Sometimes It HappensFeatured
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.
Why? Well, for starters, she'll have to come face to face with Sebastian, the guy who broke her heart on the last day of Junior Year and Noah, the guy she's spent all summer with and who she thinks might just be the love of her life. Then there's Ava, her longtime BFF whose just gotten back from her summer job in Maine and from whom Hannah's keeping a secret; one she knows could destroy their friendship. Btw, did I mention that Noah happens to be Ava's boyfriend? Yeah...so, now you can see how her first day has "recipe for disaster" written all over it.
Will she make it through or will she lose everyone she loves before the final bell rings?
Author, Barnholdt opens the book with Hannah's first day of school and uses alternating chapters to explain what happened during the summer so the reader gets a complete picture by the end of the book. We watch as Hannah goes from a girl who merely basks in Ava's shadow to one who realizes people and situations aren't always what they seem and sometimes things happen that are beyond our control.
Noah was the most enjoyable character for me and the most redeemable. He's kind and considerate, doing his best to watch out for Hannah, (like Ava asks him too). He sticks up for her too and even though he falters a bit, he does show a good amount of self control throughout the story especially for a teenage boy. Another good quality about him is, he gives people the benefit of the doubt which is not always the case when you put teens and the rumor mill together.
Hannah was a little frustrating in the beginning but not in a bad way. She's your typical, insecure, angst ridden teen who doesn't see herself as she really is because Ava garners most of the attention. In their BFFship, Hannah plays "wing man" to Ava's "pretty girl". She goes along with whatever Ava says because she trusts her judgement and she believes Ava is looking out for her best interest. That's what BFF's do, right? It isn't until she spends a significant amount of time away from her that Hannah really comes into her own person. It's during this time though that things between she and Noah begin to change. One of the best things about Hannah is her is patience. She's been patient with Ava all these years and she's incredibly patient with Lacey and all of her issues.
Ava and Lacey, both of Hannah's friends but not fans of each other, come with their own set of problems. Ava's number one flaw is her self centeredness and passive aggressive behavior which was rather annoying. Even when it appears that she's doing something nice for Hannah, it's just that, an "appearance". Lacy is her own brand of "crazy" (laughs while typing) but you can't help but love her. That leaves Sebastian and he is a typical teenage guy. He's not thinking too much beyond the "here and now" and is all about having a good time, whoever that good time might be.
I enjoyed this book even if I didn't always agree with the choices the characters were making. It has all of the dramatic highs and lows of a popular T.V. teen drama with a famous zip code, while also incorporating a "Groundhog Day" feel. The only difference being, these characters don't have to repeat the day's events over and over again.
The witty humor
They way the story was pieced together...The time frame switched between the events of the summer leading up to the first day of school, and the actual first day of school when everything all came to a head
The way the author made you still love Hannah even though she was in the wrong
Some of My Favorite Quotes:
"...and I felt like I was actually doing something instead of being completely unproductive and consuming my weight in ice cream (which, let's be honest, was only going to get harder and harder as my weight went up.)"
"I grab another magazine and start to read angrily. Well I'm not sure you can really read angrily. But you can make it clear that you're upset by sighing a lot and ruffling the pages. Which is what I'm doing now."
YA contemporary fans
Given the premise of this book I wasn't sure I would like it: Girl cheats with best friend's boyfriend - been there read that. However, I was pleasantly surprised. I never got bored with the story because the time frame of the story was always changing, and not in a confusing way. Despite the fact that you can feel Hannah getting ready to make a terrible mistake, you still find yourself cheering for her. This book shows that things are usually not just one person's fault, and everyone makes mistakes or "Sometimes It Happens". This was a great quick summer read.