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Seventeen-year-old Hanna has been in love with Seth for as long as she can remember, but now that she and Seth are in an actual relationship, love isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Seth is controlling and all they seem to do anymore is fight. If that’s what love ...
Seventeen-year-old Hanna has been in love with Seth for as long as she can remember, but now that she and Seth are in an actual relationship, love isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Seth is controlling and all they seem to do anymore is fight. If that’s what love is, Hanna doesn’t want any part of it. Besides, she has something else on her mind: graduation. But she’s been ignoring the school’s community service requirement, and now she needs to rack up some hours in a hurry.
Hanna volunteers as a caretaker for her neighbor Mrs. Schoenmaker—an elderly woman with advanced Parkinson’s whose husband can’t always be there to watch over her. While caring for Mrs. S., Hanna becomes mesmerized by an audiobook that the older woman is listening to, a love story of passion, sacrifice, and complete devotion. She’s fascinated by the idea that love like that really exists, and slowly, the story begins to change her. But what Hanna doesn’t know is that the story she’s listening to is not fiction—and that Mrs. Schoenmaker and her husband’s devotion to each other is about to reach its shattering, irrevocable conclusion....
Spellbinding, timeless, and achingly poignant, How It Ends is a story of how love ends, how it begins, and how people and events have the ability to change who we are without our even realizing it.
This is not exactly the exciting new high school experience I had in mind.
I'm a month into St. Ignatius, a regional, parochial school nine miles from home and I still don't know what I'm doing, where I'm going, or how I'm supposed to be.
Plus, this is the ugliest uniform in the world. It's true. I would like to know what girl-hating hag cursed us with knee-length brown plaid polyester skorts, long sleeveless vests, and baggy yellow polyester blouses.
I wish Crystal's parents had transferred her here, too, instead of keeping her in public school. Then we could be miserable together.
Oh, and I definitely need new shoes. Mine are loser wear.
I'd still rather be here with five hundred new kids, though, than stuck with nobody but the same boring, cliqued-out crew from junior high. They move in huddled masses just like they did in ninth grade, and seeing that makes me feel like some kind of intrepid pioneer striking out on my own.
Hanna's big adventure.
It's scary but I kind of like it.
(Cue Grandma Helen's voice) Back straight! Stand tall! Look 'em in the eye! Smile! Never let 'em see you sweat!
(Cue my voice) Be brave, Hanna.
School would be a lot easier if I had a partner in crime.
I miss Crystal.
I've done some research and found that most of the older girls' uniforms are way shorter and tighter than mine. I asked someone about it and she said that's because everybody hems them up and takes them in. They wear killer heels and black panty hose, too. All against the rules, but most of the nuns are old and slow, so even if one tries to snag you on a dress code violation, you can usually outrun her before she IDs you.
Turns out only us lame sophomores wear long, baggy uniforms.
Time to convince Gran to do a serious overhaul on this hideous skort.
Well, it took whining, pleading, and begging but she's hemming my skort even though my father said he didn't spend three hundred dollars on a uniform to see it turned into something too small to wear to the beach. I said everybody wears them that way, and he said (of course), Come on, Hanna, if everybody else jumped off the Brooklyn Bridge...
He is so tiresome sometimes.
My mother laughed and told him it was just history repeating itself because she'd gone to parochial school, too, and had a uniform just as ugly, and she'd always rolled her skirt up at the waist because feeling ugly was no way to spend your whole high school career.
My father just looked at her and shook his head like she was hopeless.
She laughed again and tickled him in passing. He told her to quit it but I could tell he was trying not to smile.
I love it when everybody's happy.
Oh my God, I'm in love.
I must have him.
He's a junior, beautiful, sexy, sweet, and I found out that Bailey, the girl he really loved last year, broke his heart so now he supposedly parties hard and goes out with a lot of different girls because he was too hurt and doesn't want to be again. He plays guitar, too, and hangs out in the courtyard.
I need to make the courtyard my new hangout ASAP.
I never felt anything like this before. I love his eyes and his smile and his hair and just everything. He's really tall, blond, and a little skinny but it looks perfect on him. He even makes a uniform jacket and tie look hot.
He hasn't noticed me yet but I can change that, I just know it. Good thing Gran Helen hemmed this uniform. Now at least when he does look at me, he'll be able to tell I'm a girl.
Also, I hung out with another sophomore named Sammi Holloway who I think might be my next partner in crime. We're pretty different — she's thinner, flatter, richer, and sleeker than me, and next to her I feel like nothing but flyaway hair, frayed edges, and loose ends — but she cracks me up bad and so far I like her a lot.
I think we could have great adventures together.
Life is very exciting these days.
