A brutally honest YA novel depicting the messiness of friendship and family and how we tend to see only one perspective: our own. HOW IT ENDS is told in alternating points of view allowing the reader full access to every scene. Lo perfectly captures the emotions of each character, both major and minor, and flawlessly transports the reader into their world.
Lo creates a heartbreaking story that ends on a hopeful note. Readers may even shed a few tears during some of the more poignant scenes. Because the novel touches upon a few adult themes, this book is probably best suited for older YA readers. Overall, HOW IT ENDS will be enjoyed by both young adults and adults alike.
Dive into the book:
Jessie has been bullied all her life and takes medication to control her social anxiety. Annie is the new girl who is still grieving the death of her mother and adjusting to the stepmom and stepsister she claims do not like her. Jessie and Annie become fast friends and bond over their disdain for bullies and the superficial people at their school. However, when Annie starts befriending other people, Jessie worries that she will lose Annie to the girls who tormented her in the past. Jessie and Annie, both struggling to cope with the complexity of their situations, try their hardest to help each other out. But when the girls only take their own perspective into account, assumptions are made and feelings are hurt.
Pairs well with:
The quote: “People come into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime.”
This book reminded me of my past friendships. Growing up I was a social butterfly, fleeting from one group to another. The one constant was always having a best friend at my side.
In grade school and middle school, my best friend and I were two peas in a pod. But when high school began our friendship slowly dissipated, not because of hurt feelings but because we were going to two different schools. We simply had nothing to talk about. We were best friends through proximity.
The situation was the same in high school, I was best friends with someone but two years into college that best friend status ended. To be quite honest, I have no idea why this friendship died. Unfortunately for me this trend continues in college. My best friend and I were inseparable up until our senior year, around the same time I started dating my current boyfriend. Reflecting back, I probably could have and should have fought to keep these friendships in check. Despite no longer being close with these girls, I do know they were in my life for a reason if only for a season.