Cover Image: How to End a Love Story

How to End a Love Story

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews


Thank you @avonbooks for an early copy of How to End a Love Story by @yulin.kuang. I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily. 🤍

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐.5/5
Release date: April 2nd, 2024


🛑Read on with caution; review may contain spoilers🛑

How to End a Love Story is first and foremost an emotional love story that revolves around the trauma experienced and shared by Grant and Helen during their senior year in high school. They were never close, and haven’t spoken to each other in years, but when Helen’s book is being adapted into a television show and coincidentally with Grant as one of its screenwriters, they initially try to work with all the hostility in the air, mostly coming from Helen. However, they could not deny their mutual attraction with all the tension and emotions, their work and trauma have brought them closer together, and have made their already complicated relationship even more complicated.

Despite having a slow start, I couldn’t help but feel invested in the characters. Their pain and sorrow were expressed so thoroughly and deeply that I sometimes had to pause a bit and process (and cry internally 😪). As I mentioned, this is a heavily emotional novel (and I advise you to read the trigger warnings before starting this) and I highly applaud the author for handling the topics surrounding death, grief, loss, suicide, and panic attacks delicately and well. Regardless of the heavy emotions I felt reading this, the story was very well written. Grant and Helen are individually broken but have come together to comfort each other in their loneliness. Their eventual acceptance of the pain of putting everything in the past, and their pining and yearning for each other, only made the story even more beautiful. The spice (so much spice!) was also a bonus that I enjoyed. 😉

If you’re a fan of Emily Henry’s, Kennedy Ryan’s, or Annabel Monoghan’s works, you’ll surely enjoy this gut-wrenching beautiful romance!

Was this review helpful?

A lovely debut romance that hits all the right notes and whose leads are charming in all of the frustrating ways. Grant and Helen have not seen each other since the tragic death of Helen's sister in high school. When Helen's novels are being adapted into a tv show, Grant is brought into the writer's room. As the two of them work to put their past traumas behind them and connect in the present, they find they have far more in common than high school and their shared past. Kuang's debut is marvelous and expands on the usual tropes to make a charming love story. Thanks to Avon and NetGalley for the ARC.

Was this review helpful?

I went into How to End a Love Story pretty uninformed. I started it on a Saturday at home and when I got into it, I couldn't stop. My friend Kari would call this "romance with heft". It's the love story between Grant and Helen. They went to high school together and suffered different sides of a horrible tragedy. When they come together to work as screenwriters years later, they both struggle with their past. That tension and emotion and trauma bring them together but also kept me deeply invested in this story.

I read this reminded of Talking at Night and also of Ava Wilder's books. But Kuang uses words so well to tell Grant and Helen's story. I very rarely am aware of a writer's skill, but found myself wanting to highlight phrases and remember passages because they connected so well to life. I immediately texted friends to make sure they have this on their radar.

Was this review helpful?

Kuang has crafted a rom-com with a really unique premise: falling in love with the man you blame for your sister's death by suicide. While this premise originally seemed a bit awkward and far-fetched, the story worked surprisingly well and was both believable and enjoyable. Fans of Emily Henry and Olivia Dade will enjoy Kuang's debut into the romance genre. Additionally, Kuang's background in screenwriting was really given the opportunity to shine here and readers will hopefully see more of her writing, both on the screen and page, going forward.

Was this review helpful?

Wow what a wonderful ride! This was SUCH a great romance- if you love Emily Henry you will love this too! Enemies to lovers isn't usually my favorite troupe, but it worked so well with this story. Relatable and swoon-worthy!

Was this review helpful?

I took way to long to finish this book because I didn't want it to end. I wanted to stay wrapped up in Helen and Grant's story, but I finally took the plunge (after milking the last 15% over like three weeks)!

