Sometimes It Happens - Lauren Barnholdt

Synopsis: 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: I read this book as an advanced readers copy, and immediately from the first few pages I was intrigued. And the more I read, the more I became engrossed.

This book flicks between the current situation which was the first day back at school (senior year), and alternates by taking us back to the Summer before and what happened that Summer that leads us up to the first day back at school. I actually thought this was a brilliant idea by the author, because by writing the way she did with this book, she actually takes away a lot of the blame that gets pointed at people when they are cheating on someone. Instead, she told the story from an emotional view point. No one was meant to get hurt. Hannah didn’t want to hurt Ava and Noah certainly didn’t want to hurt Ava either. Because we get fed a little bit of the story at a time before coming back to the current situation, we get an overall sense of the picture and can look it as a whole rather than to get fixated on the small details and cast judgement on the characters.

It illustrates as the title suggests, that sometimes… it does happen. And sometimes there is no bad guy. We actually are shown a number of examples of cheating throughout the book through that are seperate from the Hannah/Noah/Ava situation. In particular Sebastian when he originally cheats on Hannah with the freshman. We feel a real sense of anger towards him for doing to that to her. But we don’t really feel the same type of anger towards Hannah or Noah for doing that to Ava? At least I didn’t when I read the story. It made me question why I felt that way, when really everyone was all involved in cheating. I think it made me realise that every situation is different, and whilst there is no endorsement from the author (and I have never been involved in cheating before either), it made me think of it all in a different light.

The characters were so real, they stood out to me and spoke to me, and even though I am a fair bit older than the characters themselves, I know I could see myself in a few of those characters and they were relatable.

The story was so solid, and the way she interwove the story to have it all fit together the way she did was amazing. It was such an enjoyable read, highly recommend this book, it is a page turner!

Rating: 5 out of 5

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