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How It Ends

4.14  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,717 Ratings  ·  238 Reviews
Following her stunning and critically acclaimed novels Such a Pretty Girl and Leftovers, Laura Wiess crafts a riveting and emotionally powerful tale of beauty, destruction...and 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 cont
Kindle Edition
Published (first published August 4th 2009)
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Sep 20, 2010 Arlene rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Arlene by: Hanneybean
How It Ends by Laura Wiess is truly a powerful book in its own right and one that I won’t soon forget. I finished the book in the same manner as I started it – on the verge of tears. I plowed through most of this book at my local book café and I’m sure the crowd around me witnessed a gamut of emotions cross my face as I journeyed through this novel filled with a well crafted plot, perfectly developed characters and a tumultuous end that had be gasping in shock and horror.

The story spans about th
Oct 27, 2010 Heather rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya, 2010
What began as a three star read somehow reduced me into a weeping mess. At present, my eyes are puffy and slightly bloodshot. My sleep was besieged with anguish and I kept fighting with the covers. My mind is befuddled due to lack of sleep. In short, How It Ends messed with my mind and toyed with my emotions. I ADORED it.

I’m not an adequate reviewer and will in no way be able to do this book justice. I don’t have the words to properly convey the thoughts that will pilfer through your mind as you
“One faces the future with one’s past.” – Pearl S. Buck

How It Ends was perfect! Not often can we call a book perfect, but this was such a wonderful reading experience for me. While I was reading this I felt like I was living with Hanna and Helen and it was both beautiful and saddening.

This book broke my heart and I loved every second of it!

The story follows Hanna, a regular teenage girl who just wants to do regular teenage stuff, get noticed by Seth, a popular bad boy and lately begins to neg
♥ Sarah
This book had me on the verge of actual, literal, salty fresh tears.

My reactions while reading this wonderfully crafted tale of love, loss, and life:

Wiess has one of the most unique writing styles I've ever encountered. Her words just flowed like magic: rich, smooth, and powerfully moving. She just lays it out there, the lush imagery of nature's beauty, and carefully builds on the relationship between 15 year old Hanna, and her neighbor (whom she refers to as her Grandma), Helen.

The prologue
Greta is Erikasbuddy
Jan 20, 2011 Greta is Erikasbuddy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
If I could give this book 10 stars, I would. This book is by far the best thing I have read in a while.

It's a story of young love, untamed lust, a first kiss, heartbreak, life lessons, and learning to say good-bye.

"How it Ends" centers around a fifteen year old girl named Hanna who is in love with her school's bad boy. Remember those days? Remember back when you would have given anything for that one boy to notice you? That's what Hanna reminded me (and not in a ditsy - OMG - kind of way. In a
Aug 21, 2009 Cinnamon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: for-review
I was expecting something either overly romantic or overly childish in Laura Wiess’s HOW IT ENDS. I’m not sure why, perhaps I just didn’t give the blurb enough thought. I was beyond pleasantly surprised to find a story, however, full of emotion and depth. Wiess has created a beautiful story that transports the reader into the lives of Hannah and Helen and shows us what it means to truly live.

Hannah is your typical teenager. At the beginning of HOW IT ENDS, Helen tells us all about Hannah as she
Wow, this book is so much more than I ever thought it would be! I wasn't sure what I was expecting - maybe a light young adult read - but this was not a light and fun story at all. It is deep, emotional, and painful. And I loved it!

How it Ends chronicles the stories of Helen and Hanna. Helen is a grandmotherly woman who lives next door to Hanna, a 15 year old girl who is going through the trials and tribulations of being a teenager. She loves a boy who is anything but nice to her, yet she keeps
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Jaglvr for

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
Jun 09, 2015 Sarah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
Wow, this book is so beautiful. I honestly had no expectations for this book but it blew me away. This was my first book by Laura Wiess and I will definitely be reading more from her in the future.

I'll start off with the few little things that annoyed me. First of all, Hannah irritated me. She was so self-centred and immature and her obsession with Seth drove me crazy. Then again when I thought about it, I probably would have been the exact same at 15 so there is that. Although she annoyed me, s
Aug 20, 2009 Katie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorite
Hanna has finally got everything she could ever want. Really awesome friends and the boy of her dreams. Now why does it seem like it's not what she wanted?