Yulin Kuang is getting a lot of (well-deserved) hype for her attachment to two Emily Henry movie projects, but it is clear her work is uniquely her own and she is already a standout author all by herself. She has woven the most beautiful story of grief, forgiveness, and complex emotions while also making this a fun, spicy, and interesting book set in a workplace. Learning about the in's and out's of tv series creation, adapting a book for the screen, and the writer's room through the eyes of someone new to the experience was so interesting. I just really, really loved Helen and was rooting for her as she navigated a new work experience and learned how to manage her relationship with control in her life. Grant is complex and interesting too, but Helen is what kept me flipping each page. At the core of this book, the story is about Helen navigating life after her sister died by suicide when she walked in front of Grant's car when they were teenagers. Grant and Helen end up in the same writers room when Helen's teen novels are being adapted for TV. Kuang takes great care in navigating how Grant and Helen could possibly handle this situation and work together again and Helen's relationship with her parents and her parent's feelings about Grant considering the situation just add to the depth of this book.

This book certainly appeals to the romance lover in me, but more than that (and perhaps more importantly than that), it appeals to the "conceal don't feel" side of me and I just wanted Helen to win, win, win at it all and keep being a hottie inside and out while she did it.

<i>Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for this ARC</i>

Was this review helpful?


How To End A Love Story feels like a first kiss-- the anticipatory tingle, the butterflies going buckwild in your stomach, the electricity surging just beneath the skin. It’s all forbidden touches, desperate yearning, stolen moments. It is spiraling, spiraling, spiraling.

Basically, Helen Zhang, first-born daughter of immigrant parents and sister to a girl who killed herself by running out in front of a car, is now in Los Angeles developing her wildly successful YA series into a TV show. Despite her success, she finds herself isolated, wracked with imposter syndrome and a mountain of self-doubt. And the cherry on top: Grant Shephard is also in that writer’s room. Grant Shephard, driver of the car that killed her sister 13 years ago. Grant Shephard, most affable guy in the room who now suffers from panic attacks and imposter syndrome. Bound by shared trauma and forced proximity, Helen and Grant try their hardest to coexist. And maybe comingle. They are two people who aren’t meant to have a love story. Is this connection an accident? Or could it be fate?

This is a love story, but it is also the story of two broken people in an impossible situation, careening toward heartbreak. This is the story of two people who believe themselves to be insufficient, two people who delude themselves into finding comfort in their loneliness. Helen and Grant long for more, for something neither feel like they deserve. And How To End A Love Story beautifully shows how one can begin to emerge from under the burden of unrealistic expectations, of living for others, and perhaps just daring to live for yourself.

I mean it when I say And How To End A Love Story is the BEST romance book I have ever read. It is also one of my new favorite books. It gives “This Is Me Trying” combined with the most tender spice. I swear, all of you need to read this book. I have wanted to reread it every single day since I finished it, and I cannot wait to get my hands on a physical copy in April.

Was this review helpful?

I was not emotionally prepared for a book with a child’s funeral as the opener. Stopped immediately.

Thank you to NetGalley and Avon and Harper Voyager for the ARC.

Was this review helpful?

I REALLY enjoyed How to End a Love Story! What I liked most about the story was the emotional depth of the main characters. I loved Grant's character and his vulnerability. Although Helen got on my nerves at the end, I was happy with her overall character arc. I thought the build-up between Grant and Helen was fantastic. Kuang did a great job of creating initial tension between the two. I liked the movie/writing plotline (reminded me of Romantic Comedy by Sittenfeld) and the secondary characters. This is a must read for fans of Emily Henry and Abby Jimenez. Thank you to Avon and Harper Voyager for the ARC.

Was this review helpful?

Emotional, spicy and full of great tropes. I am a sucker for enemies to lovers and mental health rep. This was jarring, funny and I loved every second of reading this. I will be adding Yulin to my auto buy list.

Was this review helpful?

I'm not entirely too sure how I feel about Yulin Kuang's HOW TO END A LOVE STORY. I enjoyed it but I didn't love it and I had some issues with it. Overall, I liked the idea of the story. I really enjoyed the fact that it was about writers (YA writers and TV writers) and you can definitely tell that Kuang has experience with working on productions.

My biggest issue with this book was that there was no chemistry between the two love interests/main characters. You know the overused phrase "show me, don't tell me"? This suffered from that so much. You never really got to experience why these characters fell in love, we were just told that they were, which doesn't make sense when you think of the plot of the story. You're constantly told that Grant was charming but we never really got to see him being charming? I think sex scenes were used to make up for that fact, somehow. I'm usually not fussing about seeing the characters fall in love but in this case it was such a huge part of the story and we're constantly being told that they were falling for each other but we never saw it.

