Sometimes It Happens: review

June 13, 2011 3 star books, lauren barnholdt, realistic fiction, Wendy 4

Sometimes It Happens
by Lauren Barnholdt

Um…I’m not really sure why I read this book! But I think I was in the mood for some light relief after all the post-apocalyptic novels I’ve been plowing through lately.

Sometimes you just need a little mindless filler while you’re between stories about girls with supernatural powers and stories about flesh-eating zombies.

There are a lot of reasons why I shouldn’t have liked Sometimes It Happens. I hate books (or anything, really) that involve infidelity. I’m not not a big realistic YA fiction person. I’m not usually interested in books that are solely about high school boy-girl drama. I think the title is…pedestrian. But much to my surprise, I actually found this book to be pretty entertaining.

Hannah’s best friend Ava has gone away for the summer, leaving her depressed and mopey since her ex-boyfriend cheated on her. Ava’s assigned her boyfriend Noah to cheer up Hannah. The two of them start hanging out, they bond over french fries and Sting, one thing leads to another, and…sometimes stuff happens. (I still can’t say that without wincing.)

It’s not the most riveting of plots, but somehow the author makes the story very readable. The narrative flips back and forth between the first day of senior year and the events of the summer, so there’s some OMG WHY IS SHE ACTING SO WEIRD? type suspense as you follow along. The author does a good job of gradually developing the relationship between Hannah and Noah from friendship into something a little more, and there were some good reasons provided as to why there is a certain discord between both Ava and Noah and Ava and Hannah. What I particularly appreciated, however, is that both Hannah and Noah own up to their mistakes and don’t make any excuses for them. I like that the author had them take responsibility for their actions even while you get an understanding of how this kind of thing can take place.

This is a quick, entertaining read if you’re in the mood for some light YA. It’s not a particularly complex or memorable book, though, since it gets a little bogged down by a subplot with a coworker and Hannah herself spends so much of her time crying, first over her ex and then over Noah. Also, the relationship is cute enough but it’s not all that outstanding, either. While I understand that the author may not have wanted to go into tasteless Oh this is so wrong but it feels so right type territory with the make-out scenes, it does feel like a little bit of a cheat that Noah’s kissing scenes with Ava are way more appealing than his kissing scenes with Hannah.

This is my first time reading this author and I liked her voice enough, however, to give another one a shot sometime. Three stars for keeping my interest and getting me through to the end of the book! Now back to regularly scheduled programming.

Release Date: July 11, 2011

Rated 3 out of 5 stars

30-Second Synopsis: A entertaining, if lightweight, read about a girl, her best friend, and the best friend’s boy whom she loves. 

4 Responses to “Sometimes It Happens: review”

  1. Wendy Darling

    Thanks for your comments! I definitely think that a. how the author handles sensitive subjects and b. your views on infidelity will factor into whether you enjoy this or not. I thought she did a pretty good job of it.

  2. Leanna (Daisy Chain Book Reviews)

    I’m not a fan of the whole cheating thing either, but it depends on how it’s dealt with in books. Anna and the French Kiss, for example, is one of my fave books! I have this one from GG so will try to check it out. I’ve read some good reviews.

  3. The Paperback Heart

    Lovely review!
    I don’t think I’ll be reading this one, but I like the idea of how the characters own up to their mistakes, as it’s something you don’t *really* see in YA very often.