Review - Sometimes It Happens by Lauren Barnholdt (16)

Saturday, July 9, 2011

 Sometimes It Happens by Lauren Barnholdt
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publication Date: 12 July 2011
Genre: YA Contemporary
My Copy: received for review from publisher - Galley Grab

 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...


I really kind of wanted to put off this review since this is my first one in a few months, and I really wanted the first one back to be a good book. However, this is the first book that I've actually finished in awhile, so this is the one I'm reviewing. The first thing to note about this book is that it is told in alternating chapters. The first chapter is set on the first day of her senior year followed by a chapter from her summer. This is the way the whole book is set up, but I didn't feel like it really worked in this book. The story is really what happened during the summer, while the first day of school is more like the consequences of that summer. This limited the books potential because Barnholdt couldn't give away too much in the beginning despite the fact that you're getting the ending throughout the book. The characters couldn't really grow which felt essential for this book to be successful. The story revolves mostly around a lot of drama; lots of boys cheating on girls and girls backstabbing friends. It made the book a bit repetitive. I did like the beginning of the book. It held my interest for the first 100 pages or so, but then it lost its hook. I became tempted to not finish it, but it was a pretty quick read, and I was already halfway through it (I think I finished the whole book in about two hours). The reader can figure out what's going to happen fairly early, but then the author tries to drag out the suspense which made me just want to say enough already. I never connected with any of the characters. The characters are realistic in that none of them are completely good or completely bad people, except for perhaps Lacey who might actually just be a good person. However, Lacey came off as kind of whiny and spineless in the beginning, so I had a hard time feeling bad for her. The characters do grow a bit, but not until the last 15 to 20 pages which hardly seemed worth it. One last oddity, the characters seem to just skip classes like it's no big deal. I don't know anywhere where the students can just keep running around the school and off campus at random. The bottom line? The book had potential, but failed largely due to the fact that all of the characters had the same problem and were not very rounded.

Rating breakdown:
Plot: 2 hearts
Pacing: 1 heart
Characters: 1 heart
Character relationships: 2 hearts
Recommend: No


ComaCalm said...

Nice to see you properly back! I decided not to get this one as I wasn't sure that I'd like it, and now I'm definitely happy I didn't! Thanks for the review!

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