Estelle: Sometimes It Happens by Lauren Barnholdt

Sometimes It Happens by Lauren Barnholdt
Pages: 320
Release Date: July 12, 2011
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Target Audience: Young Adult, Contemporary Romance
Format: Nook download
Why I picked it up: Total impulse buy!
Summary: After her boyfriend cheats on her on the last day of school and she finds out her best friend is off to camp, Hannah plans to stay in bed and eat ice cream for the remainder of the summer. But Noah, her best friend’s boyfriend, is not going to let her wallow in her misery for long.

I always wonder what it is about writing that actually makes me feel the same stomach flips as the main character. Is it because I have a great grip on the characters? Is the story just so engrossing that it feels real? Or is the chemistry-building just so well-timed?

I have yet to figure it out.

But Sometimes it Happens is full of stomach flipping and secret glances and they feel pretty darn real. This book actually reminded me of a younger version of Something Borrowed (which I was very obsessed with at the beginning of last year). Now I know when cheating comes up people launch into a huge tirade about morals. I don’t blame them. Cheating isn’t the right way to handle things but it still happens. Love can be messy. And sometimes you feel things for the “wrong” person and I like that this book developed that situation in a mature way.

Sometimes people do things that are complicated. For complicated reasons.

There couldn’t be a truer statement when it comes to these characters. Hannah is dumped by her boyfriend before the summer even begins and her best friend, Ava, ditches her for a camp in Maine (which is so unlike her), and assigns boyfriend, Noah, to “watch over” Hannah. Another character named Lacey pops up – she was probably my favorite – who has some problems that parallel Hannah’s. Practically all the stars of this book have these “hidden” complications that unfold as the book goes on.

While it’s not the most original plotline (but then again, what is original anyway?), Barnholdt alternates each chapter between the happenings of the summer and the first day back at school (present day). This tactic just builds up the intensity of all of these characters reuniting after such a crazy summer. The book (even though basically a love story) has a lot to say about friendship too — the details we pick and choose to share with one another, in hopes the other will continue to see us in a particular way.  It’s not the easiest pill to swallow, but sometimes full disclosure ends up being in everyones best interest.

I’m happy to say that I enjoyed reading this book more than Barnholdt’s One Night That Changes Everything. I was actually surprised that both of these books were written by the same author. The tone, the voices, and the style are so different. While One Night was a fun and speedy read, the characters in Sometimes It Happens had more dimension and were more realistic. Plus it felt like there was a lot more riding on the events of this book.

So what happens when secrets are uncovered and truths are revealed? Pure chaos? There’s only one way to find out.

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5 thoughts on “Estelle: Sometimes It Happens by Lauren Barnholdt

  1. Cialina says:

    Oh I love Lauren Barnholdt! But as much as I love her writing style, this one isn’t my favorite. It’s mostly because of the moral issue, as you have pointed it out. I know the point of the story is that things happen, and sometimes things are complicated, but I just couldn’t let go. I still haven’t read One Night, but I don’t expect it to be better than my favorite Barnholdt book: Two-Way Street.

  2. VeganYANerds says:

    Great review, Estelle! I really want to read this even though I didn’t enjoy one of Lauren’s other books, Two Way Street, very much (the mis-communication annoyed me).

    I too love when you feel just like the main character does, I think it comes down to good writing and the character being really easy to relate to.


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