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, Ryan, 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:
It has been a while since I read a book by Lauren Barnholdt (2007 to be exact), and after reading the amazingness that is Sometimes It Happens, I am regretting this deeply. To be blunt, Sometimes It Happens rocked by socks in all ways possible.
Sometimes It Happens tells the story of Hannah, a teen girl who is just about to start her senior year. For the majority of students, the first day of senior year is supposed to be exciting, as it marks one-step closer to freedom, but for Hannah, it is the day she has been dreading the most. You see, she has to face the three people she’s been trying to avoid the most: (1) Sebastian, the boy who broke her heart into a million pieces the last day of her junior year, (2) Noah, a friend who has she has begun to develop feelings for, and (3) Ava, Hannah’s best friend whose been MIA lately as well as Noah’s girlfriend. If one thing is for sure, the first day of senior year will go down in history…for bad or good…it has yet to be determined….
For the most part, I really don’t particularly enjoy books that address cheating, as I usually find the characters to be unlikable, bland, weak, or a mixture of all three, though that wasn’t the case one bit with Sometimes It Happens. Hannah was a great character…strong, witty, and relatable. Sure, she made some silly decisions concerning a certain boy, but it was hard not to simply adore her. Noah was also another fabulous addition to this novel, and his relationship with Hannah was that way as well. Their banter was great, and it was easy to see how much they truly cared about each other, making their relationship one that was hard not to root for- even given the circumstances surrounding it. I also loved Lacey, who was a hypochondriac to the max but hilarious as well as a great friend to both Noah and Hannah. Then, there was Ava. From the beginning, I did not like her very much; because of the way she treated Hannah as if Hannah was dirt in comparison, so I have to admit I was somewhat happy with what happened to her in the end.
The plot of this was also nothing short of amazing. Given the way it was told (chapters alternating between what happened during the summer and first day of Hannah's senior year), it moved in a fast-pace, and constantly managed to not only surprise me, but to keep me on the edge of seat, dying to know what would occur next...Would Hannah and Noah end up together? What really happened that night between them? What was going to happen when Ava found out? There were so many questions to say the least.
Lauren’s writing and world building was high points. I loved how she made the characters jump of the page from the start, as well as the fact she never once glamorized cheating. Instead, while she made it easy to root for Hannah and Noah, she did not spare them for the hurt and confusion that came with their actions.
Amazing, realistically told, and full of heart-stopping moments, Lauren Barnholdt's Sometimes It Happens is going to be the book of the summer, no doubt about it! I only wish it could have gone on and on...
Highly, highly recommend to say the least.
Sometimes It Happens will be released July 12, 2011!
Source: Publicist at Simon Pulse- thanks Dawn!
Side Note: Since reading this one, I've passed my ARC on to a few of my friends, one of whom who isn't a big reader at all, and they absolutely loved it! Do you know what that says? Not only should you definitely give this one a try, but it's perfect for reluctant readers as well!