15 July 2011

SOMETIMES IT HAPPENS by Lauren Barnholdt

SOMETIMES IT HAPPENS by Lauren Barnholdt
YA - Hardcover, 320 pages
Published July 12, 2011

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...

SOMETIMES IT HAPPENS is a contemporary YA with romance, lying, cheating, and… CHEMISTRY. Oh, the smoldering.

At the start, we learn that Hannah is nervous about school starting because she wants to avoid three people: Sebastian (the ex who broke her heart at the end of the last school year), Noah (the friend she spent the summer falling for), and Ava (her BFF who is away for the summer and just so happens to be Noah’s girlfriend). She doesn’t know what will happen when she sees them all, and she wishes she didn’t have to find out.

I really liked how the chapters alternated from the first day of Hannah’s senior year to flashbacks starting at the beginning of the summer, until the story ends up at present day. Because of the alternating time, you’re not quite sure why Hannah’s freaking out at the start of senior year, but you’ll have your suspicions until you find out and will be able to commiserate with her troubles throughout.

I’m not big on cheating storylines, although not entirely against them. (It happens, so why wouldn’t it happen in realistic books?) Usually, the main problem I have is that the cheating main character is unlikable, irredeemable and I end up rooting against them. That is NOT the case with Hannah in this story. She’s smart, funny, and just a little bit lost. And Noah! Oh, the sweetness! And the witty banter! And the WHY IS AVA YOUR GIRLFRIEND?!

As you read, waiting for the timelines to intersect, you’ll be filled with questions: What exactly happened between Hannah and Noah? Will they end up together at the end? What will happen when everyone found out? How will Ava react? And you won’t want to stop until you have the answers.

SOMETIMES IT HAPPENS is full of realistic characters you’ll root for (or against!), and manages to be a fun read, even with the main character stressing over falling for her best friend’s boyfriend. This was my first Lauren Barnholdt, but it certainly won’t be my last!

Thanks to Simon & Schuster's Galley Grab for providing me with a review copy.


  1. Love this review! I love the drama in the book as well as the secrets being spilled. Soo good!

  2. Ok you've convinced me. I had my reservations on this book (even though I am a Barnholdt fan). Cheating in YA books is a touchy subject for me. It has to be done right in order for me to get something from the book. I loathe characters who end the story by not learning anything from their actions. I read a book (won't mention names unless you're that curious) that totally did this & it made me SO mad at the book.

    If you want more Barnholdt I suggest Two-way Street or One Night That Changes Everything. I have both, so let me know if you'd like to borrow :-)


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