So Much It Hurts by Dellani Oakes follows three people, each wonderful in their own way. Mexican-Irish Pia Donavan arrives in the big city from a small town in Nebraska to pursue a degree in music. As a child of a college professor, her family moved around a lot which forced her to cultivate friends. At her new residence, the old Ambassador Hotel, she takes to the avant-garde college population. On the first day she meets two handsome young men who are roommates, Flynn and Yancy. “A girl would be an idiot, or crazy, to pass up on either of you two,” she says. Pia becomes acquainted with Flynn first. He’s a PhD candidate in art but has painting gigs on the side. Paint is his medium, and bodies are his canvas. He paints landscapes and soon has a money-making opportunity with an outdoorsy company, Crossfire. After being with Pia for a few days, Flynn is off to help this camping and hiking company create their launch. In the woods, he’s occupied with lighting, reflection, shadows, and models. In the meantime, Pia hangs out with Yancy, an accounting major. In his company, she takes part in an impromptu concert with other music majors using a harpsichord and antique instruments. She sings. She invites new acquaintances to her apartment to cook together. Just about everything she does goes up on Youtube.com because of her sweetness, talent, and spirit. With Yancy, she finds her niche. One night something happens. This something reminds her of her former boyfriend’s betrayal. What is the right thing to do? A theme running through this book is fear. They grapple with decision-making, the kind tying people up in knots. Can these people leave fear at the door or throw it out the window? I highly recommend Dellani Oakes’ So Much It Hurts to every reader.