I took too many classes. I have to drop some right now. They're interfering with my chance to meet Seth. The days are rushing by and I'm not getting anywhere because of all these stupid classes! I tried to dump algebra and physical science but Mr. Sung in guidance won't let me. So maybe journalism and...what? There's nothing else I can get rid of. I don't mind dumping journalism; it's all about facts, and who needs facts when imagining what could happen is so much more satisfying?
I kept creative writing but dropped journalism so now I have an extra free period and I just found out that for some reason my name isn't on the sophomore Mandatory Community Service list. Yay! I probably should be worried about this but I'm not, and I'm sure not bringing it up. I can use the time for my Seth quest. I'll just make it up next year or something.
I love a good computer glitch.
My parents went on a date last night — which kind of freaked me out because the last time they did that was like two years ago, and right after, they argued about growing apart — so I went down to Crystal's and we passed the time hanging out with her older brother and his friends. They were full of compliments and if I didn't like Seth so much, I probably could have found myself a boyfriend.
I hope he appreciates this sacrifice.
Oh. My. God.
Seth noticed me today. For real. And it was good.
No, better than good.
I was caught in a stream of kids changing classes, flowing down the right side of the hall, and there he was, heading toward me in the stream on the left side, ambling along, head and shoulders above the crowd, laughing at something somebody said and kind of scanning oncoming traffic as he walked.
I looked at him right as he looked at me and I swear time stopped. He held my gaze for like a full three seconds, then smiled this sweet little sideways smile and lifted his chin in a Hi. I smiled back and then we passed and he didn't break the connection until he was almost past me.
He saw me. Out of all the hundreds of other people in that hall, it was me that he smiled at. Me!
These teachers take their classes way too seriously. I mean, I'm fifteen; I have like another seventy years to worry about zygotes or circumferences or whatever.
I wish I could just learn what I'm interested in, which would be creative writing, psychology, and nature stuff. And not biology. I don't want to hack open dead animals; I want to study them alive and healthy.
If I ever have to take biology, I'm boycotting carving up dead things, and too bad about the grade. If anybody makes me do it, I'll just throw up on purpose every single day all over the lab until they let me out. I don't care. I will not mangle dead animals.
Gran won't mind. Heck, she'll probably give me a medal.
(Cue Gran's voice): No, Hanna, we don't kill spiders; they're the perfect natural insect control. Careful, you almost stepped on that beetle. Look, the spring fawns are out frolicking on the lawn!
Yes, she actually uses words like frolicking.
She is so embarrassing sometimes. (I would never tell her that, though. It would hurt her feelings too badly. Actually, I'd better call her soon or else her and Grandpa will show up at school or something just to make sure I'm still alive.)
Anyway, what I really need is less classes and more free time. How else am I supposed to develop into a sociable, well-rounded human being if I never have the time to get my hands on Seth?
Sammi's doing trash pickup along the roads with a bunch of other kids for her community service, and yesterday some lady in a Lexus stopped and asked if they were from a juvenile detention center because usually only prisoners from the county jail pick up garbage, but they wear orange jumpsuits so everyone know they're prisoners out on work detail.
Sammi, being tired, disgusted, and a smart-ass said they usually wore brown plaid uniforms and wouldn't get released unless they completed their mandatory service, too.
The lady looked righteous and said, Well, I don't know what you did to get into this situation, but I certainly hope you've learned your lesson, and drove away.
Sammi said it was funny but also pretty humiliating, and next year she's just gonna stuff envelopes or something instead.
God, I'm glad I escaped this.
I've been sitting out on the curb in the courtyard in my free time, pretending to read or page through my notebooks but really watching Seth from beneath my hair and trying my hardest to will him to come over and fall in love with me.
So far, it isn't working.
I am learning him, though, by watching and listening, and sooner or later that's got to be worth something. I've already discovered that he smokes Marlboros, loves South Park, and is a killer flirt when he's high. He also seems to be addicted to bitchy girls with long nails, ankle bracelets, and cool, you-can't-touch-this smiles, which is kind of depressing.
"Hey," Sammi said, plopping down on the curb beside me. "Anything good going on?"
"You-know-who likes ankle bracelets," I said glumly.
"I hate ankle bracelets," I said.
"I like them," she said, leaning back on her hands and turning her face to the sun. "I think they're hot."
"I don't," I said. "They remind me of shackles."
She snorted, amused. "Oh, c'mon Hanna, you can't tell me that if he walked up to you and said you'd look hot wearing an ankle bracelet, you wouldn't go right out and get one."
"No," I said, irritated, and then, "You're a pain in the butt, you know that?"
"I love you, too," she said, smirking and bumping her shoulder against mine. Copyright © 2009 by Laura Battyanyi Wiess
Posted March 29, 2010
I Also Recommend:
Laura Wiess is an exceptional author who continues to amaze with her books. This book titled How it Ends is her third book.
