Sunday, July 19, 2009

How It Ends by Laura Weiss

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 a 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 time with Helen, her terminally ill neighbor, who she's turned to for comfort and wisdom throughout her life. But illness has changed Helen into someone Hanna hardly knows, and her home is not the refuge it once was.

Feeling more alone than ever, Hanna gets drawn into an audio book the older woman is listening to, a fierce, unsettling love story of passion, sacrifice and devotion. Hanna's fascinated by the idea that such all-encompassing love can truly exist, and without even realizing it, the story begins to change her.

Until the day when the story becomes all too real...and Hanna's world is spun off its axis by its shattering irrevocable conclusion.

HOW IT ENDS is an unbelievably unsettling and satisfying read. Some parts will make you want to smile, others frown. I've never read anything like it.

I really enjoyed reading the first chapter, because, instead of having the novel begin in the present, it went back into the past and introduced Helen ("Gran") and Hanna. It explained how they met, and what they did over the years to develop the tight bond between them, and it also mentioned how their bond shriveled a little as Hanna got older.

Because the novel is told from both Hanna and Helen's point of view, it helps you to understand what each of the characters are going though and what they're experiencing.

The characters in this novel are wonderfully crafted. They're bold and unforgettable. Each of them played a great role in the story and weren't there just to move the plot forward. And I liked that they were all important, because so many books I've read have had extra characters that were just there for the main character's benefit.

HOW IT ENDS will definitely be on my mind for a while. It's a really moving story. A great novel from Laura Weiss.


Writing: 4/5
Plot: 3/5
Character: 3/5
Cover: 4/5
Overall: 3/5


Taschima Cullen said...

Hmm Good review girl!


B.A.M. Book Reviews said...

I have two of Laura Weiss' books but so far I've only read Such a Pretty Girl. I really enjoyed it. Now I have a copy of Leftovers and I'm excited to start that too. I always love the covers of her books.


Mariah said...

Thanks this review makes me want to read the book!

The Book Explorer said...

Great review~ =)

You have two awards on my blog: