HATE: A Love Story
By Laurel Ulen Curtis
ARCs provided by author


Lea: Last week, my friend messaged me and she was all excited about a book. ‘Try to get this ARC,’ she said.  ‘I think the author is giving them out on her page.’
I absolutely love when authors do this, so I told the blog girls, proposing we do one of our group read and reviews. And the author so sweetly sent us ARCs so we could offer up this Four Points Review!!
I went in blind, started reading immediately. No blurb, no clue about the storyline. Who needs all of that when I loved the cover, had a rare afternoon off, and my friend had said it was unputdownable.
At about 4% in, I already knew she was right. 

Kathy: As Lea suggested, I went into this novel completely blind. I didn’t read the synopsis or any other reviews beforehand, so I had no idea what to expect. It really killed me to do that. I ALWAYS read the synopsis. ALWAYS.  I’ve read books by Laurel Curtis before (I thoroughly enjoyed A is for Alpha Male. It was fun, lighthearted, and sweet.), so I went in with the same expectation for Hate: A Love Story.  A few pages into this book, I was hooked and dying for a spoiler…but in the end I LOVED that I went in unknowing (and spoiler free).

Julie: I don’t even know where to start with this review.  When I first heard the title, I wasn’t sure what type of book this would be but it’s oh-so-enjoyable. It’s such a beautiful, tragic, heartwarming, yet humorous book that I also devoured it in one sitting. It’s one of those rare finds that I just couldn’t seem to put down, either. You will laugh, cry, and be quite frustrated with this story, but it is definitely worth the time.

Teri Beth: I want to hate the hurt my heart went through reading this, but I can’t. The hurt was worth it. Hate: A Love Story is heartbreaking, but it’s also heartwarming and witty. It made me FEEL more than I ever expected, more than a book has made me feel in a very long time. Hate is an honest and real story of friendship, family, love, loss, and forgiveness. It touches on several very serious subjects and covers tragic events, all which could have made for a very depressing book, but Curtis adds a touch of humor throughout, bringing a smile to your face when it’s most needed.

Kathy: Every page brought feels. Lots of feels: laughter, love, and yes – even a few tears.  The kind of feels that grow deep in your soul as you read. This book had much more depth than I ever expected.  Every character was fully fleshed out.  Every storyline carefully developed.  Just reading the prologue, I felt connected to the characters in a way that sometimes I don’t feel through entire books.

Lea: Exactly, Kathy. I cared more about the dynamics of the relationships of all of these characters in the first quarter of the book than I do after reading some entire series. There was just something about the way that Whitney, the book’s narrator, thought and behaved that drew me in. I definitely identified with her in many ways. The supporting characters were just as amazing, every person leaving their mark on the storyline in their own way.

Teri Beth: The book starts with Whitney as a young adult, when Blane becomes her friend, and eventually Franny too. They are all realistic characters; they have their faults and their vulnerabilities. These teens deal with so much more than the normal teenage drama. My heart broke for each of them and what they were going through. This part of the story is done well; it has that right young adult feel to it with angsty teenager emotions.

Kathy: Laurel was able to bring a brand new spin to this childhood best friends’ romance storyline, one that I haven’t read before. I was drawn to every page, wondering what was going to happen next.  Blane was thoughtful and stoic. He always seemed to be one step ahead. His decisions didn’t always make sense at the moment, but you could tell that they had meaning and purpose behind them. They were planned.  Whereas Whitney was reactive. She was snarky and quietly strong in her own way, and I loved her for it.

Julie: Whitney had such a ‘what the heck’ attitude that I simply loved. She’s witty and one of the strongest characters I’ve read about in quite some time. Throw her crazy Gram into the mix and I was dying laughing at so many parts in this book. Gram reminded me so much of my own grandmother with her wit, and she truly was Whitney’s best friend and I understand that completely. I think that is one of the many reasons I fell in love with this book because I could really feel the pull between them two and you could feel their love. I really and truly understood their relationship, and it was so rare to read.

Kathy: Gram was one of the highlights of the book for me as well.  Her humor brought brevity to every situation, but also showed how wise she was.  She used her humor in just the right way to try to fix each situation like only a grandmother can.

Lea: Oh, I so wanna be like Gram when I grow up. Shoot, I want to be her now. She was so funny, and smart, and sneaky and just fantastic.  And Blane? He was just so mature and so strong. Both Whitney and Blane are put through the ringer, but he is run through a few times, and it broke my heart, over and over. Yet he always put others first. Sure, he has his flaws, but I even loved those.

Julie: As the years progressed, Blane and Whitney’s relationship was a roller coaster of emotions. You have such tragic events that I believe Laurel handled delicately and with so much tact. She got right to the point but also the story evolved beautifully and each circumstance blended so well within this book.

Teri Beth: Then we fast forward twelve year—yes twelve. I usually dislike time jumps like this, but this one didn’t seem to bother me. We get enough information to move the story forward without dwelling on the missed time. It’s one of those instances where I actually don’t feel like I have to know everything. I happened to love the way things played out from here, it’s a bit less depressing from this point forward but it’s definitely not smooth sailing either.

Julie: Hate: A Love Story digs deep within your heart and pulls at every possible emotion, and brings that to the surface.  It will make you happy and sad, and you will feel a pull to each and every one of the characters in this book.  From the minute I opened it, I just couldn’t seem to put it down.  This is a definite 5 Star read for me.  I think it’s one of my favorites of the year and I highly recommend it. Be prepared and have some tissues nearby.

Kathy: If you’re looking for a book that will tug on your heartstrings as well as your funny bone, pick up Hate: A Love Story today. It’s definitely a hidden gem that will be on my top ten list this year! Make room in your heart for Whitney, Blane, and Gram. They’ll be sticking around for a while!  5 Love-filled Stars!

Teri Beth: Curtis has created characters so real, I want to know them and a story so gripping, I felt every emotion presented. There’s an underlying realism to it all which made me fall even more in love this book. This is a beautiful love story, but that love encompasses so much more than just the typical romantic relationship. It’s also a love story of friends and family. Hate: A Love Story is one book I have no doubt I’ll pick up again in the future. 

Lea: Really, what more can we say? This book has it all. Witty banter, emotionally charged yet steamy sexy times, a soap watching wealth of wise advice, and it even had me loving a Celene Dion song. This is easily one of my top reads of the year, if not ever, and I am still missing these characters! Five Stars for Hate: A Love Story!!

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