The Way It Hurts by Patty Blount

The Way It Hurts

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...

Title:The Way It Hurts
Author:
Rating:
ISBN:1492632783
Number of Pages:352 pages

The Way It Hurts Reviews

  • Sarah

    (I received an advance copy of this book for free. Thanks to SOURCEBOOKS Fire and NetGalley.)

    This was a YA story about a teenage band trying to make it big.

    It took me a while to warm to Elijah and Kristen, but by the end of the book I did appreciate their good points, their loyalty to one another, and their love for their relations – Elijah’s sister and Kristen’s grandmother.

    The storyline in this was about Elijah’s band inviting Kristen to sing with th

    (I received an advance copy of this book for free. Thanks to SOURCEBOOKS Fire and NetGalley.)

    This was a YA story about a teenage band trying to make it big.

    It took me a while to warm to Elijah and Kristen, but by the end of the book I did appreciate their good points, their loyalty to one another, and their love for their relations – Elijah’s sister and Kristen’s grandmother.

    The storyline in this was about Elijah’s band inviting Kristen to sing with them, and creating an Eli vs. Kris hashtag which took off. Things started to get a bit out of hand with the fans though, with one fan in particular threatening Kristen. It took me a while to get into this story though, and it didn’t seem to hold my attention very well.

    The ending to this was okay, and things seemed to work out well for all involved.

    6.25 out of 10

  • Alyssa

    ***

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    The Way It Hurts by Patty Blount

    Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

    Publication Date: August 1, 2017

    Rating: 4 stars

    Source: eARC from NetGalley

    Summary (from Goodreads):

    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 pr

    ***

    ***

    The Way It Hurts by Patty Blount

    Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

    Publication Date: August 1, 2017

    Rating: 4 stars

    Source: eARC from NetGalley

    Summary (from Goodreads):

    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 his swooning face is captured on camera and posted with an out-of-context comment. 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.

    What I Liked:

    To say that I'm not a huge fan of YA contemporary would be a gross understatement, especially when it comes to what I call "tough-issue YA contemporary. When I decided to try one of Patty Blount's books a few years ago, I had no expectations. It was an early read, and I wasn't too sure I would enjoy the story, but I was curious about. That book was TMI, which I ended up really liking. I went on to read Some Boys, which I loved, and Nothing Left to Burn, which I reread recently and honestly I love that book now even more than I did two years ago. I may say that I don't typically like tough-issue YA contemporary, but I can always count on this author to write really good contemporary, with relevant issues that teen deal with in this time, and a sweet romance to make me smile.

    In The Way It Hurts, there is Elijah, lead singer and bass guitarist of the band Ride Out, which he and two friends created when they were in eighth grade. It's a heavy metal type of band, whose music receives a lot of criticism - especially from Kristen Cartwright, a theater girl who can sing, dance, and act like she's on Broadway. But Kristen needs an edge to get into great programs. And Elijah and the band need exposure and popularity - fast. Elijah and Kristen may not agree on music preferences, but they both agree that it would be a smart move for Kristen to join the band. And she does. But at what cost? With the rising popularity of the band and the increasing number of creepy and threatening social media posts Kristen receives, maybe becoming famous isn't what Kristen wants. Especially when things catch up to her in real life.

    I usually don't go after books with the "rock star" types because I don't always connect with that protagonist. But from the start, I fell for Elijah. He has a bad-boy reputation and a dangerous image, which he wants. It helps the band and he knows all about perception and illusion. Elijah isn't a punk who likes to scream into a microphone. He is creative, dedicated, and very intelligent, proving over and over that he knows his music inside and out. He is also extremely loyal and very sweet, especially with his younger sister Anna, who is autistic.

    Kristen was an interesting character to watch grow with the story. At first I wasn't a big fan of hers because she seemed a tiny but judgmental and snobby (and she was!). But at the same time, I could see why she was that way. She is proud of her upbringing and her talent, and she has goals and dreams that she is determined to realize. Kristen is a headstrong and tough girl, and she handles all kinds of obstacles that are thrown her way. I really felt for her as the story went on - she didn't deserve all of the horrible things that were directed to her on social media.

    That is one of the best and strongest aspects of this book - the effects of social media. Everything starts with a tweet with a specific hashtag which takes off. Suddenly it's Ride Out and a new girl named Kristen, Eli vs. Kristen. Girls hit on Eli and throw themselves at Eli, but Kristen gets disgusting tweets and nasty comments. Isn't this so true of society and fame today? Men are praised and let off the hook for many things, but when are subject to even more scrutiny and criticism, and they are expected to cater and stoop down and bend to the will of others. Blount does an amazing job of hitting on so many issues with society today, involving social media and in general.

    The character development of both protagonists is well-written. Kristen is a little stuck-up in the beginning, but by the end, she is more open-minded and realizes how wrong she was about Eli, the band, and their music. Eli has a bit of a chip on his shoulder at first, and he judges Kristen too, but by the end, he lets go of some things, and he starts to see things how Kristen saw them. I liked seeing these characters mature into better (still flawed) people.

    I also appreciated the inclusion of a character on the spectrum! Anna (Eli's sister) is a big part of this story, even if she isn't a protagonist. I loved how calm and patient Eli was with Anna - almost all of their interactions are so sweet. And when Kristen meets Anna for the first time - I adored that scene!

    Another secondary character that I loved was Etta, Kristen's flamboyant grandmother. She's so interesting and a little eccentric and I thought she was great! Etta is a huge source of support for Kristen, and she is also a big fan of Kristen/Eli, which I thought was funny.

