Sometimes It Happens

Sometimes It Happens

by Lauren Barnholdt
4.2 115


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Sometimes It Happens by Lauren Barnholdt

Cheating has consequences in this sparkly and humorous romance from the author of Two-Way Street and One Night That Changes Everything.

Hannah’s about to start her senior year, and she’s never been so scared. That’s because she’s going to have to face:
1. Sebastian: the guy who dumped her on the last day of junior year.
2. Noah: the guy she’s totally fallen for.
3. Ava: Noah’s girlfriend...and Hannah’s best friend.
As Hannah tries to figure out how she got herself into this colossal mess, one thing becomes crystal clear: there’s absolutely no way she’s going to make it through this day in one piece.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781442413153
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publication date: 06/12/2012
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 337,152
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range: 14 Years

About the Author

Lauren Barnholdt is the author of the teen novels The Thing About the Truth, Sometimes It Happens, One Night That Changes Everything, Two-way Street, Right of Way, and Watch Me. She is also the author of the middle grade novels The Secret Identity of Devon Delaney, Devon Delaney Should Totally Know Better, Four Truths and a Lie, Rules for Secret-Keeping, Fake Me a Match, and the Girl Meets Ghost series. She lives in Waltham, Massachusetts. Visit her at

Read an Excerpt

Sometimes It Happens

  • I really should not be so scared. I mean, I’ve done this millions of times before. Okay, maybe not millions. But for the last twelve years, on every weekday minus summers and vacations, I’ve gone to school. And I’ve never been afraid before. (Well, except for maybe a little bit in kindergarten, but isn’t everyone a little afraid in kindergarten? And besides, even then I wasn’t freaking out or anything. Not like Layna Hodge, who threw up all over the play box in the corner.)

    Today, the first day of senior year, I’m terrified. This is because there is a very good chance that at some point today I will:

    a. lose the love of my life,

    b. lose my best friend, or

    c. have an awkward encounter with the boy who broke my heart last year. (Note: This is a different boy than the previously mentioned love of my life. [See a.])

    I take a deep breath and grip the steering wheel of my new car, then pull into a spot in the visitor lot of my high school. I’m technically not supposed to be parked here, but the visitor lot is way closer to my homeroom than the student lot, and since it’s the first day of school, I’m pretty sure I can get away with it. Plus it won’t be as obvious if I have to peel out of here and make an escape. Okay, I tell myself, you can do this. You are invincible; nothing can rattle you. You have nerves of steel; you are a confident, strong woman; you—

    There’s a knock on the passenger side window and I scream, then immediately hit the automatic door locks.

    I look over. Oh. It’s only Lacey.

    She knocks on the window again, and I reluctantly unlock the doors.

    She slides into the passenger seat, her long, red curly hair pooling around her shoulders. She smells like coffee and strawberry-mango shampoo.

    “Hey,” she says, “What’s wrong? Why’d you freak out when I knocked on your window? And why are you parked in the visitor lot? It took me forever to find you.”

    “Nothing’s wrong,” I say. Which is a lie, of course. But I can’t tell Lacey that. She knows nothing about what went on this summer. She knows nothing of the fact that my best friend Ava is coming back today, that everything is different, and that everything is horrible. That I’m going to see Noah, that I’m going to see Sebastian, that I’m going to maybe end up in a mental institution by the end of the day. Although, a mental institution actually might be preferable to going to school, so that might not be such a bad thing, now that I think about it.

    “Just normal first day of school nerves,” I say brightly.

    “First day of school nerves?” Lacey says, like she’s never heard of them. Which kind of makes no sense, since Lacey is one of the most nervous people I know. “You need caffeine then,” she says. “It will fix you right up.” She holds out the cardboard carrier that’s in her hand. It’s filled with three cups from Starbucks, and one’s marked with my fave: a large vanilla latte with Splenda and extra cream.

    “Thanks.” I accept the huge coffee and take a sip. I don’t really buy into her reasoning that I need the caffeine, since it definitely isn’t going to calm me down. But maybe it’ll give me a shot of energy that will make me so buzzed I’ll be all excited to go into school. On the other hand, it’s only caffeine, not magic.

