Happenstance #1

Posted 17 April 2015 by Kim in Book Review / 0 Comments

Happenstance #1Happenstance by Jamie McGuire
Series: Happenstance #1
Published by Jamie McGuire LLC on 2014-05-9
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 100
Source: personal purchase | eBook

FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from personal purchase in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

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From the back cover...

Erin Easter, one of three Erins in the small senior class of rural Blackwell High School who not only share a first name, but also their birthday. Erin Easter, raised by a neglectful single mom, keeps to herself and admires Weston Gates from afar. The other Erins, Erin A. and Erin M. are the darlings of the community: daughters of the two wealthiest families in town, best friends, cheerleaders, and everything Erin Easter isn't--and they never let her forget it. Erin A. has even claimed Weston since the 8th grade.

Weston is a well-liked star athlete, and the son of two prominent attorneys. He struggles daily with the pressures of living up to his family name and secretly empathizes with Erin Easter's feeling that she belongs somewhere else; in a different life. Not until he begins sneaking nights out with Erin does he gain the courage to buck expectations and acknowledge his feelings ... both for his future, and for her.

But when a shocking tragedy rocks the tiny town, Erin's life is turned upside down in the best way possible. But when the truth is revealed and everything Erin thinks she wanted falls into her lap, life only becomes more complicated.

My Review

Happenstance is a story of love, of betrayal, of mean girls, of secrets, and of finding your place in the world.

Erin Easter has spent her life on the outside of the social scene, more frequently the target of neverending bullying.  She is one of three Erin’s in her small senior class, the other two best friends and mean girls who tend to spearhead the bullying.  Once the three were close, but something happened to change all that.  Her loneliness was heart-wrenching, but somehow through it all, she remained strong and brave.  Her life at home with an addict mother had made her wiser than her years, and given her a life of responsibility, as well as yet another reason for her classmates to bully her.  She spent most of her life just trying to keep her head down and unnoticed, just trying to survive until she could escape and make a new life for herself.

Weston is the epitome of the YA hero… popular, gorgeous, and athletic.  But he is also a nice guy at heart, even if a little too influenced by his peers.  His girlfriend just happens to be one of the mean girl Erins.  I wanted him to be Erin’s hero from the very beginning, but it was slow in coming, which I suppose is a more realistic portrayal of that kind of situation.  To stand up against your friends for someone who is so socially removed can be hard and it takes courage that many teens just don’t have for fear of that bullying coming back on them.

But what I loved most about Happenstance is that Erin didn’t need a hero.  She didn’t need a knight in shining armor to swoop in and save the day.  She wasn’t making any big stands for herself against those bullying her, but she was surviving.  She had a goal that motivated her… to go to college and to escape.  If anything, it is Weston who needs saving.  Erin is teaching him how important it is to be strong for yourself, to have the strength to be who you want to be.

While this is a book about transformation and acceptance, there is a twist.  And that twist throws everything into turmoil and changes not just Erin’s life, but those around her, too.  It makes for an interesting setup for the rest of the series.

This is a book with some heavy subject matter and powerdful messages about strength and character and standing up for what is right.  It is a beautiful story with a lot of promise.

Rating Report
Plot
four-stars
Characters
four-stars
Writing
four-stars
Pacing
four-stars
Cover
five-stars
Overall: 4.2

About Jamie McGuire

Jamie McGuire was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma. She attended Northern Oklahoma College, the University of Central Oklahoma, and Autry Technology Center where she graduated with a degree in Radiography.

Jamie paved the way for the New Adult genre with the international bestseller Beautiful Disaster. Her follow-up novel, Walking Disaster, debuted at #1 on the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestseller lists. Beautiful Oblivion, book one of the Maddox Brothers books, also topped the New York Times bestseller list, debuting at #1.

Novels also written by Jamie McGuire include: apocalyptic thriller, Red Hill; the Providence series, a young adult paranormal romance trilogy; Apolonia, a dark sci-fi romance; and several novellas, including A Beautiful Wedding, Among Monsters: A Red Hill Novella, and Happenstance: A Novella Series.

Jamie lives on a ranch just outside of Enid, Oklahoma with her husband, Jeff, and their three children. They share their thirty acres with cattle, six horses, three dogs, and a cat named Rooster.

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