Tuesday, May 6, 2014


Title: Happenstance
Author: Jamie McGuire
Publisher: Jamie McGuire LLC (May 9, 2014)
Print Length: 100 pages
Source: Author
Rating: 4.5 stars

#1 New York Times Bestseller Jamie McGuire returns to self-publishing with this page-turning YA account of 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
I have a confession: I was a popular girl in school. Very, very popular (but nice, I promise). Despite the popularity, though, I wasn't especially happy, and I don't look at those years as the glory days. My point in all this is: when I read YA, I don't tend to find myself identifying with the popular girls, but the girls on the outside. Characters such as Erin Easter.

With Erin Easter, Jamie McGuire created a poignant, heart-wrenching portrayal of loneliness and
bravery in the face of unrelenting bullying. I was amazed by her strong spirit. She is a girl who's only
hoping to keep her head down, to survive long enough to get out. I wish I could push Happenstance in the hands of those who face bullying and neglect on a daily basis. To show them that they are not alone, and they are worthy of love, respect and kindness.

Weston. He's that boy you see in a lot of YA books and movies: popular, but nice. Weston's girlfriend is one of the Erins, and yes, that's such a bummer but not unexpected. It's easy to quickly see that Weston is better than he's allowing himself to be. I wanted Weston to stand up for Erin, to take a stand. To be Erin's hero. Knowing how difficult that is, I wasn't surprised by the time it took, but endeared by his courage. To stand up to everyone you know takes guts, and that is another aspect I loved about Happenstance, having the courage to stand up and do what's right.

The thing is, Erin doesn't need a hero. She only wants out. Maybe through Erin, Weston can find the strength to be the person he wants to be. Maybe they can save each other...

But then. Then Happenstance takes a huge turn. The synopsis mentions a tragedy, and yes, that tragedy definitely shakes up Erin and Weston's world. But that's not all! There were a couple of small, passing hints that more was in store for Erin Easter. When the twist plays out, everything changes, spinning Erin's life completely around, and setting us up for a very interesting series indeed. I cannot wait to see how the Erin's story plays out. You can bet I will be there every step of the way.

About the author
New York Times best selling author Jamie McGuire has penned the Providence series and contemporary romance Beautiful Disaster. She lives in Oklahoma with her husband and three children. She is an RT(R), a graduate of Autry and Oklahoma Northern College, and a full time writer.

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  1. I must say, Andrea, that "Jamie McGuire created a poignant, heart-wrenching portrayal of loneliness and bravery in the face of unrelenting bullying." got me a bit emotional. I can't stand bullying and this sounds like an overwhelming read, also captivating. Erin and Weston got me really interested!
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts and I'm very happy it worked so amazingly well for you!

  2. I'm very anxious to read this book and know it's going to be an emotional one. I've dealt with bullying in my past and the fact that it's just gotten worse over the years breaks my heart for the kids that suffer through it. Wonderful review, Andrea! I'm really glad to hear how much you enjoyed it.

  3. This sounds so good. I honestly wasn't sure what to expect with this one, but it sounds like a fantastic read. Great review Andrea!

  4. Thanks - this sounds good and I have now added it to my list :)

  5. You made those quote pics didn't you? I didn't have any intention of reading this when I first heard about it because the synopsis seemed confusing but the quotes and your review changed my mind. Now I'm looking forward to it. Great post!

  6. This is like a prequel? Didn't know that. I'll probably wait until the next book comes out to read this. Wonderful review, Andrea! :)

  7. Ahhh! This sounds so good!! I can't wait to read it. :) Glad you enjoyed it!

  8. Wonderful review, Andrea. I'm going to read it...and then I'll probably have my daughters read it as well. I'm happy you loved it!

  9. A short read and a well written one, my grabby hands are itching. I haven't read any of her books, BD sounded too angsty for my taste. This one is more up my style

  10. Well if I wasn't convinced before, I sure as heck am now! I can't wait to read this! Is it part of a series? Or a prequel novella?

  11. Great Review Andrea! I'm going to get this one for sure! I like the idea of both characters saving each other!

  12. I haven't read any of her books yet. I see this is only 100 pages... it isn't a serial, is it? This sounds really good though, and now I NEED to know what the tragedy is.

  13. Apparently this book needs to be on the shelf in my classroom. Great review.

  14. looks like it's going to be another amazing read from Jamie McGuire , but this book sounds so much deeper.

  15. I have yet to read a McGuire book, but I'm curious to see if I'll like her writing. Gotta find time to read one of her books!

  16. Wonderful review. I can't wait to start this one.


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