    You probably already guessed it, but there is a romance, involving Eli and Kristen. They seem like an unlikely pair on paper, but they are great together! They bicker, they fuss, they get very angry with each other, they hurt each other, they understand each other. Don't misunderstand - this isn't a toxic relationship. It's a very real one though - it starts as a terse partnership for the band, and then it moves into friendship, and then a romantic relationship. I liked the progression of the romance. I would have loved to see more Eli/Kristen scenes, but that's okay. No love triangle, no cheating!

    The conflict of the book lies with the band involving Kristen, Kristen and the social media issues, Eli and Kristen's relationship, and Anna too. There is so much going on in this story (though not in an overwhelming way), and it all comes together in the climax. You'll have to read the book to see what happens! I liked the ending very much and really appreciated the epilogue. A great way to end the book!

    What I Did Not Like:

    Ehh, super major. I did mention that I would have loved more Eli/Kristen scenes, in terms of the romance. You know what I mean. But that's okay! This is a slow-burn romance, and I do like those.

    I also would have looooved to know how some of those recurring social media jerks were, and the writer of the article. It seemed kind of significant, who the author would turn out to be, or who that one person on Twitter was (Mikey). But maybe these things weren't actually important. I just like to know.

    Would I Recommend It:

    I think any teenager/young adult should read this book (or any of Patty Blount's books). The effects of social media are so important to understand, especially the consequences of posting this or that. You don't have to be a YA contemporary fan to enjoy this book. You don't have to be a teen either - we adults could learn a thing or two from this story!

    Rating:

    4 stars. This book has a little bit of everything for everyone! Like music in books? Check. Like romance? Check. Like bad boys? Check. Like confident heroines? Check. Like issues in the story dealing with social media? Check. Like supportive families who love each other? Check. So many aspects of this book really worked, and the book overall was extremely solid and a very good read. I highly recommend it!

  • Deanna

    My reviews can also be seen at:

    I knew this was a young adult novel before I started reading it. I have read and enjoyed many YA novels before. However, I really struggled while reading this book. As I've mentioned before, I like to read books that deal with social media, and from the description this sounded like it could be a good fit. Unfortunately it didn't turn out the way I'd hoped. I had some real issues with it.

    I don't think there are any spoil

    My reviews can also be seen at:

    I knew this was a young adult novel before I started reading it. I have read and enjoyed many YA novels before. However, I really struggled while reading this book. As I've mentioned before, I like to read books that deal with social media, and from the description this sounded like it could be a good fit. Unfortunately it didn't turn out the way I'd hoped. I had some real issues with it.

    I don't think there are any spoilers in this review. But if there are, they are mild. However, I have included some quotes. Please note that some of these quotes may have been changed/removed in the final copy of the book.

    All seventeen-year-old, Elijah wants is for his Hard rock band '

    to make it big. Music is his life. In all the chaos it's the one thing he has. His parents want him to go to college but he won't need college if the band takes off. Then he can stay close to home and help his parents with Anna. His sister, Anna is thirteen years old with special needs. The older she gets, the stronger she gets, and so her frequent tantrums are harder to control. His parents aren't coping well.

    Kristen had her sights set on a summer program in New York, where she'd be studying drama, voice, and dance. But when she gets the rejection email, she's devastated. She needs something to put on her applications to Julliard, Peabody etc..

    The story is told from Elijah and Kristen's point of view. A large part of the story plays out in tweets and messages.

    Kristen is acting as Victoria - the white cat in her high school's version of "Cats", the night her and Elijah meet. Elijah is there because friend and band mate, Sam is dating another actress in the play. Kristen ends up singing the lead solo that night. Elijah is captivated by her voice.

    How Elijah describes Kristen's singing:

    How Elijah describes Kristen's look:

    Okay so I'm old. Yes, I know kids talk that way sometimes, but the way he described her singing vs. her looks?

    Elijah wants Kristen to sing with his band. On an impulse he snaps a picture of Kristen in her white cat costume and posts it on Twitter.

    And soon we have

    I really had trouble connecting with Elijah. He would get angry when his friends would say something sexual about Kristen, but then he'd say things like:

    I almost threw my Kindle across the room when they said:

    !

    Some of what is said in the novel is definitely true. The internet loves to see conflict. It's shared, liked, retweeted. People want hits and followers.

    Then the band gets an offer to play at the mall. A PAYING gig. But they need Kristen for this to work.

    I was really having a hard time getting into the story. The characters were difficult to like. However, the times that Elijah spent with his sister, Anna were very touching. She's not very verbal but they communicate with each other through music. The parts describing how Anna struggled and how Elijah tried to help, were very well written. Kristen's relationship with her grandmother/Etta was also heartwarming. I

    those parts of the book.

    There were many times that I wanted to just put the book down and leave it. But there was part of me that wanted to see if things improved. I had been expecting something completely different. I don't feel like the description of the book accurately reflects what it's about. I also realize I'm not the target audience (ages 14-18).

    Normally cursing in books doesn't bother me. However, It felt like a lot of words and phrases were overused. I did a Kindle search on how many times the word "fuck" or variations of it were used...and it was

    . That didn't include all of the other cuss words that were said. In addition, there were a lot of references to Kristen's chest (boobs, rack, tits). It all seemed a bit excessive.

    I did stick with it and I did enjoy the last couple of chapters and the epilogue. However, I really had issues with a lot of the book. I felt I knew what the author was trying to say, but how it played out just rubbed me wrong. One thing the author definitely does get across is how dangerous and unsafe social media can be and that's a very important message.

    Overall this was a story that I found hard to get into. I understand that many readers may love this book, but unfortunately it wasn't for me.

    Thank you NetGalley and Sourcebooks Fire for providing an advanced readers copy of this book for me to read in exchange for my honest review.

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