Publisher: Simon Pulse (July 12th, 2011)
Reading Level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 320 pages
Rating: 5 of 5 stars
On the last day of her junior year, Hannah's boyfriend Sebastian dumped her. Facing a summer of loneliness, Hannah turns to her best friend Ava for comfort. Ava does what BFFs do: she stays by Hannah's side...until it's time for Ava to head up to Maine for the summer. Also left behind is Ava's boyfriend, Noah, who's such a great guy he gets Hannah a job at the diner he waits tables at. Slowly, Hannah comes out of her funk thanks to Noah's good conversation and their fun times at the diner. But things get complicated when their friendship turns into attraction--and one night, into a passionate kiss.
The novel opens on the first day of senior year; the day Hannah is going to see Ava, Sebastian, and Noah all in one place. Over the course of the day secrets and betrayals are revealed, and alliances are broken and reformed. In the end, everyone is paired up once again, but not the way you might think...
Review: This book is exactly what I was looking for! Sometimes I "crave" different types of books and this past week it was summer books! This was the story that put me on that path. Sometimes It Happens was a fast read that was packed with sensational characters and full of witty dialogue.
Hannah does not have a great start to her summer. She finds her boyfriend Sabastian cheating on her and finds out that her best friend Ava is leaving for the summer. She just knows that she will be spending most of her time sitting in her room eating junk food during her vacation. Then, her best friend Ava's boyfriend Noah saves the day. He gets Hannah a job at the diner where he works and tries every way possible to help Hannah get out of her slump.
First, I have to talk about these characters. I loved how real and multi-dimensional they felt. No, they were not perfect but that is part of being a teenager and making mistakes. Hannah was hilarious and in many ways, acted exactly how teens do when they suffer a break-up. Noah was the "good guy" who just wanted Hannah to see that she deserved better than a crappy, cheating boyfriend. But along the way he gets more than he expected.
Then we have the quirky Lacey, a new character we meet when Hannah starts her job at the diner. I loved her! She was exactly what was needed for this story. She was a loyal new friend for Hannah, and had a sometimes crazy, unique personality that helped bring the story together. Ava, on the other hand, was not my favorite character at all. She was snotty, bossy, and not a great friend for Hannah. But, I loved how Hannah was able to find new friends and open herself up to new possibilities once Ava was out of town. I think that is something many teens can relate to.
Sometimes It Happens is told in a very interesting way. The chapters go back and forth between the last day of junior year, to the first day of senior year. At first I was worried I would hate this format, but it worked perfectly! We could see how drastically things had changed in a short amount of time, and as we saw the drama of Hannah's first day of senior year, we could go back to see what created all the worry and tension.
Along with Hannah's new-found freedom and summer job, her and Noah get closer. This was not a "love at first sight" tale, which made it much more interesting to follow. I could easily see these 2 characters falling in love and simply enjoying eachother's company. Their relationship really made sense, even if it happened at the wrong time.
Sometimes It Happens made me a fan of Lauren Barnholdt's. After I read this book I immediately looked to see if I had another title written by her (which I did, and that review is coming soon). If you are a fan of summer-themed, hilarious reads that help bring back memories of high school (or current drama from high school), pick up this book!
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