Overall, it was an okay read.

Was this review helpful?

An emotional but also steamy and fun love story written by the screenwriter of Emily Henry’s PWMOV and director of the upcoming Beach Read film.

The story follows two people, bound together by tragedy, who end up in the same writers rooms after not seeing each other for 13 years. They aren’t supposed to fall for each other, but will their budding feelings help them make peace with the past.

While I found the beginning slow, I grew to really enjoy this book. I love when a hero is explicit about his feelings and falls first, and Grant does just that.

Read if you like:
-Enemies to lovers
-Heftier romances
-Shared trauma
-Open door

Thank you Avon for the ARC. Pub 4/2!

Was this review helpful?

This book is incredible. I loved it from the dedication to the acknowledgements. This was such a gorgeous story of love and grief and all the myriad, messy ways that we express them. I laughed, I cried, I pined, I cried again, I was so so satisfied.

I will be thrilled to bring HOW TO END A LOVE STORY into my store this spring. It will be such a joy to introduce our readers to Helen and Grant. I cannot wait to see what Yulin does next!

Thank you so much to Net Galley and Avon books for the pleasure of reading this advanced copy…and of course thank you to Yulin for writing it…please write more.

Was this review helpful?

this book was cute! i liked it and enjoyed my time. it was fun and i think i would get it for my collection

Was this review helpful?

Thirteen years after her younger sister’s death, Helen Zhang is doing alright. Better than alright, if you don’t look too closely. She’s the bestselling author of a young adult series that’s being adapted into a TV show, and she’s scored a coveted spot in the writers' room. Never mind that she’s used to storytelling in solitude and is convinced she’ll be revealed as an imposter any minute. Or that she only jumped at the opportunity to move to LA to avoid her writer’s block. Helen has a few months to figure things out, in a fresh-start city where she knows exactly no one. No one, except…

Was this review helpful?

How to End a Love Story... I didn't want this love story to end. Propulsive, sexy, and possessing a depth I was unprepared for, "How to End a Love Story" is all at once a love story, a workplace romance, a story about grief and family and the experience of being the first generation daughter of immigrants -- and Yulin Kuang writes it beautifully. The characters are compelling and achingly real, with great chemistry, and the setting in a TV writers' room is fun and done well.

I LOVED this book. "How to End a Love Story" is a fantastic novel -- and truly a fresh, phenomenal debut. Fans of Emily Henry will devour this one. I can't wait to read whatever Yulin Kuang writes next!

Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC.

Was this review helpful?

Immersive and utterly entertaining. A recommended purchase for collections where contemporary romance is popular.

Was this review helpful?

With a set of fascinating lead characters, and a tender, but incredibly sensual love story between them, this book took my breath away with the way it wrought my emotions whichever way it pleased, and it left me feeling high from the kind of euphoric glee that only a great book fills me with.

Was this review helpful?

How to End a Love Story is a truly special novel. It is beautifully written and has a true depth of feeling. The story is excellently plotted, with Grant and Helen's relationship developing realistically through the challenges they face as individuals and as a couple.

Helen and Grant have great chemistry and their banter is fun and engaging. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys romance novels that are steamy, full of heart, and incredibly well-written.

Was this review helpful?

It's been a long time since a book touched the core of my soul and How To End A Love Story did just that. The writing captivated my heart in a way that hasn't happened since I was a teenager reading my favourite book at the time. 

This writing is powerful, gorgeous and very profound. The characters are complex multilayered and feel like real people in a messy situation. Everything is black and white until it's not. It's like Yulin saw into soul and read my innermost private thoughts and turned them into Helen's character and her thoughts on page.

The chemistry (and banter) between Helen and Grant is one for the books! (pun intended) Their love story is real and yet she sprinkles the perfect amount of Hollywood dreaminess into it. After all it is a story mostly set in a writers room on a backlot in a film studio in LA, can it get any better than that.

This book simply put wrecked me.

Yulin Kuang is a new force in the Literary Romance world. Fans of Emily Henry will rejoice. Mark my words: HTEALS will blow up, go viral and will catapult Yulin in the same mega stardom and loyal fanbase as Emily Henry.

Was this review helpful?