Sometimes It Happens: a book recommendation

5 out of 5 stars.

This book was so much better than I expected–primarily because I went in with ZERO expectations and only a hazy idea of the story…

Well, the story, the characters, and the hilarity downright BLEW me away. I thought, “Oh, I’ll read a few pages before I go to bed…oh…wait…HAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Ooooh…” Three hours later, at 2 AM, I finally put it down…having read the entire, fantastic book.

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…

The story is told in alternating POVs–though they’re both Hannah’s POV, one story is set in present day and the other story begins 3 months earlier. So as we move through Hannah’s romance with Noah (oh, Noah is so wonderful), we also move through the “sh** hitting the fan”…

What makes it so entertaining though is that for every new problem that arises in the present day plot, we go back to the 3 months earlier plot and see how it was all set up. The chronology of the 3 months earlier plot mirrors present day while keeping the tension incredibly high. We know Noah and Hannah get together, but HOW? We know Hannah and Sebastian have issues, but WHAT? We know it’s all gonna go sour, but WHEN?

The highlight of the book for me, though, was hands down the characters. Hannah’s character is laugh-out-loud funny. There were SO many times I was giggling, chortling, or outright guffawing. She’s 3-dimensional–as are all of the secondary characters. She’s flawed–as are all of the secondary characters. And she’s lovable–as are all of the secondary characters.

So if you’re in the mood for a some great contemporary YA or fast, hilarious read, be sure to pick up Sometimes It Happens.

You tell me: have you read this book? Or any others by Lauren Barnholdt?