Monday, July 11, 2011

Sometimes It Happens by Lauren Barnholdt

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... (from GoodReads)

Sometimes It Happens was one of the best contemporary books I've read in a long time. I feel like it has been the summer of classics for me, and it was really great to read something lighter and something in the 21st century. Though it's not very literary, Sometimes It Happens was fun and enjoyable for readers who like relationships and the problems that come along with them.

I instantly connected with the protagonist, Hannah. She's kinda the standard YA girl: smart, medium popularity, pretty but not beautiful. But I was okay with all that because I really liked Hannah. I felt like the things she did/said were similar to the things that I would do/say (except she moped around more than I would after she broke up with Sebastian).

I loved Hannah's relationship with all the characters, including Ava, Noah and Lacey. Ava was pretty stuck up for most the book, even though she was far away in Maine, but I still enjoyed her and Hannah's interactions. Noah, Ava's boyfriend, is pretty awesome even though he does cheat on his girlfriend. I don't like cheating in any circumstance, so I liked to see the characters regret their actions and kinda have a guilty conscience. Note: it's also hard to be mad at characters who belong together. Lacey was another awesome character. She was a bit of a hypochondriac but I honestly thought it made her more interesting. Lacey was a way better friend to Lacey than Ava, so the reader gets to see the contrast there.

The book was set up in a very interesting way. The chapters alternated between present day (i.e: the first day of senior year) and the summer where Noah and Hannah fall in love. I liked going back and forth to see how past actions led to future consequences. Another note about the plot: I was kinda annoyed that the readers were left in the dark during the cheating aspect. You get to see the characters kiss and then you find out they slept together. I'm not looking for specific details, but I was confused how they got to that part so fast. Whoa! But that's pretty minor thing.

All in all, I really enjoyed Sometimes It Happens. It was nice to read something lighter and more fun. It was hard to put down because I kept wanting to see what happened next. I love when that happens with a book.

Rating: 9 out of 10.
FTC: Simon & Schuster GalleyGrab
Release Date: July 12, 2011

2011/Simon Pulse/320 pages.


Briana said...

This book sounds FANTASTIC. I really, really want to read it. Great review!

UK said...

I adored the way Sometimes It Happens was told. The different chapters left it nearly impossible to put the book down, especially since most of them ended in cliffhangers. Each and every character in Sometimes It Happens was so real I felt like they might just step off the page at any moment. Everything that happened had a believable outcome and all of the characters were faced with difficult decisions. Lauren portrayed all of her characters and their situations so realistically and I loved every minute of it. I felt for Hannah when things got tough, but I only wanted the best for her.

Lauren Barnholdt has written a fantastic contemporary novel with Sometimes It Happens and I can't wait to start sharing this with all of my friends.