Tuesday, July 11, 2017

This is How It Happened by Paula Stokes

Title: This is How It Happened
Author: Paula Stokes
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Source: HarperTeen via Edelweiss

Somehow I’ve become a liar. A coward. Here’s how it happened.

When Genevieve Grace wakes up from a coma, she can’t remember the car crash that injured her and killed her boyfriend Dallas, a YouTube star who had just released his first album. Genevieve knows she was there, and that there was another driver, a man named Brad Freeman, who everyone assumes is guilty. But as she slowly pieces together the night of the accident, Genevieve is hit with a sickening sense of dread—that maybe she had something to do with what happened.

As the internet rages against Brad Freeman, condemning him in a brutal trial by social media, Genevieve escapes to her father’s house, where she can hide from reporters and spend the summer volunteering in beautiful Zion National Park. But she quickly realizes that she can’t run away from the accident, or the terrible aftermath of it all.

Incredibly thought-provoking and beautifully told, Paula Stokes’s story will compel readers to examine the consequences of making mistakes in a world where the internet is always watching…and judging.
Review by Nara

I initially thought that This is How It Happened would be a mystery/thriller about a girl's "mission" to recover her lost memories. To be honest, it was much less mystery focused than I thought it would be, and much more of a coming of age style novel, which I actually ended up preferring in the end. The novel is about Genevieve's journey to recovery from a horrific accident. It also examines many relevant issues to today's younger generation, and it is one of the few YA novels that I've read that looks at how information spreads rapidly through the internet and how social media is not always a good thing.

The book is mainly character based, which is good because the character development is so well done. While Genevieve may make some questionable choices, they are always understandable as you are able to see the thought process behind those choices. There's a bit of romance included, which I thought was quite realistic and adorable, and to be honest, would not have minded if there was a touch more of it. Another thing I quite liked was that there were supportive parents included, even if Genevieve's mother may have been slightly on the more controlling side.

I'm quite liking how Paula Stokes is managing to write novels in such a wide variety of genres. From historical in her series written as Fiona Paul, to fluffy contemporaries like The Art of Lainey to mystery/thrillers such as Liars Inc, and now to more serious contemporaries in This is How It Happened. I'm certainly looking forward to what other genres she may next explore.

Really liked it
Overall: 8/10
Plot: 4/5
Romance: 4/5
Writing: 4/5
Characters: 4/5
Cover: 3/5