    “Where’s Noah?” she asks. “I brought him one, too.” Of course she did. Coffee with a shot of espresso, extra sugar, extra cream. The same drink he had every single day this summer, when the three of us worked together at Cooley’s Diner, but we always brought in our own coffee because the stuff at Cooley’s tastes disgusting. (Cooley’s Diner coffee = mud, only, like, more bitter and tinged with the taste of a dirty cup.)

    “Noah?” I ask, trying to keep my voice light. My hands tighten around my coffee, and I almost spill the whole thing all over myself. “I dunno.” I shrug, like Noah hasn’t even crossed my mind, when, of course, he’s the only thing I’ve been thinking about.

    “Didn’t you guys drive to school together?”


    “Why not? You guys drove to work together every day over the summer.”

    “Not every day,” I say. “And besides, I have a car now.” I run my hand over the steering wheel of my new car, the car that took me all summer to save up to buy. It’s red (perfect), four doors (perfect), a 2005 (adequate) and has 120K miles on it (not so perfect, but beggars can’t be choosers, especially when it comes to transportation.) “And besides,” I add, “Noah drives to school with Ava usually.”

    “Oh, right.” Lacey wrinkles up her nose. “I forgot that Ava’s back.” She says “Ava” like it’s a dirty word. “Sorry,” she says. “I know she’s your friend.”

    “That’s okay.” If Lacey thinks I’m acting weird, she doesn’t say anything, which is a good sign. If Lacey doesn’t realize anything’s going on, maybe Ava won’t either. And if Ava doesn’t, maybe Noah won’t. And that way we can just forget everything that happened this summer, especially what happened last night. Just push it all under the rug and start fresh. La, la, la, there it goes, like some kind of garbage being taken out to the curb, poof! I start to feel a little better. Maybe everything is going to work out after all. Of course, I don’t want to be the kind of girl with a scandalous secret, but sometimes you have to take what you can get and just—

    Suddenly, something slams into the back of my car, and my whole body flies forward, my chest hitting the steering wheel.

    “Shit!” Lacey says. Her fingers tighten around her coffee and the lid goes flying off, her cappuccino sloshing over the sides of the cup and splattering the front of the glittery silver tank top she’s wearing. “Shit, shit, shit!” She swivels her head around, strands of her hair whipping against her face.

    I look in the rearview mirror. A red car (something expensive—maybe a Lexus?) has backed into me, and the driver, a girl wearing camouflage capris (doesn’t she know those are so five years ago?), comes rushing out of the driver’s side, and then peers down at my bumper. She looks like she’s about to burst into tears.

    I close my eyes for a moment, and then open my door and climb out, Lacey hot on my heels.

    “What the hell is wrong with you?” Lacey demands. She pulls the sunglasses she’s wearing down off the top of her head and slides them over her eyes.

    “Oh my God, I’m like sooo sorry,” the girl says. She’s younger than us (probably a sophomore?) and she twists her hands into a knot in front of her. Her face is getting all scrunchy, like she really might be about to start crying.

    “It’s okay,” I say, kneeling down and inspecting my bumper. There’s a tiny scratch, about two inches long, running down one side of it. “It looks like it’s just a small scratch.”

    “A small scratch?” Lacey yells. She bends down and looks at the car. “You know how much small scratches cost to get fixed, Hannah? Like thousands of dollars!”

    “I’m so sorry,” the girl says again. She’s wearing Converse sneakers, a black tank top, and about three million pounds of black eyeliner.

    “It’s okay,” I say. She’s obviously one of those gothy girls who, like, pretends she’s over everything, but inside is about five seconds away from crying constantly. Seriously, goth girls cannot handle anything.

    “My dad is going to flip,” Goth Girl says. “He just got me this car. For a birthday present.”

    “Oh, God,” Lacey says. I’ll bet she’s rolling her eyes under the sunglasses, thinking of the hours and hours we spent this summer behind the counter at Cooley’s, sweating under the broken air conditioner and serving bottomless cups of coffee to the old men who would come in every day, sit for hours, and then tip us a dollar.

    “Look,” I say to the girl, before Lacey can tear into her again, “Can you just give me your insurance information?” I guess that’s what you’re supposed to do in these situations. I mean, I’m not completely sure, since I’ve never actually been in a car accident. Until a few days ago, I never even had a car.

    “Right,” the girl says. She heads to her car, rummages around in her glove compartment, and comes back. She carefully copies everything down onto a sheet of paper from a brand new black binder that’s covered with stickers of bands I’ve never heard of, then rips it out and gives it to me.