Hanna loves her high school life with Seth as her boyfriend and her two best friends are great, especially because they all get along so well. Seth may not be the perfect boyfriend but he is what Hanna wants. At least until she meets Jesse, a misunderstood motorcyclist who can't seem to forget her and who manages to make her smile every time s
Aug 19, 2009 Julie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Pocket Books
Recommended to Julie by: Mindi
"I would not willingly peel back the scar tissue protecting the deepest chambers of my heart and reveal the bruised hollows pooled with the blood of old wounds---the terror that just thinking about it---but now, facing darkness I am left with no choice. I love you, and because of that I am going to try and raise the dead." ---Louise Bell Closson

This is one of the most haunting books I've read this year. The twists and turns will keep you wondering from the minute you start reading this book unti
Aug 17, 2010 Ann rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ages 13+ (a few vivid sex scenes, language, drinking and drug use, dark themes)

I'd been meaning to pick up How It Ends since our library first received its copy, whenever that was, but I never seemed to be in the right mood. The mood struck, and I'm glad it did. I have never once been disappointed by one of Laura Wiess' books. Disturbed, yes. Haunted, certainly. Heartbroken, at times. But not disappointed.

Hanna is in love with Seth, who Jordan Catalanos all over the place with her heart. Gran
Leona Storey
Jun 24, 2015 Leona Storey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed, 4-star
"home is where the heart can laugh without shyness."

ohhhh god, someone pass me the tissues. i did not expect this to be a tearjerker. i didn't expect much of this at all because of how little i'd heard about it. but seriously, this was just so amazing, just so heart wrenching.

how it ends juxtaposes the struggles of being a teen with the raw truth of getting older. the mix of the two ages interlinking with each other made the individual storylines stronger. we follow the story of both hanna an
Dec 21, 2009 Kari rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Heartrending, catastrophically beautiful. I am once again completely in awe of Wiess' writing. She pulls in so many different elements in this book and entwines them faultlessly. This story not only tells a modern tale of a high school girl in love but the tragic history of a young couple, brought together by horrific circumstances yet still finding an endless love. There is a story within the story- the audiobook that captivates Hanna and in so many ways, that tale is even better than Hanna's.

When I was at my library, browsing through the YOUTH FICTION A - N section for Such a Pretty Girl (which I now know is banned...what the hell?) and saw How It Ends, I absent-mindlessly threw it into my arms, thinking, 'Eh.' I mean, the summary makes this novel look like a story about some foolish teenage girl and her boyfriend who doesn't care enough, and to keep it interesting, they added a dying grandmother to keep readers crying.

Hey, it was my first MTV novel. I would say I didn't know w
Aug 14, 2009 Andrea rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wow--what a book! There were so many great things about this book, and a few things that I didn't like.

First of all, the characters: For some reason, I just didn't really connect with Hanna. Some of the things she did or said, I remember feeling and doing, but other things seemed a little out there. And I didn't get a lot of warmth from her. But I really felt for Helen. I felt for her when she was lonely and wanted Hanna to visit. And I felt for her when she became trapped in her own body due t
Aly (Fantasy4eva)
May 16, 2010 Aly (Fantasy4eva) rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I warmed to Helen right away - I mean how could you not love Helen, she is just so lovable! I was slightly overwhelmed at first. I was just a few pages in and all the mushy feelings were already rushing in.

Maybe it was the way she talked about Hannah because it was quite touching since it was so obvious how much she loved her: how afraid she was of loosing her.

Hannah is at that stage in her life where being seen with your grandma and parents isn’t exactly “very cool”. She is growing up and want
Aug 21, 2009 Nely rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: for-review
I finished this last night and I will tell you I am still reeling from the way this story turned out and the feelings that it invoked in me. I began reading this story thinking it would be a YA novel - nothing too, you know. I was expecting the story to revolve around Hanna and her relationship with Helen and how it all revolved around the How It Ends story they are reading in the book (you know, a book inside a book). I had no idea the strong issues that this story would touch upon.

I will con
Sep 12, 2011 Amy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After a couple of chapters of How It Ends, I wasn't sure I was going to make it to the end of the book. It started slow and Hanna, one of the two MC's, came off as a spoiled brat that I had no interest in reading about. I stuck to my 100 page rule and by page 150, my eyes started watering and I couldn't put the book down.

This is such a sad story told from dueling points of view of Hanna who is just seeing her life as a Sophmore in HS begin, to her neighbor Helen who is slowly watching her body f
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 ti
Jun 14, 2013 Judy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There are two stories in this book.

The main character, Hanna, is a teenage girl who is self-absorbed and obsessive about some teenage guy who doesn't treat her very well. That part of the book I could live without, and skimmed over most of her sections. I understand what the author is trying to do to juxtapose her story next to the other story (and stories within stories) that run alongside this book, but I just never felt the emotional resonance that I wanted to feel with her. I didn't relate
The first chapter, told from Helen's viewpoint as she remembers watching Hanna grow up and how their lives drifted apart, made me tear up. And that pretty much sums up how I felt about this book in general.

