Review By Gabrielle

How to End a Love Story is guaranteed to give you all the feels, and I mean ALL of them.

Favourite Quote:

His tousled dark brown hair looks almost chestnut in the sun and the dappled light casts just enough shadow to call attention to the sharp, attractive planes of his face. She thinks it’s bitterly unfair that they share a profession, when he has that face. She remembers Grant Shepard the boy as handsome in a vaguely unattainable way.

Grant Shepard the man is painfully compelling.

Goodreads Synopsis: 

Helen Zhang hasn’t seen Grant Shepard once in the thirteen years since the tragic accident that bound their lives together forever.

Now a bestselling author, Helen pours everything into her career. She’s even scored a coveted spot in the writers’ room of the TV adaptation of her popular young adult novels, and if she can hide her imposter syndrome and overcome her writer’s block, surely the rest of her life will fall into place too. LA is the fresh start she needs. After all, no one knows her there. Except…

Grant has done everything in his power to move on from the past, including building a life across the country. And while the panic attacks have never quite gone away, he’s well liked around town as a screenwriter. He knows he shouldn’t have taken the job on Helen’s show, but it will open doors to developing his own projects that he just can’t pass up.

Grant’s exactly as Helen remembers him—charming, funny, popular, and lovable in ways that she’s never been. And Helen’s exactly as Grant remembers too—brilliant, beautiful, closed off. But working together is messy, and electrifying, and Helen’s parents, who have never forgiven Grant, have no idea he’s in the picture at all.

When secrets come to light, they must reckon with the fact that theirs was never meant to be any kind of love story. And yet… the key to making peace with their past—and themselves—might just lie in holding on to each other in the present.

Whoa, boy, this book is one heck of a ride. If you are looking for a light, fluffy read, keep scrolling, my friend; you will not find what you are looking for here. If, however, you are looking for great character development, an incredibly compelling plot, and a book that will make you feel all the things, then stick around. This one is worth your time.

This may be Yulin’s first book, but she is no stranger to writing. She’s the screenwriter for both of Emily Henry’s film adaptations –  Beach Read and People We Meet on Vacation. This makes complete sense to me. She’s also an accomplished director. It means all the delicious details of what it’s like to be a screenwriter like Helen and Grant in the book are at least somewhat accurate. Because Helen is new to screenwriting, the reader has a good scaffold to follow along and learn the ropes of the writer’s room. I loved all the backstage antics and details, especially how the writers became like family throughout their work. It reminded me of my days in the theatre when the same would happen while working on a production.

This is a dual POV book, but instead of switching each chapter, the perspective flips back and forth, even within chapters. I liked this because you get to see the same scene from both of their perspectives. I loved both Helen and Grant. I found them both to be well-developed characters. Neither of them is perfect. Helen lacks social skills and is afraid of deep relationships, and Grant has anxiety that crushes him sometimes. You know how some books have a pretty flimsy reason for why the MCs can’t be together? Not this one. This book has the best and biggest reason I’ve ever read. They kept me guessing right until close to the end if we were actually going to get a HEA or not. I won’t spoil it for you. Will they or won’t they? You’ll have to read it to find out. I will say that I loved Grant and Helen together. Despite having very good reasons not to be together, their chemistry is undeniable, and things get spicy. Like super spicy.

I loved everything about this saucy, complicated story, and I can’t wait to see what Yulin writes next.

Thank you, HarperCollins for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.