Author: Jamie McGuire
Publisher: Jamie McGuire LLC (May 9, 2014)
Print Length: 100 pages
#1 New York Times Bestseller Jamie McGuire returns to self- publishing with this page-turning YA account of Erin Easter, one of three Erins in the small senior class of rural Blackwell High School who not only share a first name, but also their birthday. Easter, raised by a neglectful single mom, keeps to herself and admires Weston Gates from afar. The other Erins, Erin "Alder" Alderman and Erin "Sonny" Masterson are the darlings of the community: daughters of the two wealthiest families in town, best friends, cheerleaders, and everything Easter isn't--and they never let her forget it. Alder has even claimed Weston since the 8th grade.
Weston is a well-liked star athlete, and the son of two prominent attorneys. He struggles daily with the pressures of living up to his family name and secretly empathizes with Easter's feeling that she belongs somewhere else; in a different life. Not until he begins sneaking nights out with Easter does he gain the courage to buck expectations and acknowledge his feelings ... both for his future, and for her.
A shocking tragedy rocks the tiny town, and Easter's life is turned upside down in the best way possible. But when the truth is revealed and everything she thinks she wanted falls into her lap, life only becomes more complicated.
New York Times best selling author Jamie McGuire has penned the Providence series and contemporary romance Beautiful Disaster. She lives in Oklahoma with her husband and three children. She is an RT(R), a graduate of Autry and Oklahoma Northern College, and a full time writer.
I know the next installment for this series is just around the corner but the anticipation is going to kill me.
For this review I really looked that title and saw how perfect it fit this story. According to Webster’s Dictionary Happenstance is (noun \ˈha-pən-ˌstan(t)s, ˈha-pəm-\ ): something that happens by chance or : a circumstance especially that is due to chance — hap·pen·stance adjective. And yes Erin Easter’s story is based on something that happened by chance years ago but it’s also so much more than that. It’s also about circumstance, perseverance, humility and above all love.
Let me go in to more details about the things I listed above and how they relate to this story.
Circumstance: Erin Easter comes from a broken home. Her father is not part of her life and her mother is too busy getting intoxicated to care about anything. There is no support or encouragement from home. No loving hugs or even decent conversations. Because Erin comes from a broken home she is an outcast and seen as someone not worthy. This makes her a victim of circumstance.
Perseverance: Being the victim of someone’s cruelty is never easy but how about being bullied from those who were once closest to you? It’s one of the hardest things in the world to deal with and to make things worst everyone seems to “turn a blind eye” even adults. This make her situation absolutely hopeless. Not being able to fight them off she learned to “grow thick skin” and ignore the name calling and degradation. So now you see, Erin has no one (yet, at least). No friends at school and no parent at home. But instead of letting this situation destroy her it’s made her stronger and more determine to get good grades so she can get out of town to attend college. She’s a survivor and she is not letting anything get in her way of her goal.
Humility: Erin has accepted her lot in life. She knows who she is and that she can only rely on herself. She doesn’t expect anything from anyone and has a hard time accepting help. She is a good hearted person and has dealt with her situation with as much dignity and humility as possible.
Love: Better late than never is a good idiom for Erin and Weston’s love story. After years of feeling she has no one Weston finally gets brave enough to go after what he really wants, Erin. Along with the feeling of love comes the feeling of guilt from Weston. This is for not stopping what was happening to Erin or standing up for her before now. From Erin you get the feeling of surprise, curiosity and genuine affection. It seems their relationship was a long time coming and we have just seen the tip of the iceberg. I’m eagerly waiting for more.
So now that we have gone over all that here is a quick recap of Erin’s story. Erin has ever only had herself to rely on. Even at a young age she felt like she didn’t belong anywhere especially when her father was nowhere in sight, mother turned to alcohol and drugs for comfort, and her friends turned on her, becoming enemies seemingly overnight. But things are about to change for Erin for the better. At least that is how it seems as this first installment of the series ends.
Happenstance is a beautifully written story that will test your patients while question humanity but on the other hand make you smile and fill your heart with hope.