Alyssa’s Reviews – The How and The Why by Cynthia Hand (ARC)

Welcome back to Reading, Reading, Reading!

When I first heard that Cynthia Hand was publishing a new book, I immediatley knew I wanted to get my hands on it. Cynthia’s 2017 release THE AFTERLIFE OF HOLLY CHASE was my second favourite books of 2018! Even though her new 2019 release, THE HOW AND THE WHY, is a very different book, I was still so excited to get my hands on it! Fortunately, I got my hands on an ARC of it at the HCC Frenzy Presents event I attended in August!


Synopsis (

A poignant exploration of family and the ties that bind, perfect for fans of Far From the Tree, from New York Times bestselling author Cynthia Hand.
Today Melly had us writing letters to our babies…
Cassandra McMurtrey has the best parents a girl could ask for. They’ve given Cass a life she wouldn’t trade for the world. She has everything she needs—except maybe the one thing she wants. Like, to know who she is. Where she came from. Questions her adoptive parents can’t answer, no matter how much they love her.
But eighteen years ago, someone wrote Cass a series of letters. And they may just hold the answers Cass has been searching for.
Alternating between Cass’s search for answers and letters from the pregnant teen who gave her up for adoption, this voice-driven narrative is the perfect read for fans of Nina LaCour and Jandy Nelson.

WOW. This book was breathtaking.

The characters in this novel were so well developed and crafted. I felt that I knew each character so well, and they all seemed very real to me. Cass’s closeness to her parents and overall value/importance of family was one of my favourite parts of the story. You could tell that she cared so much for them and loved them with all her heart.

The writing in this book was so effortless but meaningful. This book had some of the most beautiful ending chapter quotes I have ever read, and I truly loved some of the messages that were written in them. One of my favourite aspects of this novel was the flash backs that were written as letters from Cassandra’s biological mother. They gave us an insight to her biological mother’s life, while also sharing her hopes and aspirations for her future daughter, even though she was giving her up for adoption. These letters were so touching and beautiful, and often resulted in multiple tears being shed!

The overall story was so fantastic! It flowed at a perfect pace, and did not include any scenes that weren’t important to the story.

Overall, I loved this book and gave it 5/5 stars! Thanks again to HCC Frenzy for the ARC!

Good Night Book Owls!

7 thoughts on “Alyssa’s Reviews – The How and The Why by Cynthia Hand (ARC)

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