Wednesday, July 6, 2016

HOW IT ENDS BY CATHERINE LO - BOOK REVIEW

Hello everyone!

I am here with another book review, How It Ends by Catherine Lo. Thank you to Penguin Random House for sending me an ARC of this book for an honest review. As always, all opinions are my own.



This book was nothing like I expected, in such an amazing way. I went into it thinking that it was going to be your typical bullied girl, who makes friends with the new girl and everything is sunshine and rainbows. Yes, some of these happened, but there was so much more depth and elements that make this story so great.

Firstly, we have the main characters, both of whom's perspectives we read from, Jessica and Annie.

Jessica/Jessie/Jess is a shy girl who was bullied in middle school and has pretty bad anxiety. After a bad haircut that left her hair a little too short, she is dupped "Lezzie Longbottom," a lesbian who has the hair of Neville Longbottom. As someone who also had a bad, 'boy' cut as a kid, I definitely felt for Jessica in this situation. Eventually the bullying fades a little bit, but with Jessica's anxiety, she never really feels like she belongs.

Flashforward to the start of tenth grade, Annie is trying to survive suburbia. Her mother was killed six years before, and her new stepmother insisted that they move out of the city and into the more family friendly suburbs, where everyone, Annie, her father, her stepmother and her gorgeous older stepsister, can become a family. Annie is immediately drawn to Jessica and her easy 'unloosens.' The two become fast friends and the story moves on.

There are quite a lot of ups and downs for Jessica and Annie's friendship, Jessica's crush falls hard for Annie, but ends up being a bit of a player. Jessica's mom, in all her good-hearted mothering ways, tells Annie a secret about Jessica that eventually gets out. In retaliation, Jessica sends a message to Annie's boyfriend, making him question everything. Throughout all this, Annie is battling her grief, as the anniversary of her mother death looms, and Jessica falls into a dangerous habit.

I really loved how REAL this book and the characters were. No friendship is without fights, and life can and definitely will throw you some curveballs. These girls experience these things together, and apart. This book takes a close look at friendship and the limitations and inclusions of that friendship. This book also talks about friends being forced apart, either by your own actions, or external forces. Annie and Jessica weren't best friends throughout the whole book. They annoyed one another, they lied to each other, they did things that real friends do.

This book also had a very honest portrayal of mental illness and anxiety. Annie struggles with understanding Jessica's anxiety and depression, but still does what she can to help her friend. This book also deals with other serious issues like death, grief, and having to make unbelievably hard decisions.

Overall, I really loved this book. It was so real and dealt with some really important issues that I think sometimes get glossed over in YA. This is definitely a book for more mature audiences.