Sometimes It Happens by Lauren Barnholdt
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
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
My take: Lauren Barnholdt is a clear voice in YA literature. Her writing style is easy and concise. I liked the way she alternated time periods and that the present day was only one day. The past began with the last day of school and ended yesterday. Through the protagonist's thoughts, I easily saw her point of view of changed with her thought processes.
The best part about this book is that, although it takes the reader through the teenage drama and angst of high school, ultimately the message is one worth repeating. Get over it and move on. It's different than the message of redemption and forgiveness. It's much more simple and concise. The world is bigger than this moment and after a good cry, let it go. So not worth ruining your summer or senior year over. Not worth ruining a friendship over. A mistake does not define who you are.
Sometimes It Happens is about cheating. Being rather old fashioned, I thought the amount of casual sex in the book was excessive. On the other hand, if taken out of high school drama context, there really is a deep and meaningful message. Although the title sounds like the behavior can be dismissed as out of the person's control, I didn't get that message out of it.
Sometimes you screw up. Sometimes other people screw up. Sometimes your heart gets broken. Pick it up, put back together. Get over yourself. Get over the grudge. Figure it out and keep the long term objectives in mind.
Sex: Moderate but not explicit.
Language: Moderate. All words used.