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What Happens Here

3.64  ·  Rating details ·  254 ratings  ·  26 reviews
We were going to see the world together, Lindsay and I. We were going to eat it up, whole. But it didn't happen that way. It didn't happen that way at all....

When Chloe's parents decide to take her 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, they have long imagin

Paperback, 256 pages
Published May 6th 2008 by MTV Books
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3.64  · 
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 ·  254 ratings  ·  26 reviews

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At one point early on in What Happens Here I felt like I’d been corralled onto a Contiki tour bus and I wanted off.

I was still in the chapters detailing Chloe’s family holiday to Europe, and I found myself flipping back to the cover, reading the Sara Zarr blurb, and frowning. There’s a slightly going-through-the-motions, perfunctory quality to the storytelling – like breezing through capital cities so they could be checked off an itinerary. The Swanson family see the sights, Chloe laments not be
PinkAmy loves books, cats and naps

Chloe’s best friend Lindsay is raped and murdered while Chloe is traveling with her family in Europe. The BFFs had squabbled right before the trip leaving Chloe devastated.

WHAT HAPPENS HERE had one of the worst mother daughter exchanges I’ve read recently. When a stranger grabs Chloe’s butt in Italy, her mother tells Chloe that the offender is cute and she should be flattered. Chloe decides that being grabbed was no big deal. WTF.???????? I get that some women (and men) believe
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Jaglvr for

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 t
Sarah Menezes
Apr 03, 2013 rated it it was ok
I didn't hate this book, not even close, but it seemed so all-over the place that I just couldn't even get into it, and it often just frustrated me. It felt like there was no sincerity at all, or whatever sincerity there might have been when first going into writing this was lost.
BUT I'll go ahead and list a few things that I did appreciate:
1. It's a book about Vegas that isn't "about Vegas". The Vegas part about it isn't too cliche, and I actually kind of like the little code "never been to Veg
Mar 01, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Totally amazing, unexpected, a crazy-good story told beautifully. Read it!
Mar 22, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
What Happens Here is a brilliant, delicately moving book about life changing loss and finding your way afterwards. Chloe Swanson returns home from her life-changing summer holiday in Europe to find that her best friend Lindsay has been murdered. It's a simple concept, but the author handles it so well, and she shows the tensions that arise when the Swansons return home to Las Vegas, where they live. I've been to Las Vegas, and I found Chloe's attitude to the city very interesting. I loved the ci ...more
Jun 10, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Sarah Dessen fans
Shelves: young-adult
This was a wonderful YA novel about loss, friendship, and blossoming love. Everything about it was close to perfection -- from the characters to the multiple settings to Altebrando's ability to write real voices. I read this in three days because it was so entralling. I had to know what happened next each time I picked it up.

The first half of the book deals with the sixteen-year-old protagonist Chloe who lives in Las Vegas with her BBF Lindsay. When Chloe goes off to Europe for two weeks we get
Jan 23, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: young-adult, loved, 2009
Found this on the shelf at the library and WOW, it was so good! The author has an amazing way with words, drawing the scenes so well that I felt like I was watching it all unfold in front of me, and I loved the characters and how no one was perfect, but all were trying to be good.

