Wednesday, June 21, 2017

"The Whys Have It" by Amy Matayo

When I hear that Amy Matayo has a new book coming out, I have just one reaction: How soon can I read it? 

"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? 

The Whys Have It is one of those books that you can't stop reading, but it's also hard to read because it's just so emotional. I'm not kidding—I cried at least three times while reading it. The last time was the worst, as I was reading on my lunch break at work, so I was trying to cry without anyone noticing!

Cory is a womanizing rockstar ... so why did I care so much about him? It's because there's more to Cory than meets the eye. Inside, he's a wounded 17-year-old doing everything he can to outrun the pain and guilt.

And then he meets Sam.

Sam is a strong-because-she's-had-to-be, grieving woman when she meets Cory. And somehow, they seem to bring out the best in each other.

The story is told in first person present tense, which sometimes doesn't work at all but seems perfect here. We hear from both Cory and Sam, and their voices are unique, making the point of view shifts easy to follow.

Sam is pretty much an open book—we (and Cory) learn about her tragic family situation fairly quickly—but Cory is an enigma. His story comes out very slowly, and it ended up being even more heartbreaking than I'd imagined.

The Whys Have It is ultimately a story of forgiveness and redemption wrapped up in a love story. If you like edgier Christian fiction, you'll want to check it out. 4-1/2 stars.

Note: I would definitely classify this as edgy Christian fiction. Nothing crosses the line—sex is mentioned but not described, some kisses get a little steamy, and characters drink (sometimes heavily). Basically, if you're an adult, enjoy, but I wouldn't recommend it to the teen girls I know.

Buy the book.
Read my reviews of Matayo's The Thirteenth Chance (5 stars), The Wedding Game (4 stars), In Tune with Love (4-1/2 stars), and A Painted Summer (4-1/2 stars).

Author Amy Matayo is an excellent speaker, mathematician, seamstress, chef...and liar. She's decent at writing books but not much else. Then again, the book thing makes her marginally cool and a whole lot intimidating.

Not really. Not even her kids are afraid of her.

She graduated with barely passing grades from John Brown University with a degree in Journalism. But she's 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.

Keep up with her: website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this novel. The opinions I have expressed are my own. This means if you click on the link and purchase an item, I will receive an affiliate commission. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."


  1. (Also not reading this review - yet, because I'm in the middle of writing mine.) Glad to see this one receive a high rating from you. As usual, Amy wrote amazing, complex emotions with her latest. Cannot wait to see what she has next. :)

    1. Thanks for commenting even though you haven't read my words :-) Always great to have you stop by, Rissi!


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