Young Adult Reviews

Blog Tour: How To Write A Love Story By Katy Cannon



… against all my usual instincts, I found myself wanting to know more about him. 

I shook my head and hurried to class. This was absolutely not the time to suddenly develop an interest in random boys. 

Not when I had a whole love story to create on paper.

(How To Write A Love Story by Katy Canon. P53.) 


Tilly has always wanted to be an author like her gran, bestselling romance novelist Bea Frost.

Gran asks Tilly to write the start of her next novel. Tilly is delighted, but there is only one problem. She has never been on a single date. Luckily new boy Zach has caught Tilly’s attention.

Can she learn enough about romance in time to meet Gran’s deadline?

A cute contemporary YA story about romance and writing and literary communities. This story totally won my heart.

Tilly is caught out by her grandmother. Tilly rewrote the ending to Gran’s book when she was in hospital.  Now Gran wants Tilly to write a novel. I love the references to writing – to novel-structure and idea-gathering and YA tropes.

Tilly finds plotting her own story to be totally different to working from Gran’s notes. The main problem is that she had no idea what it feels like to fall in love or to be kissed. Luckily there is a cute new boy in school, and Tilly reckons if she can just experience love she will overcome her plotting issues. Turns out falling in love is nothing like a romance novel. Cue awkward dates, love-triangle and a load of self-discover

Tilly’s gran Bea is a great character. She marries on a regular basis and buys new hats for every writing crisis. She’s a total diva, but she is also there for Tilly. She leads by advice and not by example. She also has a dedicated group of super-fans called The Queen Beas. I love this nod to fandoms, and the relationships people can form with books.

I love Tilly’s development as a writer. She sets out to write Gran’s next book, but learns about herself along the way, until she is able to question what kind of story she wants to write. There are some positive messages for aspiring writers – it is hard work, but knowing why you want to tell a particular story is a good start.

The love story made me smile. Tilly sets herself up to enact the ideal romance but soon learns that life is more complicated. I was pleased with the outcome (which I saw coming, but I cheered all the same.) As a result of her endeavors, Tilly is able to rethink what she wants from a relationship.

An intelligent YA romance, which is also a love-story to literary fandoms. Put this at the top of your summer reading pile.


Louise Nettleton

Check out all the stops on the tour: