Deanna (A Novel Glimpse)'s Reviews > The How and the Why

The How and the Why by Cynthia Hand
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it was amazing
bookshelves: audiobooks, fiction, read-in-2019, ya

I am not going to lie. This book made me a MESS. It emotionally impacted me from the minute I started listening to it. I know it probably won't hit as many readers the way it did me, but man. I kind of wanted to bawl the entire time I was reading it.

The How & the Why (in simple terms) is the story of a teenager navigating life while dealing with feelings about her adoption and searching for her birth mother. Cass's present day life and struggles are sandwiched by letters her birth mother wrote to her while pregnant.

So why was I so emotional while reading this? 1. I'm an adoptee from a closed adoption. While I have never searched for my birth parents or truly had the urge to, I could relate to and understand Cass's feelings. I can remember being close to her age and having some of the same questions and feelings. 2. As a mother, I cannot imagine what giving up a child would feel like -- whether you wanted to or not. 3. During the listening process, my daughter went through allergy testing due to hives she's been having over the past few months and it freaks me out a bit that I can't provide more health background for her. More than you wanted to know in a review, but it had me even more emotional while listening to this book.

Beside my feelings, what did I think of The How & the Why? It was a beautifully written story. If I hadn't known from the beginning of the book, I probably would have been able to tell this had been written by an adoptee or someone who had been through an adoption in some form. Every emotion and thought that went through Cass's head felt raw and real. The letters from her birth mom hit me in the heart. There was so much love and thought to this story. It was just really beautiful.

Honestly, parts of this book could have sucked or tanked and I wouldn't have cared because of how important the entire story was to me. I haven't felt like this about a book with adoption since I read Robin Benway's Far From the Tree.

P.S.: The narration was fabulous. I can't leave that out.

Check out this review and others like it on my blog, A Novel Glimpse
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Reading Progress

August 19, 2019 – Shelved
November 25, 2019 – Started Reading
November 25, 2019 –
5.0%
November 25, 2019 –
15.0%
November 25, 2019 –
25.0%
November 25, 2019 –
25.0%
November 25, 2019 –
45.0%
November 26, 2019 –
50.0%
November 26, 2019 –
55.0% "This entire book makes me want to bawl."
November 29, 2019 –
65.0%
November 29, 2019 –
75.0%
November 29, 2019 –
90.0%
November 29, 2019 – Finished Reading

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