Wednesday, August 24, 2011
Sometimes It Happens by Lauren Barnholdt
The entire premise of Sometimes It Happens, especially because it is told from the perspective of Hannah, the girl who cheats with her best friend's boyfriend, should be immediately repulsive. Shockingly, Barnholdt makes her character so real and human, conflicted and flawed, that even though what Hannah and Noah did was so wrong, the real story is more complicated than that. That said, probably because of the storyline, many of the characters were quite unlikable, including Hannah, Ava and Hannah's ex. The only one I really liked was Lacey, her hypochondriac quirk was a funny touch. The writing style resulted in a genuinely teenage voice, which is theoretically a good thing but in reality mean there were a few too many "like"s and "oh my God"s. The dinner setting was charming in a way that reminded me strongly of the only Sarah Dessen novel I've read, Keeping the Moon, and I have a feeling Barnholdt would be enjoyed by Dessen fans.
Sometimes It Happens didn't completely blow me away, but it did surprise me. The story is initially pretty superficial but Barnholdt does manage to delve into important teen issues like friendship and insecurity. The language bothered me at times but there were many tiny realistic details to the story that made the characters feel like authentic teenagers. I certainly think what Noah and Hannah did was terribly wrong, but the premise makes for an engaging story where you're almost a little scared to turn the page on Hannah's behalf. Although I won't be rereading Sometimes It Happens, Barnholdt has sparked my interest and I will definitely be picking up another book by her in the future.
Release Date: July 12th 2011
Buy the Book
Source: Simon and Schuster Galley Grab