Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Sometimes it Happens (ARC)

Sometimes it Happens

Author: Lauren Barnholdt

Publisher: Simon Pulse

Pages: 256

Read Time: One Day

Tag Words: Contemporary fiction, high school, cheating in relationships, best friends, summer jobs, first time, being dumped, story told in flashbacks

My Summary:

It’s Hannah’s first day of senior year and things are already a mess.

She’s been dumped by her cheating ex-boyfriend...

She’s fallen for Noah, the boy she worked with all summer...

And she’s terrified of facing Ava, Noah’s girlfriend and her best friend...

Senior year just got a lot more complicated.

My Review:

This is my second Barnholdt and I remain unimpressed. I know that I am “known” for my open, honest reviews that still value the fact that everyone likes something different, but I have to say that these books are the ones I don’t like and I feel like if I say, “But hey, maybe it’s for you!” that I will end up insulting you because of why I don’t like these kind of books.

Some call them realistic fiction, some herald them as a stand for a true look at contemporary romance, but I just see books justifying flimsy teen morals for all. I’m sorry, but when the premise of your novel is the justification of “some times it happens,” for cheating I just want to gag.

Really? That is the great, knowledgeable truth that teenage America is being fed. That cheating can be justified because, “sometimes it happens?” I’m sorry, you don’t have to share my same belief system to look at that and think, “I don’t want my kid to believe that, they’ll be able to justify a life of one night stands with that attitude!” It is really flawed, slightly cowardly thinking and not something I would want influencing my child’s views on faithfulness.

If that catch phrase weren’t enough, the novel also implied that, as long as you cheated on your other with the person you were really suppose to be with all along, that that is okay. Acceptable. Romantic, even. Does any one else see the sadness in that?

I didn’t like the writing, either, not because it was bad, but it was typical. The MC goes off on a lot of satirically narrated rants that make her appear very teenagery and relateable, but really they just got on my nerves and distracted from the plot. The characters are extreme cursers and there were so many ‘Ohmigods’ I thought I was reading a Valley Girls melodrama.

Not the book for me, not the book for anyone who doesn’t believe romance comes at the price of infidelity.

Notes on the Names:

Good names, very yupster.

There was: Hannah, Noah, Sebastian, Ava, Lacey, Jemima, Jonah, Riker.

Thoughts on the Cover:

I love the colors on this cover and the title, done in a soft rainbow.

I think the model is interesting, though a bit generic.

Parental Book Review *spoilers*

Sexual Content:


Sex between teens.


Very Heavy

S- 28
B- 7
A- 22
D- 6
Jesus- 4
F- 8
God- 50



Sebastian and Noah almost get into a fist-fight

Ava slaps Hannah when it is discovered that Hannah slept with her boyfriend.

Other Notables:

Teens doing drugs

Teens partying in a home where adults are never present

Underage drinking

Rebound hook ups where girls make out with boys to spite their ex boyfriends

Talk about girl-on-girl action

Hannah and Sebastian do “everything but” in their physical relationship and that is how Hannah describes it.

Really, really not a clean book and on top of that the story lacks morals.


jennachristy said...

hmm.. I was curious about this book, but now that I’ve read your review and I share your views, I think I’m not gonna read it anymore. No sense trying to read something where I can’t enjoy and learn something. thanks! really great review!

jennachristy said...

I was really curious about the story’s ending and story, but now that I’ve read your review, I doubt if I’m going to read this (we have the same views). No sense trying to read something I wouldn’t enjoy. I like your way of reviewing, btw. thanks! :)

.Ambur. said...

Hmm, I read this one from Simon and Schuster's GalleyGrab too, but I definitely didn't take it the same way you did. I've definitely fallen for Lauren Barnholdt's writing style myself, I've been hooked since I read Two-Way Street last summer. lol

I think it's very interesting to read your review because I didn't interpret the story that way at all. I never thought this book was about Noah and Hannah having sex and that being the "Sometimes," for me the "sometimes it happens" part came from the idea that sometimes you fall for someone without meaning to. You know, sometimes it happens. I don't know if that makes any sense, but that was how I saw it. Yes, they did sleep together in the end, but I found this book to be more about their journey to get there, the fact that they slept together just added drama and was like a culmination of their feelings building over the summer.

And I know what you mean about it seeming like it was justifying them sleeping around and cheating, but I felt that it was more about making mistakes. The best time to make mistakes and learn from them are your teenage years. I'd find it a lot worse if they were adults and going with the idea that sometimes you cheat...oh well, but because they're teens and they definitely did feel bad about what they'd done, it was all about learning...at least for most of the characters. I don't really think Ava learned anything.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Gabrielle. :)