Sometimes it Happens by Lauren Barnholdt
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release date: July 12, 2011
Source: Publisher via S&S Galley Grab
Format: eARC, 322 pages
Purchase: Book Depository
Summary from Goodreads:
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…
Over the years, except for one bout of chick lit mania, I’ve stuck pretty faithfully to books of the fantasy and sci-fi genre, and all their subgenres, mainly because I used reading as an escape and didn’t need to be reading about real life. But over the last year or two, I’ve finally begun the shift of reading more contemporary novels, and I must say what I’ve read I’m loving. This book included.
Let me first warn you that this is pretty much a soap opera in book format. But don’t necessarily let that turn you off. Lauren’s writing and development of the story was, in my opinion, pretty close to perfect. The pacing was awesome, I wouldn’t have changed a thing about it. I know I’ve said this before in general, but I’m seriously loving the alternating timelines being developed throughout. One is giving you what’s currently happening the first day of senior year, while the other gives you the back story. I was a little confused at first, thinking the book started near the end when the shit is already about to hit the fan, but then I discovered those timelines.
The overall theme of this book is infidelity. I’m definitely not a fan of cheaters, but like the title says, sometimes it happens. And let’s face it, as shitty a thing as it is to do, it’s not a problem we’re ever going to be rid of. It is unfortunately a fact of life. Most of the time when it happens, you feel bad for the victim, the person who was cheated on. But in the case of Ava, I’m sorry to say I felt no sympathy for her. She’s flaky, selfish, and wants Hannah to worship her so she lies about things, or doesn’t even tell her.
Now for Hannah and Noah. I loved the pacing and development of their relationship over the summer, the confusion and uncertaintaty they experienced about their newfound feelings for each other. I was all warm and gushy inside whenever I read the summer chapters dealing with their backstory. And I cannot forget to mention Lacey. As tiring as she can be with her hypochondria, she’s was definitely a better friend to Hannah than Ava, who was supposed to be her best friend of all time. Much love to Lacey for sticking with Hannah through thick and thin.
As I was reaching the end, I got to a part where I was starting to think, hmmmm this could be a good ending scene, but there has to be more after this of course. Lo and behold, there wasn’t. The ending was good, but it also felt like there could have been just a little bit more to the story. But overall I loved it. This is definitely a summer read you’ll want to give a try.
Anyone else read this? Let me know your thoughts!