JD Switz's Reviews > How It Ends

How It Ends by Laura Wiess
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's review
Jan 30, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: can-t-stop-reading-shocked-off-my
Read in January, 2012

Within the first few chapters, How It Ends comes across to the average reader as something ordinary and predictable, therefore leaving you to wonder whether you should go on and suffer through what you knew you were going to get, or just shelve it in hopes that a distant young relative comes over for the holidays and you get the opportunity to pass that once easily forgotten book on to someone who can enjoy it.

I took the first option. At first glance I pretty much knew which direction Hanna's story was going, therefore her story led to allowing my mind to seamlessly wander while reading--which is not a good sign for a reader like me. I seriously thought on giving up on this book within the first 120 pages because nothing interesting was happening that I didn't already know was coming.

But, DAMMIT, I paid over 10 bucks for How It Ends and I wasn't going to let it go to waste.

So I suffered on. Because what I thought this book was about...well...turned out not to be exactly what I thought it was going to be.

Correction. 79% of it was an intriguing mystery; the other 22% reminded me of my own youth, which I do not honor at my current age being that I was--at one point or another--THE Hanna, and I've had my Seth.

Lots of young girls have had their Seth, the boy who told you in so many words that he was all wrong for you. Yet, despite what he'd said, you've decided that he could be right for you because you've built this imaginary world and you've envisioned him in it and, in your head, it WORKS. What you don't realize then, at that age, is that the imaginary life you've envisioned with your Seth was NOT ONE ABOUT HIM, but about what YOU THOUGHT HE COULD BE FOR YOU.

And that is where the greatest heartbreak lies...because after you've finally made up both yours and his dreamworld, you realized--with great disappointment--that the person you wanted him to be was not who he was at all, and that that dreamworld did was not his to live in, but yours.

Walking that awkward, naive, and embarrassing journey along with Hanna to obtain the object of her affection, relating to that moment as if it were my yesterday, is what kept me reading this story.

Finally, I'd made a connection.

Well, that and the fact that I'd already fallen in love with Helen by the time I'd made amends with Hanna's character.

It was Helen, ultimately, that made this story worth every turned page and every second missed of sleep. Her story, past and present, moved me to tears and, for a fictional character, I can honestly say I will never forget her. How It Ends is her story, and I'll leave that one to the readers considering picking up this book for future reference. Anything I say about Helen's story will stay in my privacy, as it was meant for Hanna, and meant for the individual reader. No words I can say can do it justice anyway.

Then there's Jesse, who I'd fallen for before Hanna did. For me, Seth became the extra character and Jesse was my shining star. From the moment he rescued Hanna on that bike to the moment he kissed her on her sixteenth birthday; from his crazy FUCK tattoo to the dreads that I wanted to reach inside the book and touch myself; Jesse was my pick for Hanna all along.

He's mature and sweet and understanding and he's the character in all the teen books that I always root for when it comes to getting the girl.

In the end, How It Ends opened my eyes. It showed me not to judge a book by its cover, that I knew nothing of what I thought I did, and that seconds chances are much more worth it than the first time around. It is hard and edgy and, at times, it makes you want to close your eyes and not continue any further.

But you must. You must always continue to move forward in hopes that something better will come along.

And it will.


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