Published: July 2011
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
This novel opens on the first day of Hannah’s senior year, but the story really starts on the last day of her junior year. That’s when Hannah not only gets dumped by her boyfriend, Sebastian, but she also finds out her best friend, Ava, is going to be gone for the entire summer. But Ava’s boyfriend, Noah, is definitely around—and such a good guy that he snags Hannah a job at the diner where he works. Hannah and Noah move from coworkers, to friends….and one night, to something more.
Now it’s back to school, where Hannah will see Sebastian, Ava, 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, Hannah will learn a lot about love, friendship…and herself.
Sometimes it Happens is the perfect beach read - albeit last years beach read. It took me just over three hours to finish it and it has enough high school drama to satisfy even the most demanding of readers.
Hannah and Ava are best friends who end up having to spend the summer apart. The dynamics between the two girls are really interesting and fairly realistic. When Hannah starts working at the diner with Ava's boyfriend and becomes friendly with Lacey, - who has broken up with Ava's ex boyfriend - the drama starts to unfold. Noah, Ava's boyfriend, is a nice guy. I hate to label anyone with the 'nice' epithet, but it really does apply to him. Sebastian is the jerk who cheats on Hannah the last night of school, then keeps turning up to bug her throughout the summer. Riker is the bad boy who appears to have broken both Ava and Lacey's hearts. Danielle, Lacey's ex-best friend, because she cheated with Riker, keeps showing up at the diner. Ava is a counsellor at a summer camp and she keeps sending Noah to check on Hannah, but she seems to be hiding some secrets herself. Complicated much?
The book is written in two alternating timelines. One is the first day of the new school year and the second is what transpires over the summer. The two are easily kept apart and there is a surprising amount of tension as the story progresses.
One of the things that made this enjoyable for me was that it took me back to my own teenage years and the memory of how everything seemed so dramatic and so earth shattering. Seen through my now adult eyes, it all seems so unimportant now, but at the time - well it was earth- shattering and Ms Barnholdt conveys that well. The most important message is the title. Sometimes, things just do happen, and in this case - well you'll just have to read it to see how things turn out.
A quick, fun read that is just perfect for this time of year. Enjoy.
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