Suffer Love by Ashley Herring Blake

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Publication Date: May 3, 2016

Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers

“Just let it go.”

That’s what everyone keeps telling Hadley St. Clair after she learns that her father cheated on her mother. But Hadley doesn’t want to let it go. She wants to be angry and she wants everyone in her life—her dad most of all—to leave her alone.

Sam Bennett and his family have had their share of drama too. Still reeling from a move to a new town and his parents’ recent divorce, Sam is hoping that he can coast through senior year and then move on to hassle-free, parent-free life in college. He isn’t looking for a relationship…that is, until he sees Hadley for the first time.

Hadley and Sam’s connection is undeniable, but Sam has a secret that could ruin everything. Should he follow his heart or tell the truth?

I really love the idea of Suffer Love by Ashley Herring Blake. Hadley father and Sam’s mother had an affair that was revealed explosively when someone literally plastered the truth to Hadley’s front door.
Fast forward a few months and both families have been shattered by the affair. The twist of the story is that Sam knows all about Hadley and the fact that it was her father that his mother had the affair with. Hadley on the other hand has no idea that Sam is entwined in her familial pain at all.
It is interesting to see their romance unfold. It’s certainly complicated not only by their parent’s history with each other, but also just the fact that they are teenagers trying to navigate through their own lives while having feelings for each other.
One of the things that I really love is that Sam and Hadley are both developed in their own right and not just as part of a romance. We know about each of them individually, their wants and needs on their own outside of a relationship. It felt like this book was more about two teens trying to navigate life in new towns and new family dynamics who just happened to develop feelings for each other. I feel like that just serves to strengthen each of the characters and the story.
I would have liked to see more of the friendship between Ajay and Sam. We saw a little bit of it, but in comparison to what we got from Hadley and Kat I feel like it wasn’t as developed. We only really got to see glimpses of Ajay and in all honesty that may have been because he lived in a different town while Kat lived and went to the same school as Hadley and Sam.
Something that kind of got on my nerves was the friction between Kat and Hadley. Hadley is making life decisions that Kat does not agree with and for the most part Kat stays silent. It isn’t until a bit of the way through the story that Kat begins to reveal her true feelings. From a perspective not in the book Hadley annoyed me during this whole argument. Hadley herself knows that her actions would not have been made if she hadn’t been in a desperate state of mind trying to escape the problems of her real life, but when someone points this out to her she just becomes angry. But I feel like that is so real, which is why even though it got on my nerves I feel like it added value.
Herring Blake is not writing a book that is supposed to be overly romantic or that’s easy to read. She is writing a book about what happens to people when families fall apart and the effect that adult’s actions will have on their children.