What Happens Hereby Tara Altebrando
When Chloe's parents decide to take a family trip to Europe the summer before senior year of high school, she's ecstatic. She only wishes her best friend, Lindsay, could come too. Living in Las Vegas,
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From acclaimed author Tara Altebrando, this is a stunning novel of friendship, love, and loss, set against the dazzling dual backdrops of Europe and Las Vegas.
When Chloe's parents decide to take a family trip to Europe the summer before senior year of high school, she's ecstatic. She only wishes her best friend, Lindsay, could come too. Living in Las Vegas, where casinos mimic the great cities of the world, the two friends have vowed to travel the globe together someday. Unfortunately, Lindsay's parents won't let her go.
So Chloe goes abroad and sends postcards to Lindsay from each city along the way. But when she comes home, she faces shocking news that rips her family—and Lindsay's—apart. And as she tries to uncover the truth about what happened, Chloe begins to realize that Lindsay's brother, Noah, is the one person alive for whom she'd go to the ends of the earth....
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- Tara Altebrando
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- Barnes & Noble
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Meet the Author
Tara Altebrando is the author of four novels for young adults: The Pursuit of Happiness, What Happens Here, Dreamland Social Club, and The Best Night of Your (Pathetic) Life. She lives in Queens, NY, with her family.
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This book is another one of those books that are semi-known, but not really out there, buzz wise. The first time I heard about it was waaay back when Jordyn's Page Numbered blog still existed. I remember reading a glowing review of it and being mildly interested. That was probably a year ago. And now that I've finally gotten around to reading this book, I am super disappointed that I didn't do so sooner. Because it's completely fantastic. I always like to save the best for last, so let's start out with the little thing that I wasn't too fond of; the relationships weren't hashed out enough for my tastes. The book just wasn't long enough or wordy enough to encompass and build all of the different relationships that needed to be built. Chloe's little thing with Daniel, her connection with her sister, and even her relationship with Lindsay just weren't deep enough. With Lindsay especially, I didn't get the sense that Chloe even had a reason to be connected to her. The only time we really got to see her was in the first chapter or two and in those chapters she and Chloe are fighting...we didn't get to see their supposed amazing relationship in action. But really, other than that, I don't have any complaints. In fact, I was blown away. The writing and the voice of the main character, Chloe, was especially fantastic. She seemed like she was an actual girl with real, believable feelings and reactions. Which was the goal, I guess, but still. I felt like I knew her. And what made it even better, was that she reacted and behaved the exact same way I think I myself would've have acted in her situations which was cool. Another thing that I adored about this book was how it was chick lit-ish but it also had a message which added a sense of purpose and meaning to a novel which, otherwise, would've seemed sort of inappropriately light-hearted. But the fluffy side of it satiated the trashy romantic in me. It covered every base, I think. One thing I thought was interesting was how the first half of the book was kind of Cracked Up To Be -esque. It's this big flash back leading up to a mysterious key event that changes everything for the rest of the novel. At periodic points there were little teasers and narrations that revealed more and more of what happened. So in that way, the two books connected with each other. And I liked them both. The big thing was that What Happens Here swept me away. I loved loved loved how fast-paced and clear it was. The situations were real and fascinating. The characters were well thought out and concisely portrayed. It's one of those books that sticks in your mind. One of my favorites of the year. Read it.
Chloe and Lindsay were supposed to grow old together. They'd escape Las Vegas and go off to college in California. They were going to have awesome jobs that would allow them to own luxurious homes all over the globe. They were going to marry twin brothers. They were supposed to be ridiculously happy.
It didn't happen like that.
The summer after their junior year of high school, best friends Chloe and Lindsay were going to be apart. Chloe's parents decided to take the family on a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Europe for two weeks. Chloe begged to let Lindsay come with them. It was Lindsay's mom who allow it. So while Chloe and her family were off to see the best cities in Europe, Lindsay would be stuck at her life-guarding job with Chris Nolan.
The night before Chloe leaves, Lindsay tells her that she's going to "Go to Vegas" with Chris. (This is their secret code for having sex with someone.) Chloe is no longer a virgin, but doesn't want Lindsay to make the same mistake she made, and definitely NOT with a sleaze like Chris Nolan. The conversation leads to a fight between the two friends, and Chloe leaves for her trip, not speaking to Lindsay.
Little does either girl realize that they'd never get the chance to speak to each other again, let alone say "I'm sorry." For while Chloe is in Italy, her dad receives a call that he decides not to share with the rest of the family. Lindsay has been murdered.
Upon return to Las Vegas, Chloe struggles to get over the dependence she had on Lindsay. Their families are so close that they moved from North Carolina to Las Vegas together. Lindsay was more like a sister to Chloe than Chloe's own sister, Zoe, has been. Looking back over their last few years together, Chloe pieces together when the dynamic between the two of them started to shift and the friendship started to change.
Ms. Altebrando writes a moving story of a teenager forced to grow up far more quickly than anyone had planned for her. Dealing with the grief of losing her best friend, Chloe must accept that Lindsay's death is not her fault. Chloe thinks that had she not been in Europe having her grand adventure, she could have prevented Lindsay from going out that fateful night. But Chloe struggles to realize that there may have been more differences between the two of them than she ever realized, and that she may just be able to stand on her own after all. With a supporting family and a budding relationship with Lindsay's older brother, Chloe comes to accept life after the death of her best friend.