I’ve read several of Keris Stainton’s YA novels. I also signed up for her online course on writing YA lit. And I enjoyed all of that. So when I got the chance to review her new romance, It Had To Be You, I didn’t think twice. Thanks to Netgalley for a review copy. Warning: The review is slightly spoilery.
It Had To Be You promises to be a laugh-out-loud fairy-tale romance and it certainly delivers. I read it in one sitting. There were parts which made me ache (for Henry, mostly), and parts where I nearly died from laughter (the pigeon incident was epic). The characterizations were so spot on the protagonists felt like people from next door. I don’t mean just Bea and Henry and Dan, but all the other roommates, too, and Mr and Mrs C, and Bea’s family.
What I really appreciated was how it was simultaneously realistic but also fun and flirty. Dan was not made out to be a jerk, but a truly nice guy, he just didn’t click with Bea. And the Tom storyline was also refreshing, if heart-breaking. Henry felt like the one from the moment he appeared in the book. There was just something endearing about him and the way he connected with Bea.
Despite the satisfying romance tropes, the story was surprising. The characters made me want to be their friends, and I craved more when the novel finished.
The novel comes out on Dec. 6th. Pre-order it on Amazon.