Blog Tour: The How & The Why by Cynthia Hand | Review + Playlist + Dream Cast

Blog Tour: The How & The Why by Cynthia Hand | Review + Playlist + Dream Cast

I don’t think I could ever thank the team at Fantastic Flying Book Club enough for including me in their amazing blog tours. Seriously, one of the best blog tour companies that I have ever had the pleasure of working with, to the point that it doesn’t even feel like work to me! I have had nothing but amazing thoughts about all the books that I have been chosen for, and I consistently have a silly grin on my face whenever I get selected for a tour.

So again, I have to give a big thank you for including me in this blog tour, and thank you for surrounding me with so many other amazing blogs and people for this tour! As always, click on the banner above to see the rest of the stops on this tour, and enjoy the ride. I haven’t done a playlist and dream cast post for a blog tour since September, so it’s a long time coming to test my imagination skills. Let’s see how I do.

The How & The Why

by Cynthia Hand
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: November 5, 2019
Genre: YA Contemporary

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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.

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Cynthia Hand is the New York Times bestselling author of several books for teens, including the UNEARTHLY trilogy, THE LAST TIME WE SAY GOODBYE, MY LADY JANE and MY PLAIN JANE (with fellow authors Brodi Ashton and Jodi Meadows), THE AFTERLIFE OF HOLLY CHASE, and the upcoming novels THE HOW AND THE WHY and MY CALAMITY JANE (also with Ashton and Meadows). Before turning to writing for young adults, she studied literary fiction and earned both an M.F.A. and a Ph.D. in fiction writing. She currently resides in Boise, Idaho, with her husband, two cats, one crazy dog, two kids, and mountain of books.

Disclaimer: I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you to Edelweiss, Fantastic Flying Book Club, and HarperTeen for this free copy. All quotes in this review are taken from the Advanced Reader Copy and may change in final publication.

I have to say that… after reading this book, I feel extremely grateful and privileged to have grown up knowing who my real parents are, and have never had to guess whether or not my mother ever loved me. Sure, there may have been a moment where I got into an argument with her because of something that happened – if you’ve read my blog before, you’ll remember what I’m talking about from a previous post – but I never questioned her love for me. I never thought about what would have happened if she didn’t want me or had to give me up for some extreme circumstances, or just because she made a mistake.

Those questions of “who am I” and “where did I come from” may seem like simple things to know, if you’ve never been in a situation where you had to ask yourself those questions. Sure, you could have basic answers like most people do: I’m a human/boy/girl/person, I came from such and such city in whatever state; or I was born and raised here so I come from here. Surface kinds of answers. But when you have to dig deeper into how to answer those questions, where the answer isn’t something that’s easy to look up or something your parents taught you before you went to school, then those feelings get tougher, and the answers don’t come quite as easily.

As you can see, there were clearly some emotional thoughts I had while reading this book, and it really had me stop and think about how lucky I am, and how heartbreaking I could only imagine this journey was for Cassandra, and in some part “S”, the unnamed and mysterious biological mother of Cassandra. This book was just beautiful and can bring up a lot of deep thoughts for those that end up reading this.

I may not be a usual contemporary fan, but I believe I became a fan of this book. I feel like I’m a little too shook by this book right now to have specific coherent thoughts, but the bottom line is that I enjoyed it and I think you should definitely give it a chance when you have some time to dedicate uninterrupted time to immerse yourself in this story.

I totally forgot to add the photo to the Spotify playlist, but I can do that on Monday when I get to work. In the meantime, enjoy my playlist! I really feel like my thoughts on the music that shows what I feel when I’m reading certain books doesn’t always match, but I like going back to see which songs I ended up picking for which books. It really brings me back into that mindset.

Wow! When was the last time I did a dream cast though, guys? It’s been a long time. I may be a little rusty but bear with me. As usual, I’m making some creative licenses with the dream cast, so don’t @ me, fam. *wink wink*

“…you know my dad has that birthday tradition where he tells me the story of the day they got me, and we look at my baby book, and there’s me in a bunch of frilly pink dresses, and I want to vomit, but I also kind of love it? I don’t want to miss that.”

Occasionally people in this white-bread Idaho town act surprised when they see a black person. It’s what Nyla calls the unicorn effect. People see her and stare like she’s some rare and magical creature that they’ve only heard about in storybooks.

“The other girls started scribbling away. Apparently they all have important things to tell their babies. Not me. No offense, but I don’t even know you that well.”

My gosh, I can’t believe I haven’t done a dream cast in so long. I think you can tell which tours I signed up for a while ago because I was signing up to do both playlists and dream casts back in the day. I feel super self conscious when I do dream casts now so I stopped picking them, although sometimes I really like having fun with them.

Thank you so much for sticking around to the end of this post! I hope you enjoyed my review and other fun stuff, and don’t forget to check out the other stops on the tour. There’s also a giveaway posted on the tour schedule post so if you want a chance to win a copy of this book, be sure you enter!

Also, how cool that one of the main characters of this book has the same name as my eldest girl dog?!?! I freaking tripped out at that part. My sweet, sweet girl.

See you next time, fam.

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