Hanna is the main character. She lives in a rural area. Her next door neighbors have known her since she was little. Hanna refers to them as Grandma Helen and Grandpa Lon, even though they have no relation to her. As a little girl Hanna would constantly be over their house, and since they never had any children, they fell in love with her. "Grandma" always took Hanna under her wing and told her about her own life when she was little. She showed Hanna around the forest and even educated her about the forest animals. Hanna always loved the animals and was very worried about animals dying.
Soon enough, she is a teenager going through her high school years. She hardly vists Grandma Helen and Grandpa anymore. She is infatuated with a boy named Seth, who is very popular and into girls that do not fit her description. Evenso, Hanna is determined to make Seth her boyfriend. She goes the long way to classes just to sneak a glimpse of him, and even tries to become friends with some of his friends just to get closer to him.
As her life is continually getting bombarded with feelings of lust and love, she is becoming the biggest flirt in school. Grandma Helen is so upset that Hanna will not even come over for a small bit of time and she is afraid that she is not seeing her grow up, or she is growing up too quickly. Helen is constantly wanting to tell her something important, but she seems afraid to tell Hanna. As the old woman continues to get older and more sick from old age, she thinks she will never get a chance to tell Hanna the story she desperately wants her to know.
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Thank you so much my fist two members!!!!!! Remember, your duties are find nook s.e.x., stop it, and recrute new members. We need to build the SNS together!-CassyWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 23, 2012
Must read book . Powerful and Deep. You fall in love with the characters and you feel so connected and really come too love them . Amazing book . I cried during this read . If you are reading this review and thinking about purchasing it . Please do ! I loved most how it soo real life .Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 24, 2011
Posted July 30, 2011
This book was so good!!! I finished it in one day because I could not put it down! It made me tear up a couple of times too. It's a beautifully written book. I think my mom would even love this book. It's for everybody.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 29, 2010
Posted July 31, 2010
This was the first book I have read by author Laura Wiess... I can't wait to read her other books! This is probably one of the best books I have read for a very long time, I can only compare the emotional response I had to it to be greater than when I read "The Notebook" by Nicholas Sparks. I literally had to put the book down because I couldn't see through the tears. A gripping story women of every age can relate to.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 5, 2010
I had started reading this one quite a while ago and had put it down because I just wasn't that into it. However I am so glad that I picked it back up. Once I got into it the story just starts going and you are taken away with it.
The main character are Hanna and Helen. Hanna is a teenager who is dealing with things most teenage girls deal with. Helen is dealing with aging and the ravages that can have on the body. The story follows the two through their own issues and shows us how their relationship has shaped them.
This is as much a love story as it is a coming of age story. While I liked Hanna I didn't really connect with her. Even though her life seems pretty typical for a teenage girl I was not and never have been typical. So I could understand what she was going through, but I couldn't relate because I've never really been in her shoes.
I loved the audio book that Hanna and Helen listened to together. To me that was where the real story took place. The audio book has all the makings of a great story. Love, sacrifice, pain, suffering, and friendship. It was truly a story that examined the human condition in its many many forms.
It was a bit odd to read a story that was being read in a different story, it was an interesting idea and I think Weiss pulled it off without making it weird or distracting.
Hanna and Helen were very well developed. Helen's story really pulled at my heart strings and I cried on multiple occasions. There were a few points that I was close to sobbing. I really got lost in this book and just let myself become absorbed completely by the story.
This was a great book. I haven't cried this hard reading a book in quite a while. I will absolutely be picking up more of Weiss' work.
Posted October 11, 2009
This book was one of the best fictional stories that I'VE ever read.The story had my attention from begining to end. And i must say the book it's just good for teen reading but adult reading as well. It was so easy to relate to Hanna wanting the guy to like you so much that you make certain sacrifice's that you thought you would never do! And I must have cried so hard as if I was listening the audiobook instead of reading the story. I never thought for one moment that it was going to end the way it did! I can't wait to read "Such a pretty girl". I reflect o the story and my Heart is still CRYING.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 1, 2009
Laura Wiess' books have always had the ability to leave me shocked, speechless, and in love, but How it Ends went above and beyond anything I could've ever expected from her. When I first read the summary of her newest book I thought, "This doesn't sound like Laura Wiess at all to me," but this maybe the best book she's ever written.
I've never read a book before that moved me so emotionally and has made me cry that hard. Seriously, I had to put the book down because I couldn't see and just cry into my pillow. And it wasn't the pretty kind of crying, it was the nasty blubbering kind. I've said it before: I don't cry. At least, not while reading books. But, damn, Laura Wiess got me with this one. I don't know what it is, but she really knows how to move me with her novels.
