Cover Image: How to End a Love Story

How to End a Love Story

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

This book wasn’t for me. Started out with an intriguing premise- writers forced to work together 13 years after one was unintentionally involved in the death of the other’s sister- but the author never satisfactorily plumbed the depth of the struggle to deal with increasing emotional attraction to the one person most closely tied to the worst day of your life. It felt like a missed opportunity to explore two people really wrestling with that tension between guilt/anger AND intense attraction.

What’s inside:

Mental health struggles, suicide, death of a sibling.
Behind-the-scenes view of a screenwriters’ room.
NYC, New Jersey, and LA
Family dynamics and dysfunction
Child of immigrants- Chinese heritage
Forbidden love- enemies to lovers - friends with benefits.

What (didn’t) work for me:

Felt like the writer tried to unsuccessfully mash together two different genres (spicy romance and women’s fiction).
I never warmed up to the main characters- they felt disjointed.
FMC did grow but rather than writing that growth like a dimmer switch slowly illuminating a room, it read more like an on/off switch suddenly flicked on.
I never felt like I wanted to root for their relationship.

Thank you NetGalley and Avon Books for the ARC.

Was this review helpful?

I really struggled to get into this. We mostly follow Helen, who is a writer going to go work on the TV show based on a series of YA books she wrote. Despite her successful career, her personal life has pretty much stayed the same since her sister died. In a twist, the person whose car hit and killed her sister is going to be working in the same writer's room. But her sister died by suicide, so it's a little bit of a more complicated puzzle.

There is a love story, it takes a long time to bloom. It's worth it, but I almost didn't make it to the beginning of the love story. It's also interesting because the writer's room is described a lot but there's not a lot of time actually spent in it, with dialogue, and I think that would have made for a different, slightly more fun book.

Was this review helpful?

One of the best things I've read in years - lyrical, solid, enough time to bond with the characters and understand their motivations, and a real arc. Loved it.

Was this review helpful?

it was the katharine hepburn and jimmy stewart impressions that got me

many thanks to avon and harper voyager and netgalley for the advance reader copy.

Was this review helpful?

Cute enough. I loved so many parts, but then others dragged on and felt repetitive. There also was a lot of unnecessary, mundane details that didn’t contribute much of anything to the story other than length. The ending went on far too long. In summary - liked, didn’t love, would read the author again.

Was this review helpful?

Thank you Avon and Libro FM for my gifted copies. All opinions are my own.

This was so good! I couldn’t believe it was a debut!

How to End A Love Story was a lot more serious than your typical romance, but it worked so well with the storyline.

Grant and Helen know each other from high school in the worst of ways. Grant was the driver whose car Helen’s sister jumped in front of to die by suicide. Of course there are extremely tense if any relationship between Helen and Grant. Then they’re forced together when they’re both in the writer’s room for the upcoming tv adaptation of Helen’s novel. Helen is pushed outside of her comfort zone in many ways and was very relatable. She and Grant were able to develop a friendship that develops into more. They also support each other through tough times.

I can’t wait for more from Yulin Kuang!

Was this review helpful?

Beautifully written, clever, insightful and achingly sexy. My only quibble was that a lot of plot got stuffed into the final 10%, and there were perhaps one too many coincidences surrounding Helen and Grant, but I really did root for them to be happy, and appreciated their ambition and talent being key to the story and their attraction to one another.

Was this review helpful?

How to end a love story is the first book of Yulin Kuang, and she did not dissappoint.
The book is relatable at all terms for an introverted girl.

Was this review helpful?

This was nothing like I thought it would be. The premise of the main relationship kind of gave me the ick, to the point where it was hard to be immersed in the love story. They steamy bits also felt gratuitous and out of place. Not my favorite romance and definitively not comparable to Emily Henry IMHO

Was this review helpful?

For fans of Emily Henry and Jenny Han, here's a glorious debut following Helen Zhang and Grant Shephard - two lovers connected by a tragedy that changed both their lives. Heartfelt and emotional - can't wait for what else Kuang has in store for us.

Was this review helpful?

After learning that Yulin Kuang, who is currently attached to a few adaptions of Emily Henry novels, was writing a debut novel herself, I was thrilled to receive the ARC for Kuang's debut HOW TO END A LOVE STORY in exchange for my honest review. Big thank you to NetGalley and the publishers, Avon and Harper Voyager | Avon.

HOW TO END A LOVE STORY tells the messy, heartfelt, beautiful story of Grant and Helen. I adored these characters, really enjoyed the dual-POV, and ultimately couldn't put this book down. This has been a favorite of mine so far this year and I wholeheartedly recommend it! Kuang's writing is sharp, genuine, and lovely, and her characters feel so real and fully fledged. I loved reading Grant and Helen's story and didn't want it to end!

