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How It Ends

4.14  ·  Rating details ·  2,047 ratings  ·  261 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
Paperback, 344 pages
Published August 4th 2009 by MTV Books
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4.14  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,047 ratings  ·  261 reviews

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Sep 06, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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
Sep 08, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 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
Greta is Erikasbuddy
Jan 16, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
♥ Sarah
Jan 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to ♥ Sarah by: Faith
Shelves: fiction
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
“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
Aug 21, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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
Jun 04, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: z2015, fiction, ya
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
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
Cassie Gutman (happybooklovers)
Mar 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own
From a traditional review standpoint, this was an incredibly realistic portrayal of teenage emotions and relationships, and it was a wonderful story of generational friendship.

On a personal note, I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to put it into words how much this book affected me. I’ve owned it for upwards of 10 years, almost gave it away a few weeks ago, but decided to read the first few chapter on a whim.

The universe knew I needed this.

The main character, Hanna, a young teenager dealing with
Aly (Fantasy4eva)
May 16, 2010 rated it really liked it
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
Apr 23, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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 14, 2009 rated it really liked it
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
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
PinkAmy loves books, cats and naps


Hanna has a special relationship with her neighbor, Helen, whom she calls Gran, though the teen spends less time with Gran now that she's interested in bad boy Seth. Told from the alternating POVs of both Helen and Hanna, the older woman tries to impart a lifetime of wisdom in the younger.

HOW IT ENDS is a difficult book to recap and review. I had a hard time understanding how Hanna, who grew up feeling loved and witnessing her parents' healthy marriage, would fall for a guy
Aug 17, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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
May 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017
I forgot how it felt to be a teenager. This book made me remember, Hanna made me remember all those feelings and confusion about love and life.

While reading I was a bit confused about the audiobook but then towards the end I did understood why. My hear broke for Louise and Peter. They both had a hard life but I'm glad they found eachother.

Also Hanna, I'm happy that she found her strength and confidence to do what was best for her.
Dec 18, 2017 rated it liked it
I have read the book How it Ends by Laura Wiess. This book was a tragic and twisted tale of the struggle of youth, and the significance of innocence. It is an excellent read and is a good love story. The book was published on -. - by Wiess who also wrote Such a Pretty Girl and Ordinary Beauty. [the author's] style in this book was realistic, complex, and her writing constantly challenged one’s ideas. How it Ends was a romantic novel, telling the story of an old woman from the perspective of a y ...more
Mar 08, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Intense, some parts are even beautiful, but as a whole, this book is too much of mishmash for me.

I don't really like Hanna and her destructive behaviors. I also miss directness in the story, as most of the events are told after-the-fact. If I wasn't curious about the big secret, I think I might even have DNF-ed this book. I am glad I persisted because although the ending is heart-wrenching, it's also satisfying.
Jul 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: would-recommend, nice
actual rating: 4.5 stars
eeeeeeeeee this is one rollercoaster ride of a novel. it began kind of drab but it ended up breaking my heart!!! would recommend.
Jul 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow. This book was so emotional and so beautiful and so stark and so sad. It was gritty and real and absolutely heartbreaking. It was the story of love in all of its forms, and of loss in may of them. It was the story of growth and change and beginnings and ends.
May 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Wow. It’s so funny I didn’t hate Hanna I love her her voice the way she’s written is just so... like petty teenager but like ACCURATE teenager I love how she loves nature like me I don’t GET her obsession with Seth but like emotions are weird and teens make stupid decisions but they just felt real even if so unlike me I love how throughout any awesome feminist messaging wasn’t FORCED it just MADE SO MUCH SENSE this book was SO PAINFUL Helen and Lon are so sweet I love Helen god the audiobook par ...more
Aly (Fantasy4eva)

it feels SO good to know that i love this just as much as i did those years back. so good.

we follow our protagonist, hanna, obsessing over bad boy seth. now you know he's trouble from day one. he leads her on time and time again and hanna for some reason just can't get the gist that he's bad news. she ignores her mates sammi's advice and continues on pursuing him. but if only she knew what she was getting herself into..

the narrative switches from hanna and her grandma (not biologically). she too
Dec 21, 2009 rated it it was amazing

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.
Christina (A Reader of Fictions)
Pages read: 12

I bought How It Ends after I read Ordinary Beauty for book club and enjoyed it despite it not being my usual thing. The description of this book is so not Christina bait, and the opening indicates that it sure as hell is not for me.

The opening chapter is Hanna's old neighbor talking to "you" aka Hanna. I haaaaaate. Also it feels like it's trying to be LITERARY. The book alternates between teen Hanna and terminally ill Helen. I don't like either POV (I skimmed through a bit after t
Oct 04, 2009 rated it liked it
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
Aug 10, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2009, teen
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
Jun 18, 2009 rated it really liked it
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 21, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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
Jan 13, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
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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
“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.” 207 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.”
More quotes…