I wasn't depressed by the novel, or unduly unhappy after reading it, but so much affection could be felt between Helen and Hanna that it made me miss my grandmother (who died a year and half ago, but who battled Alzheimer's for years before that). A lot of what Hanna feels--in regards to the c
Sep 27, 2012 Liz rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
While I kind of want to know how it ends (and if you want to spoil this for me, please do), I can't bring myself to finish it. I got 184 pages and once the audiobook started I couldn't do it anymore.

Hanna is not a likable main character. It seemed to me like her only interests were flirting and partying with her friends. Sure, she hung out with her grandparents, but that's relatively normal as well. I mean, couldn't she had one genuine interest like art or a sport or something? I'd hardly say sp
Jun 18, 2009 Rachael rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hanna used to be an optimistic and cheerful girl, the kind who loved spending time with her aging neighbor Helen and looked for happy endings everywhere. Now, Hanna’s in high school, and all she wants is a life, particularly, a life including Seth. When she finally gets Seth, he’s not entirely who she thought he was, and their relationship isn’t the perfect one she thought it would be. Yet, despite the fighting and hurt, Hanna stays by Seth, because she hasn’t completely lost her faith in happy ...more
Aug 12, 2009 Lucy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: teen, 2009
Hanna knows what she wants, and what she wants is Seth. She's wanted him since she noticed him on the first day of sophomore year. So what if he sometimes acts like a jerk? So what if he seems to prefer vacuous girls who wear ankle bracelets? Hanna pursues Seth--and she gets him. But having Seth isn't quite as wonderful as she imagined it would be. Seth can be loving, warm and affectionate--but he can also be as jerky and mean to her as he was before--only now it hurts more, because he also tell ...more
Nichole (Dirrty H)
I think everyone in the world should read this book. Not only is it engaging, relatable and HEARTBREAKING, it has some really great, and well-expressed, messages about a lot of things. Especially, every girl and woman needs to read this book. Loved it.
Aug 15, 2014 Bethany rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is absolutely marvelous. Even a year after reading it, thinking about the story and it's conclusion gives me goosebumps and fills me with a myriad of emotions. It surprised me how mesmerized I became with this book. The story that I fell in love with was not the love story that was actually happening to the main character, but the one that she herself was being told. I cared about hers too, of course, but it just didn't have the magic of the other. And that was a good thing. Where most ...more
Chelsea Nicole
Aug 10, 2014 Chelsea Nicole rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I don't know where to start. It was just too much. Great story though.
This isn't a love story, but a story about love, doing what's right and decisions made through adversary.
I feel like I cannot truly get into this without relieving some of the really hard things this book covers. I think Laura Weiss did a phenomenal job of getting her characters voice right. First with the Parkinson's disease and the slow then all f a sudden take over of the disease was heartbreaking. But what I could not stop
Feb 28, 2014 Shouko rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
While the writing style has captured me from the start, the beginning of this book was still only so-so. The whole "wanting-to-become-Seth's-girlfriend-and-then-regretting-it-the-next-day" thingy was kinda eye-roll worthy, but the whole ... I don't know, process of the book and the last half really stood out.

But well, Hanna's relationship with Seth was really frustrating. "I LOVE him!", "Wow, he's such an asshole. FORGET him.", "Well okay, he has his bad sides, but look how cute he is!", "No no
Jan 05, 2016 Kaylee rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Picked this up on a random whim. Beautifully written story with a heartbreaking ending. Could definitely predict what was going to happen by the end, but it didn't take away from the impact at all. Hanna's character was a bit frustrating when it came to Seth. I'm sick of seeing smart, interesting girls fall all over themselves just because the guy is super attractive. I mean if he's a jerk, he's a jerk. If the only redeeming quality is his looks, then why is he even being considered as a worthy ...more
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Laura Wiess is the author of the critically acclaimed novels Such a Pretty Girl, chosen as one of the ALA’s 2008 Best Books for Young Adults and 2008 YALSA Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers, and Leftovers. Originally from Milltown, New Jersey, she traded bumper-to-bumper traffic, excellent pizza, and summer days down the shore for scenic roads, bears, no pizza delivery, and the irresistible allure ...more
More about Laura Wiess...

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“I don't know how you say good-bye to whom and what you love. I don't know a painless way to do it, don't know the words to capture a heart so full and a longing so intense.” 178 likes
“Where is home?
Home is where the heart can laugh without shyness.
Home is where the heart's tears can dry at their own pace.”
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