    “Thanks, Jemima,” I say, glancing down at her name on the paper. Jemima? No wonder she looks so nervous. With a name like that you’re probably used to bad things happening to you. Starting, of course, with your parents naming you Jemima.

    “Why were you pulling out of a space, anyway?” Lacey asks. “School’s about to start. Shouldn’t you have been pulling into a space?” She looks down at the coffee stain on her tank top. “Does your insurance cover clothing? Because this tank top was extremely expensive.” It’s a lie, of course. Lacey got that tank top for $12.99 at Old Navy.

    “I forgot something,” Jemima says, chewing on her bottom lip. “At home. So I was going back to get it. And I’ll pay for your tank top. How much did it cost?”

    “I hope your dad’s, like, a lawyer or something, being able to afford that fancy car. Because, honestly, if I get whiplash or some kind of neck affliction . . .” Lacey rubs her neck, ignoring Jemima’s tank top offer.

    “Okay, well, bye!” I say to Jemima, shooting her a look that says, get the hell out of here if you want to save yourself.

    She scampers away obediently before Lacey has a chance to threaten any more litigation.

    “Lacey!” I say. “You didn’t have to scare the poor girl.”

    “Sorry,” she says. “But Hannah, you have to be tougher on people. What if we were pushovers, and she decided to, like, commit insurance fraud or something so that she wouldn’t have to pay for your car.”

    “Insurance fraud? Lacey, I don’t think that’s really—”

    “Besides,” she says, “I’m the one who should be scared. I have a bad neck now probably.”

    “You do not have a bad neck,” I say, rolling my eyes. I walk back toward the car and open the door.

    “What are you doing?” Lacey asks. “It’s almost time for homeroom. The bell’s going to ring in, like, one minute, and I need to see what Danielle Shapiro is wearing. I’ll bet she has a fake tan with one of those little heart cutout things. You know, like skanky body art?”

    “You go ahead,” I tell her. “I’ll just—”

    “Hannah!” Lacey says. “You are coming into school! Forget about stupid Sebastian Bukowski and his dumb friends. You are sooo over him!” She crosses over to my side of the car and puts her hands on my shoulders. “Hannah, you are amazing. You are gorgeous and smart and you deserve someone way better than Sebastian. He doesn’t even deserve to be a passing thought through your brain.” She looks into my eyes. “Now, we are going to go into school, me and you, and no matter what happens, I’m going to be right by your side, okay? Nothing to worry about.”

    “Thanks, Lace,” I say, giving her a weak smile. I don’t have the heart or the strength to tell her that Sebastian’s not even the half of it. That he’s not even the quarter of it. I don’t have the heart to tell her about Ava, or about what happened with Noah last night. And I don’t have the strength to argue with her. So when she takes my hand, I don’t protest, and when she pulls me across the parking lot, I force my feet to march in the direction of school.

    Here goes nothing.