The plot: Chloe, about to be a senior in high school, goes on a trip to Europe with her family (a trip, btw, that is described in such beautiful detail that I wanted to be in all the exotic places with her!), and then
Mar 15, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This book makes me want to travel to exotic destinations that transcend continents. It brings up memories of when my own friends and I used to sit and imagine silly scenarios about boys falling in love with us from afar. It makes me think about that ever present eye in the sky and compels me to look up satellite images of Las Vegas to get a feel for the place where this fantastic novel is set. It makes me cry and laugh and smile contentedly and dream about the future. It shatters my heart and so ...more
Nov 06, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2011-2012
This story was pretty scary and intense. The author wrote about a pair of best friends (Choloe and Lindsey)who have done everything together. One of them, Chloe, goes to Europe with her family. During that trip, she falls in love with one of the family friends' that was there. She was having the time of her life, but felt really disappointed since Lindsey wasn't there with her. The family trip to Europe went well, until Chloe came back. She realized that her best friend, Lindsey, passed away whi ...more
Elaine Warner
Mar 09, 2009 rated it really liked it
Chloe and Lindsay have been best friends forever. The grew up together in North Carolina, but when they were 10, their fathers decided to move the families to Las Vegas where the economy was booming. Chloe and Lindsay have a dream, to grow up, meet and marry brothers(preferably twins), and travel the world living in exotic places. The summer before her senior year in high school, Chloe's parents decide to take their family to Europe on vacation. Chloe is sad to leave Lindsay behind, but the trip ...more
Dec 28, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: young-adult, grief
I loved the travelling parts of this book. I have always wanted to travel and this was a fun exploration of places I will someday go see for myself. I could relate to the MC in a lot of ways, feeling stuck in a town that seems so lifeless and so drab. Her best friend in the book, Lindsay, just seemed like the wrong friend for Chloe to have in my eyes. Somehow, I knew where the book was leading and I couldn't help my feelings that Chloe was better off alone so she could see the world with her own ...more
Feb 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Tara Altebrando is a whiz at true depictions of teen years and this may be her best book so far... two best friends have always planned to see the world gets that opportunity when her parents plan a European vacation. While she goes to europe, (and the descriptions of each place are vivid and enthralling) her best friend back in Vegas is murdered...coming home to this is quite a shock and she can't rest without understanding what happened....brilliant, engrossing and utterly realis ...more
Forever Young Adult
Graded By: Erin
Cover Story: Legit
BFF Charm: Yay!
Swoonworthy Scale: 8
Talky Talk: Straight Up
Bonus Factors: Contortionism, European Tour, Veronica Mars
Quasi-Anti-Bonus Factor: No Justice
Relationship Status: I Want To Travel Worlds With You

Read the full book report here.
Sep 22, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: ya-lit
Skimming counts as reading right? About halfway through the story I just started skimming because I wanted to know what happened to Lindsay, if there were any more details on it - that's what the whole story in the beginning seemed to be working up to. So you can imagine my disappointment when nothing else was really revealed.

My thumb is tired from swiping so rapidly to get to the end.
May 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2012, favorites
Wow, I loved this book! Having never read this author before I had no idea what I was in for. I'm so glad I gave her a try. It was so good mostly because for me it was so realistic. The friendships and the relationships really rang true to me. I would love to read more books by this author.
Jul 16, 2012 rated it really liked it
Very touching, layered, and thoughtful.
May 30, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: teen
So far, this is just as excellent as The Pursuit of Happiness. Is Tara Altebrando secretly still a teenager? Because she has a teen voice, and what it feels like to be a teen, down.
Grace Anderson
Mar 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Very good book. Has a little bit of everything in it from romance to mystery and adventure. I would definitely recommend this book.
May 11, 2011 rated it really liked it
Haunting! A little too much telling, instead of showing, but still a sad, heartbreaking look into the headlines we see so often.
Mar 27, 2008 rated it liked it
Very nice characters, could have used more resolution in the end. Released: May 2008
Katherine Wilkins Bienkowski
This novel did not seem genuine; it read to me as though someone fed Altebrando a plot or plot point and asked her to write a novel around it.
Dec 26, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I read this in just a few hours it was soo good.
Jan 21, 2013 rated it liked it

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Tara Altebrando is the author of numerous books for young adult and middle-grade readers. Her upcoming book, THE LEAVING (Bloomsbury), is a YA thriller that received a starred PW review and is a Junior Library Guild selection. Her other YA novels include ROOMIES, coauthored with Sara Zarr; Dreamland Social Club (A Kirkus Reviews Best Books for Teens), The Best Night of (Your) Pathetic Life, What H ...more