Tuesday, March 17, 2009

What Happens Here by Tara Altebrando

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 imagined the world through the casinos inspired by great cities and have vowed to travel the globe together someday. Unfortunately, Lindsay’s parents won’t agree to send her along.
So Chloe goes to Europe and sends postcards to Lindsay every day. But when she comes home, she must cope with shocking news that rips her family - and Lindsay's - apart. And as she tries to uncover the truth about what happened, Chloe soon begins to feel that Lindsay's brother, Noah, is the one person alive for whom she'd go to the ends of the earth...
(Summary from back of book)

I lied. I found some fantastic stolen internet at my hotel. :) So therefore, I was able to write a little review for you guys.

This book is another one of those books that are semi-known, but not really out there, buzz wise. The first time I heard about it was waaay back when Jordyn's Page Numbered blog still existed. I remember reading a glowing review of it and being mildly interested. That was probably a year ago. And now that I've finally gotten around to reading this book, I am super disappointed that I didn't do so sooner. Because it's completely fantastic.

I always like to save the best for last, so let's start out with the little thing that I wasn't too fond of; the relationships weren't hashed out enough for my tastes. The book just wasn't long enough or wordy enough to encompass and build all of the different relationships that needed to be built. Chloe's little thing with Daniel, her connection with her sister, and even her relationship with Lindsay just weren't deep enough. With Lindsay especially, I didn't get the sense that Chloe even had a reason to be connected to her. The only time we really got to see her was in the first chapter or two and in those chapters she and Chloe are fighting...we didn't get to see their supposed amazing relationship in action. 

But really, other than that, I don't have any complaints. In fact, I was blown away. The writing and the voice of the main character, Chloe, was especially fantastic. She seemed like she was an actual girl with real, believable feelings and reactions. Which was the goal, I guess, but still. I felt like I knew her. And what made it even better, was that she reacted and behaved the exact same way I think I myself would've have acted in her situations which was cool. 

Another thing that I adored about this book was how it was chick lit-ish but it also had a message  which added a sense of purpose and meaning to a novel which, otherwise, would've seemed sort of inappropriately light-hearted. But the fluffy side of it satiated the trashy romantic in me. It covered every base, I think. 

One thing I thought was interesting was how the first half of the book was kind of Cracked Up To Be -esque. It's this big flash back leading up to a mysterious key event that changes everything for the rest of the novel. At periodic points there were little teasers and narrations that revealed more and more of what happened. So in that way, the two books connected with each other. And I liked them both. 

The big thing was that What Happens Here swept me away. I loved loved loved how fast-paced and clear it was. The situations were real and fascinating. The characters were well thought out and concisely portrayed. It's one of those books that sticks in your mind. 

One of my favorites of the year. Read it.


  1. I've already read it, lol. Did so last year and loved it too. Glad you enjoyed it as well! Great review!!

  2. Oooh. I really want to read this. :)

  3. Loved this book :)
    And I loved her earlier book, The Pursuit of Happiness as wel.

    T'was awesome.=!

  4. This looks really good. Hopefully it will come to be even more known.

  5. Just finished this last night! I loved it as well. I'm hoping the buzz will increase, too.

  6. You're all very sweet! I hope the buzz will increase, too. Thanks for the great review, Liv.


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