got attacked and her mom died, but you know what I mean!) She’s a writer! She has been accepted into one of THE top schools in the country, Columbia University. Decisions, decisions…. Clara also has a boyfriend, who seems to absolutely adore her, despite her scars. Thing is, he already has their future planned out.
Shannen Camp
Jul 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I've been in a bit of a book slump lately. I've started SO many books and have put them down after fifty pages because I just can't get into anything. Luckily that didn't happen with this. Honestly, that's kind of why I picked this book up in the first place. I haven't ever felt a book slump with one of Jolene's books. So this was like my fool-proof opportunity to get back into reading. I read this thing so fast because I couldn't put it down. It wasn't at all what I was expecting and I liked th ...more
Aug 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
It was really good but I had some problems with it. Details later in a review. Thanks to netgalley for the review copy.
Morgan Schell
Aug 27, 2015 rated it liked it
got through half of the story and just couldn't finish. Sorry
Sep 03, 2020 rated it it was ok
Jolene Perry became a fast favourite of mine after The Summer I Found You (I absolutely loved that book!) which makes writing this review that much harder. I’ve always maintained though that I will always try and be as honest as I can in my reviews and so that’s what I’m going to do, no matter how painful it is for me.

As I was reading Has To Be Love I kept thinking to myself “why am I not getting in to this?” It was only as I was nearing the halfway point of the book that I realised it was becau
Penny lurkykitty
I would give this book 3 1/2 stars. The main character, Clara, lives in small town Alaska and suffered from a bear attack in which her mother was killed and she was left with facial scars. I found it strange that there was no mention of counselling/psychotherapy which one would think would be mandatory after going through a double trauma like this. Clara has a long term boyfriend who is ready for marriage and settling down, whereas Clara want to become a writer and see more of the world. Events ...more
Nikki Allen
Jan 29, 2019 rated it did not like it
My first goodreads review because I feel passionately that NO ONE ELSE should have to suffer through this book. I’m not even sure why I finished it.
It was, by far, the most inappropriate book I’ve ever read! Which is unexpected from an LDS author. So be warned.
Other reviews will give you a good idea of the plot and its weaknesses, but the deal breaker for me was Clara’s wishy-washiness about her faith. She’s basically a Mormon girl who doesn’t feel strongly about her religion, especially now t
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