Michelle's Review: Sometimes It Happens by Lauren Barnholdt

sometimesithappens ARC: 320 pages
Publisher: Simon Pulse

Release Date: July 12, 2011
ISBN: 9781442413146

Source of my copy: publisher
Series: none
Synopsis (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...

Michelle's Review:
After reading and thoroughly enjoying Lauren Barnholdt's Two-Way Street, I was really excited to read Sometimes It Happens. Plus I really like what I like to call the "Something Borrowed" (after the Emily Giffin novel) plot where two girls are the best of friends and then the "good girl" friend/heroine ends up "stealing" her more extrovert BFF's boyfriend. I'm always curious how an author will tackle it. To me it's not an easy plot to pull off because the reader, still needs to like and care for the heroine even after she steals her best friend's boyfriend and the boyfriend himself needs to be swoon-worthy enough that it's believable for a girl to throw away years of [if somewhat unbalanced] friendship for him.

And that was what happened in Sometimes It Happens. Hannah was the introvert, "nice girl" and she was best friends with Ava, who was more outgoing and has a take-charge kind of personality. Ava had her good qualities and was not a horrible girl but I did immediately take to Hannah. There were hints that there was a disparity in their friendship throughout the book but I wish their friendship was explored more. Hannah did grow as a character--in the beginning of the book she's very depressed about her boyfriend cheating on her and their break-up and she's very dependent on Ava (who was really her only friend). By the end, she did learn to stand up on her own without Ava, formed new friendships, was stronger and more assertive. As for Noah, he was such a sweetheart--he's definitely crush-worthy. I really enjoyed watching him and Hannah start to develop feelings for each other as they worked and spend time together in the summer. There were a lot of ups and downs for these two as they both fought their feelings for each other but I thought the development of their relationship (from friendship to love) was well-done.

The novel's chapters alternate between the first day of senior year and the summer before senior year. Hannah narrates the story in first person in both instances and I did like the set up of the book, though I preferred reading the summer parts because of the Hannah and Noah cuteness. Yes, Lauren Barnholdt did pull off the "Something Borrowed" plot though I thought the situation between Hannah and Ava was tied up too neatly in the end. The ending was one of those [spoiler--highlight to read →] "happy sigh" types but I wish there was an epilogue (maybe during their high school graduation) just to see how everyone is doing. Overall, this book was a quick, entertaining read with a really sweet friendship-to-love romance. If you're looking for a summer read with lots of friend and boy drama, look no further than Sometimes It Happens. 4 out of 5 stars

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