Book Review: The Whys Have It by Amy Matayo

July 10, 2017 Amy Matayo, contemporary, romance 12

about the book

“His music holds the heart of America…but his soul holds a terrible secret.”

Chart topping pop musician Cory Minor has it all—fame, money, more women at his disposal than time to spend on them. He’s living the life most American men only dream of. Until an ordinary concert in Springfield threatens to destroy everything he’s worked for.

As he and his band leave the arena for his next show, Cory’s tour bus crashes into two teenage girls, killing one girl instantly and leaving the other barely clinging to life. Lawsuits are threatened, tabloids are talking, and Cory’s idyllic world falls apart. But what no one knows is that this scene is all too familiar. Because this isn’t the first accident Cory has caused. This isn’t the first time he’s destroyed someone else’s life to save his own.

It’s just the first time he’s had to face it head on.

Small town girl Samantha Dalton has no one—no mother, no father, and now no sister. She’s lost everything in a world that celebrates excess. So when Cory Minor shows up at her doorstep offering money and apologies, she turns him away too. You can’t lose what you don’t have, and she can’t take another letdown, especially not from someone who has managed to rip away all she had left. Samantha has been fine on her own for years, she’ll be fine now too.
At least that’s what she tells herself.

But Cory won’t leave. He’s persistent in the worst possible way.

Will Cory’s determination to make things right pay off in the end, or will Sam keep pushing him away until there’s nothing left to fight for? How can two people learn to rely on each other when life keeps hurting them both?

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GENRE: Contemporary Clean Romance
PUBLISHER: SYG Productions
RELEASE DATE: June 20, 2017
PAGES: 328

“Nothing good happens after midnight.”

The Whys Have It is exquisitely heartwrenching and simultaneously layered with hope and subtle nudges of grace. It’s a picture of broken people living broken lives – and what it looks like when their brokenness intersects.

Cory is gloriously unfiltered and will leave you swooning (and blushing and fanning) more than once. In his life as a pop musician, fame quickly becomes synonymous with sex and alcohol, luxury and popularity. But, as he says in the prologue, “no one talks about the downside.” 

“My name is Cory Minor, and according to People Magazine I’m currently the most sought-after man in America.

I never dreamed I’d feel so isolated.”

Samantha (Sam) has no frame of reference for all that Cory experiences, but she does know quite a bit about loss. And guilt. A relatable heroine, she just needs a break from the grief, from being the strong one. She is just as broken as Cory is, just as isolated, but her brokenness manifests itself in fear and resignation.

Considering why their brokenness intersects, Sam and Cory make an unlikely pair. But their chemistry is undeniable, and their growing friendship provides several lighter moments over the course of this emotional story. Amy Matayo seamlessly gets inside their heads, and therefore so do we, the readers. As such, we are treated to their brokenness first hand and experience their reactions and unguarded thoughts. It makes for some uncomfortable paragraphs – the good kind of uncomfortable, the kind that stretches you out of your comfort zone. The kind of discomfort that eventually makes grace that much sweeter.

Oh! And I can’t forget to mention Phyllis. I adore her! You will love her too, I just know it! She’s the type of character you wish could leap out of the page and into real life. Her hugs, her insight, the smile in her voice. Everyone needs a Phyllis.

“Don’t let the whys ruin your life, child.”

Bottom Line: The Whys Have It by Amy Matayo is the kind of book that gets deep down in your heart and takes up residence. The smooth writing style instantly draws you in – and once the characters latch on, don’t expect to put this novel down until you’ve finished it. My Kindle copy has three pages worth of highlighted sentences that will linger with me for quite a while beyond this first read. It’s honest. It’s profound. It’s raw in places. And peeking through the melody of brokenness is a harmony of hope and restoration that will settle in your spirit like one of Phyllis’ hugs.

Graphic created by Stephanne Smith

(I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.)

My Rating: 5 stars / Love it!

KissingBook Level: 4+ / You may need the freezer before it’s over with 🙂

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about the author

Amy Matayo is an award winning author of The Wedding Game, Love Gone Wild, Sway, In Tune with Love, A Painted Summer, The End of the World and The Thirteenth Chance. She graduated with barely passing grades from John Brown University with a degree in Journalism. But don’t feel sorry for her–she’s super proud of that degree and all the ways she hasn’t put it to good use.

She laughs often, cries easily, feels deeply, and loves hard. She lives in Arkansas with her husband and four kids and is working on her next novel.

You can connect with Amy on her website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and on Snapchat as amymatayowrites.

Other Books by Amy Matayo

   

 What about you? What do you think would be the toughest thing about fame?

Don’t just take my word for it! Check out these other posts!
Review & Giveaway @ The Green Mockingbird
Spotlight on hero Cory Minor @ Faithfully Bookish
Review @ RelzReviewz
Spotlight on Cory Minor @ Fiction Aficionado
Not to mention all the 5-star reviews on Amazon!
And don’t forget to check out my behind-the-scenes post with Amy!

Carrie

12 Responses to “Book Review: The Whys Have It by Amy Matayo”

  1. Rebecca Maney

    Oh my goodness. It looks like another book that I need to put on my to-read shelf.

    I don’t have any experience with fame, but just being in a leadership position 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year can create a sense of isolation at times.

    Great review!

    • Carrie

      It very much can, Rebecca! I will pray more specifically for you to find fellowship 💜 And YES you need to read this one! So good.

  2. Carolyn Astfalk

    Love this book! I think its biggest asset (of many) is how you say Amy gets seamlessly into the characters heads. You love the book with Cory and Sam.

  3. Carolyn Astfalk

    Oops. Live the book. Not love the book. Although you’ll love the book too. 🙂 (I wish I had a dime for every typo I make in a combox. I’d be rich!)

    • Carrie

      ha! I knew what you meant 😉 And you are totally right about living it AND loving it

  4. Brittaney B

    Another great story by Amy Matayo, although Sway is still my favorite. I think the toughest thing about fame would be the lack of privacy and the public’s sense of entitlement to know everything about your life.

  5. Marylin Furumasu

    I absolutely LOVED this book! It was so good! Amy has a down to earth style of writing, I can really relate to each of the characters.

  6. carylkane

    Awesome review, Carrie!

    The toughest thing about fame would be the lack of privacy.

    • Carrie

      I think that would be the toughest thing too, Caryl. (and thank you!)

  7. Winnie Thomas

    I absolutely LOVE Amy’s books! They are so riveting and heart-wrenching and awesome! Great review, Carrie.