  • Customer Reviews

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    Sometimes It Happens 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 115 reviews.
    pagese More than 1 year ago
    One little events can change your life as well as the readers opinion on the whole situation. Such was the case with this story. Yeah...the description is misleading a little. I liked Hannah. I even felt sorry for her. Ava was a total bi#%h. It's no wonder that Hannah has no friends outside of her. I sure wouldn't want to hang out with her. So when Ava all of sudden decides to take a job as a camp counselor, Hannah has no idea who to turn. Ava, being the generous person that she is, had Noah check up on her. Why, I can never really figure out. I liked that Hannah makes new friends and step outside of her comfort zone. I really loved that she finally decided to see that maybe Ava wasn't the best person to be friends with. I really like Noah as well. He's funny, sweet, and seems to be able to bring Hannah out of her funk. What I don't see is what he ever saw in Ava. I like the dynamics of his relationship with Hannah. You can tell he's trying to step away from what he's feeling. And it's not that Hannah is always trying to put herself in front of him. He's trying to do the right thing. I also enjoyed Lexie. She's just the person that Hannah needed to become friends with. I found it interesting that she's dated the same person as Ava, but we don't know much about her until they become friends. What's obvious is Lexie and Ava's mutual dislike of each other. Feels like there's more of a story there. I actually was really enjoying this book until we learn what happened that night. I could have a forgiven a kiss. It wouldn't be the first time a girl likes her best friends boyfriend. But, I never pegged Hannah as the type to sleep with him. I don't buy the whole excuse "sometimes it happens." Because, that's one of those lines that shouldn't be crossed (even if your BFF is the type of person that Ava is). Plus, it felt so rushed and lacked the romance, even if they really do really care about each other. In real life, the best friend isn't really likely to forgive. And the labels that would come along with that make it even less likely that the guy is going to stick around (because you know the whole school is going to learn of this).
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    I really did enjoy this book, I was at Barnes and Noble with a friend and I happened to stumble upon it. I think the story was well-written and had me thinking more questions. Such as, I always wondered if Ava lied about the "tall boy" in the supermarket and If Ava and Hannah ever moved past what happened. I led my imagination to believe that Ava and Hannah would be at peace but never be close friends, but I also let myself believe that Noah and her stayed together. I always imagined that it would be about 4 months later and Noah and Hannah are in the hallway together and they see Ava with her new group of friends and Hannah stops Noah and smiled at Ava and she smiles back as if everything was okay between them but they need a bunch of time apart but that is only my imagination. I also don't blame what happened fully on Hannah and Noah, I blamed some of it on Ava because she left her best friend heart broken with a sweet guy, that's just asking for a disaster.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    This book was pretty good. It was serious and intresting. But i hate hannah and noah 4 wat they did to ava, they were really mean and overall i never liked them. Buy it tho, its a really good read.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    This book was great but in the review it said her boyfriends name was ryan but in the book its sebastion
    maybe_one_day More than 1 year ago
    Good. One of the best books I have ever read!! Read it!!
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    I LOVE this book. How much do I love this book? well you will see. I am a bookworm and I read like I don't know more than 10 books this year. I am obsessed with reading and this is actually my favorite book for this year. I mean this is why this is my favorite book for this year. Sometimes It happensis about a teenager who falls in love with her best friend's boyfriend. It happens in a teenage's daily life. The story isn't un realistic but normal. The story would happen to any teenager in high school. It is also very emotional and has romance in it of course. I love books that has romance.This book is about forbidden love between a teenager girl and her best friend's boyfriend. It talks about what happens after he finds out and what happens when her best friend finds out that she likes her best friend. It also talks about how friendship gets destroyed because of a relationship or a guy. I would rate this book 5 stars ..well actually, if this website allowed you to rate a book more than 5 stars, I would vote the larger number.   
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    I really enjoyed this book. There was a lot of drama. Some of the things Hannah did were really wrong. But she handled all the problems well. I reccomend this to 13 and up.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Such an amazinf book the lovd in it is crazy and yoi cant putcit doen
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    i liked this book.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    I got it from the libary and it waz a really good book .
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    This book is depressing beyond belif,l wish i hadnt bought it dont waste your money.Everyone either cheated or got cheated on!Go buy a book that is happy noy sad please.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Loved it! :)
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    My friend is reading this book and cant wait till she lends it to me or i get it on my nook!
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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    Dazzlamb More than 1 year ago
    A summer can change everything. Especially friendships and lovers. When Hannah’s best friend Ava leaves town, she can’t help but fall in love with her best friend’s boyfriend. It’s a thrill and a dilemma at the same time. Lauren Barnholdt did a really good job picturing these ambivalent emotions going along with a situation like Hannah and Noah’s. We get a great contrast between the things you are supposed to do, you want to do and you do in the end. Interweaving flashbacks and present events in an engaging narration, that very well increases the reader’s anticipation, the story inevitably leads towards the peak of Hannah and Noah’s affair. The outcome which is addressed several times. But then…pouf. Lauren Barnholdt didn’t achieve to create a culmination point worth all the anticipation due to a lack of details. In the end the reader is just left with all that wondering and waiting what would really happen between the two. SOMETIMES IT HAPPENS is full of relationship drama of main protagonists and secondary characters. It was enlightening to be thrown into the whole. But the story itself had a few flaws and wasn’t that thrilling as I’d imagined it to be in the end. THE VERDICT 3,5/5 ***/* SOMETIMES IT HAPPENS – An enjoyable summer read about a lot of feelings and fun that convinces with its writing and characters.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    This book is very simialar (almost the same!) to somethin g like fate! Maybe someone ripped offsomeone else????? Idk but i do recommend them they are full of drama suspence and romance! Even though i havent read this one. Excuse the rating! :) -Hello kitty lover :D