And I must say that she did a splendid job of telling a story within a story. Which sounds very difficult--and it must have been--and confusing, but it wasn't. Both stories flowed together so effortlessly that it seemed only natural for the book to be told that way. There wasn't a story that I liked better than the other because both had such important things to tell the reader about the characters.
Though Hanna definitely grated on the nerves a little, she was so dumb when it came to boys. And I'm saying that as nicely as possible. She could never see who the better guy was and repeatedly picked the one who was mean and careless about her feelings.
I can't even begin to touch on the subject of Hanna and Helen's relationship though. Helen was such a wonderful woman, even if she did lie to Hanna about her past but she did it with the best intentions. And I was mad with Hanna for ignoring her, and out-growing her, and for cutting their "connection". It wasn't deserved. Though, I was happy that they were able to mend their relationship while it lasted.
Laura Wiess did an amazing job on this book. Such a Pretty Girl will always be close to my heart but How it Ends may have beat it for my favorite book. I have not been able to stop thinking about since I finished and I don't think I ever will.
Posted August 21, 2009
Synopsis, courtesy of author's website:
All Hanna's wanted since sophomore year is Seth. She's gone out with other guys, even gained a rep for being a flirt, all the while hoping cool, guitar-playing Seth will choose her. Then she gets him - but their relationship is hurtful, stormy and critical, not at all what Hanna thinks perfect love should be. Bewildered by Seth's treatment of her and in need of understanding, Hanna decides to fulfill her school's community service requirement by spending time with Helen, her terminally ill neighbor, who she's turned to for comfort and wisdom throughout her life. But illness has changed Helen into someone Hanna hardly knows, and her home is not the refuge it once was. Feeling more alone than ever, Hanna gets drawn into an audiobook the older woman is listening to, a fierce unsettling love story of passion, sacrifice, and devotion. Hanna's fascinated by the idea that such all-encompassing love can truly exist, and without even realizing it, the story begins to change her.
The book holds two strong stories with Hanna at the center. First, the teenage love story of Hanna and Seth. Equally important is the close friendship that Hanna has with her older neighbor, Helen.
The first time we meet Hanna, she's a young child spending time with her neighbor while her parents go through a difficult patch. As far as Hanna and Helen are concerned,their longtime friendship has made them family. Although Hanna spends less time with Granna Helen as she gets older, their friendship means as much to them as it did when they had spent every afternoon together. But Helen is sick and wants to tell Hanna the truth about her life, to clear away all of the fairy tales that she'd woven for the young child Hanna had been.
Helen's point of view struck me as the clearest and most interesting in the novel, whether when grappling with how to disclose the truth to her friend Hanna or facing her own mortality.
The book is wonderfully written, with carefully crafted characters and an unusual plot. I recommend it highly.
Publisher: MTV (August 4, 2009), 368 pages.
Courtesy of the publisher.
Posted July 16, 2009
HOW IT ENDS is the intertwining story of Hanna and Helen. Next-door neighbors and a generation apart, the two women have a tenuous bond. Helen misses the days when Hanna would come over and stay until she had to go home at night. Hanna is growing up and is more concerned about boys and being popular than spending time with elderly Helen.
When Hanna was little, her parents relied on Helen to keep an eye on her. Hanna's parents were having problems, and Helen and Lon became surrogate grandparents to her. She learned many things from Helen, such as canning, sewing, and an appreciation for the wildlife that lived in their backyards. Hanna kept Helen young, or at least young at heart.
But Helen has kept a secret from Hanna. She's told Hanna the romantic story of how she met and fell in love with Lon. But they're only stories. And as Helen ages, she knows that she has to reveal the truth to Hanna. But how?
Helen is slowly dying. Hanna's school has a community service requirement. To meet the commitment, Hanna gets her school to agree to allow Hanna be an after school assistant to Helen. Helen's illness has become too much for Lon to handle alone. His health is not the best either and everything requires care.
So in the afternoons, when Hanna visits, she and Helen sit and listen to audio books. Helen's illness progresses to the point where she can only blink for yes or no. She encourages Hanna to keep listening to the current book, How It Ends.
The audio book frustrates Hanna with the ups and downs that the main character, Louise, struggles through. It isn't until after the story is over and Hanna is called next door that the true meaning of the audio book is revealed.
HOW IT ENDS was a beautiful story. I took it on vacation with me and one evening, after everyone else had turned in, I sat curled up on the couch and read most of the book in one sitting as a thunderstorm raged outside. By the time I got to the last page, my eyes had welled with tears, and I just sat pondering the book for a while before I could even consider trying to sleep. I love when a book can touch your heart so strongly.
For anyone who enjoyed Nicholas Sparks' THE NOTEBOOK, HOW IT ENDS should not be missed.
Posted August 6, 2009
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Posted July 4, 2011
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Posted June 23, 2010
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