Was this review helpful?

UGHHHHHHHHH this book. I loved it with my whole heart. I was so looking forward to Yulin's debut and it did not disappoint.

Was this review helpful?

A very complicated love story about forgiveness. Although the premise was a bit difficult for me to accept at first, I was able to move past it and accept the characters for the flawed people that they are. Very angsty and messy, but with lots of heart.

Was this review helpful?

WOW! Never has a book hooked me so immediately. My jaw was on the floor at the first chapter. This was such a unique romance and the invisible string tying these two together was so powerful. This will be in my top reads of 2024.

Was this review helpful?

You’re probably seeing this new romance all over Bookstagram - and for good reason! Netgalley gave me a digital ARC and then Avon Books asked to send me a physical copy! Libro’s influencer program also gave me the audiobook! So I have this fantastic romance in all formats now and couldn’t be happier about it.

Grant killed Grace’s sister with his car when they were in high school. They haven’t seen each other in over a decade and are now paired to work together on the screen adaptation of Grace’s novel. They get along in ways neither of them saw coming - but there’s no way Grace’s parents can find out Grant is on the show.

As y’all know, I love a romance with depth and this one DELIVERS. There’s a lot of reality and hard topics addressed from suicide and mental health to family. I really loved Grant and Grace together - their chemistry and their growth (personal and together) was so good. And steamy!!!! This was almost 5⭐️s for me but I have some issues with the ending (DM me to discuss.) Overall, I really loved this one and look forward to her screen adaptations of Emily Henry’s work.

✨Content Warnings: Suicide, Sexual Content, Panic Attacks, Car Accident, Mental Illness

Was this review helpful?

This was a good easy beach read. Sweet story and good characters. Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for the ARC,

Was this review helpful?

A great love story! I really enjoyed Helen and Grant’s relationship. I love gritty romances, and this one really had the characters work through some tough stuff. I’m glad they didn’t shy away from the ugly truths. It was interesting, emotional, the spice was HOT, and I just loved how they loved eachother. I appreciated that Helen’s Chinese culture was sprinkled throughout. The only gripe was that some of the initial dialogue was a bit odd, but it got better.

Was this review helpful?

How to End a Love Story is about Helen, an author living in New York City, whose most popular YA series is being adapted to television, and at the start of the book, she moves to Los Angeles temporarily to participate in the writer's room. It's there that she reconnects with Grant Shepherd, one of the head writers in the room, whom she went to high school with. The only problem with that? The two of them are connected in an unthinkable way - Helen's younger sister committed suicide at sixteen, throwing herself in front of Grant's car. (Although I will say - this plot point is introduced in the prologue of the book, so if you find out quickly, and if this is something you don't think you can read about, you'll be able to jump ship immediately.)

Over the course of the book, despite best efforts to avoid one another by any means necessary, Helen and Grant find themselves drawn to one another. It's clear that what connects them is still affecting them, all these years later, and they eventually begin to help one another through their respective grief and anger. Helen is still angry with her sister, and devastated that she never noticed what was wrong with her, and Grant is still coming to terms with the fact that it wasn't his fault. I really appreciated the growth each of the characters experience, especially because I was very hesitant about even reading this to begin with, given the connection between the two protagonists. It was hard for me, as an older sister, to imagine a world where I would even consider pursuing a relationship like the two of them have, but I'm so glad I decided to keep reading, because it was so worth it in the end.

I imagine a lot of people discovered or decided to read this book because Yulin Kuang will be involved in the adaptations for Emily Henry's books Beach Read and People We Meet on Vacation, or because Emily herself has been raving about this book - but Kuang truly, truly deserves every ounce of praise. This book is a feat. It's hard to believe it's her debut. She's been involved in screenwriting and adaptations, but this is her first full-length novel, and it's fantastic. How To End a Love Story stands on its own - it made me laugh, it made me cry. It made me believe in true love. If you're not a huge romance reader - I'm certainly not, not unless it's sprinkled into a fantasy novel - I would highly recommend giving this romance a shot.

Was this review helpful?

This romance differs from a lot of contemporary romances in the seriousness of the main subject matter. It still has the occasional comedic moments and the hot scenes, but there’s always that elephant in the room. I’m still not sure if that’s a good or bad thing, but I was rooting for a happy ending and for a man to love me and wear his heart on his sleeve the way Grant does. This one will suck you in!

Was this review helpful?

At first, I thought this was going to be just another enemies to friends romance novel. After I was through, I realized this was actually a smart, witty and sometimes even deeply felt story. Some of the descriptions of what went on in the writers’ room made me feel like I was there.

Was this review helpful?