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The Whys Have It by Amy Matayo
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I didn’t just like it; I loved it.
It was equal parts infuriating, heartbreaking, touching and swoon-worthy.

I find that while Matayo’s books are among my favorites to read (and re-read), writing a review for them is difficult because in the course of her ripping out my heart and then piecing it together one painstakingly S-L-O-W piece at a time… there are no words leftover in the end. Just feels.
ALL the feels.

You’ll feel grief and at times you might find yourself buried in the same despair the characters are facing. It’s brutal!! But then… there’s hope. There’s always hope. (And a good first kiss helps, too… *wink*)

I  honestly think Matayo is such a phenomenal writer because she writes in layers. There are just layers and layers and layers of backstory, events, emotions…all of them woven so beautifully together in this story. In all of the books I’ve read in my lifetime–especially in the last few years when I really starting paying attention to the art of story-telling–I’ve never quite been able to pinpoint what it is that makes one book more emotional than another, as if what I’m looking for is some simple skill that you’ve either got or you don’t.

I’m no expert, but I think it’s something that goes beyond one’s ability to weave words. Beyond skill alone. I believe you have to write with heart. It sounds cliche, but…somehow, whether it’s something magical that happens or not, in books written with heart–with authenticity, passion, and spirit–the profound beauty of the written word just spills off the pages and onto the reader. And that’s what the experience of reading The Whys Have It was like for me. I opened it up, read it, and closed it up afterward completely covered in raw emotion.

Matayo has a beautiful way with words.
ALL the words.

So read the book. Ride the emotional waves. Relish the way it tugs at your heartstrings all the way from grief and despair to love and hope. And when you get to the brink of where the whys have it… grab a tissue and power through. It’s absolutely beautiful.