Wednesday, January 31, 2018

How It Ends by Catherine Lo - PUBLIC

Lo, Catherine How It Ends, 289 pgs. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2016. $17.99. Language: R  (100+ swears, 46 ‘f’); Mature Content: R (drinking, bullying, sex, pregnancy, abortion); Violence: PG 

Jessie is not excited about starting school tomorrow.  Last year ended horribly and Jessie can’t imagine this year will be much better.  Her plan is to keep her head down and just survive the next 3 years and then she is off to college.  Annie just moved in and also isn’t excited about starting school.  Things were great back home, she had lots of friends and she loved her house,  but when her Dad remarried, her stepmom wanted a different place from where Annie’s mom lived.  Jessie and Annie meet on the first day of school and Jessie is surprised, but happy, that Annie wants to be friends, but Annie is friendly with lots of people including those that have made her life so hard.  Jessie begins to wonder how long Annie will want to be friends and will she be able to handle it if she doesn’t. 

This was much more serious than a book about friendship.  While I’m not always a fan of alternating chapters between the characters, at times, it was helpful to see how Jessie and Annie viewed the same situation so differently whether through the lens of Jessie’s anxiety or Annie’s struggle with her stepmom.  There were moments that I appreciated, but this wasn’t a favorite of mine, and overall, the serious turn the story takes (see ratings), in combination with the language, moves it out of a school setting.


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