About The Way It Hurts:
Title: The Way It Hurts
Author: Patty Blount
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Release Date: August 1, 2017
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Pages: 352 pages
Format: Paperback and Digital
Print ISBN: 978-1-492632-788
Digital ASIN: B06XR172ZD
There may be two sides to every story, but sometimes there’s only one way to set things right…
Music is Elijah’s life. His band plays loud and hard, and he’ll do anything to get them a big break. He needs that success to help take care of his sister, who has special needs. So he’d rather be practicing when his friends drag him to a musical in the next town…until the lead starts to sing.
Kristen dreams of a career on stage like her grandmother’s. She knows she needs an edge to get into a competitive theater program–and being the star in her high school musical isn’t going to cut it. The applause and the attention only encourage her to work harder.
Elijah can’t take his eyes off of Kristen’s performance, and snaps a photo of her in costume that he posts online with a comment that everybody misunderstands. It goes viral. Suddenly, Elijah and Kristen are in a new spotlight as the online backlash spins out of control. And the consequences are bigger than they both could have ever imagined because these threats don’t stay online . . . they follow them into real life.
Add to your “Want to Read” shelf: Goodreads
When I first found out about this book, one look at the author had me all in. If you are somehow unaware, Patty Blount is the author to a book that I reviewed some time ago called Some Boys. If you haven’t read my review on it, you can check it out here. Some Boys was the first time that I had read anything by Blount, so when I saw that she had written another book seemingly about another important subject — online bullying — I had high hopes.
The Way It Hurts is a story about perception, family, music, love, and discovery. Like I said, it’s also about online bullying and how one, simple “tweet” can spiral out of control even if that wasn’t your intention. The book follows two main characters, Elijah and Kristen, both of whom have a passion for performing. You have Elijah, who’s in a band with his two best friends since middle school, Sam and Nick, willing to do whatever it takes to make it big. Anything to save his younger sister from being put into a facility because of her disability. If there’s anything about Elijah that I love, it’s how much he loves his sister.
Then you have Kristen Cartwright who’s dream is to be on Broadway just like her grandmother. She idolizes her grandmother so much, Kristen tries to emulate her in every aspect of her life. Any advice that her grandmother gives, Kristen takes it and treats it as the Holy Grail of advice. I don’t know how accurate it is that theater “geeks” are often over dramatic about everything, but that was Kristen.
For the most part, I enjoyed the interaction between Elijah and Kristen, their back-and-forth over who’s taste in music is better or who’s more judgmental (spoiler alert: they both are); however, I would have liked to have gotten more detail on Elijah’s sister’s disability. There’s mention of autism, as well as being developmentally challenged in general, but with how Elijah laments his sister’s disability and wanting to keep her at home in spite of how much more difficult it’s becoming to take care of her, I would have loved more detail on that.
Overall rating: 3.5/5