22/08/2014

Review: How It Ends {Laura Wiess}



Written by Laura Wiess
Amazon | Book Depository 

Hanna has been in love with Seth for as long as she can remember, but now they are finally a couple, love isn't all it's cracked up to be. Seth is controlling and all they do is fight. If that's what love is, then Hanna doesn't want any part in it. As she begins spending more time with her elderly neighbour – a woman with advanced Parkinson's – Hanna becomes mesmerised by an audiobook that the  woman is listening to. It's a story of sacrifice and devotion. She's fascinated by the idea that love like that exists, and slowly the story begins to change her. But what Hanna doesn't know is that it's not fiction and this story is about to reach its shattering conclusion.
Laura Wiess's books are overflowing with five-star reviews, so I had especially high hopes for this, but something didn't click.

Hanna is irritating from the start. Seth is clearly a horrible person and yet she keeps desperately pursuing him for no reason. He has zero redeeming qualities other than his looks, and since they never actually talk about anything significant, her fascination with him seems shallow and meaningless. He was constantly aggressive and demeaning and it seemed unrealistic she would still pine over him so much.

Thankfully, the book is told from alternating point of views, with Hanna on one side and her neighbour on the other. Helen was a wonderful second protagonist and her voice was a welcome break from the whiny and self-indulgent blabbering of Hanna. The tender moments between Helen and her husband were sweet and really showed their devotion, and I felt so sad for them when they spoke about how they missed spending time with Hanna.

The audiobook story, which doubles as Helen's background story, was a unique aspect I was excited for, but it felt out of place. As something meant to be a catalyst for so much, I didn't feel like it had an impact on me. The chapters where I was thrown into the past became dreary and made me put on my skim-reading goggles. It just wasn't executed as well as I had hoped.

Wiess took a very odd approach with the writing style too, especially the chapters from Hanna's perspective. They were written almost like a diary, with Hanna describing things conversationally, 'today we did this and then we did this'. It lacked real emotion and depth, and so I ended up detached and unsympathetic. It was just too basic, and I felt like I needed more from the descriptions.
 
 I loved Helen and the relationship between her and her husband was beautiful to read about. But Helen's character – both past and present – seemed a little redundant and odd in Hanna's story. It was a strange choice to combine two such different narratives and Wiess's attempts to link them just didn't work for me. This will be a good read for Laura Wiess fans, but I  found it a little disjointed and simple.

"Why should I just sit around hoping it happens, when maybe I can do something to make it happen?"


Allie is a Pimm's-obsessed reader, who dreams of road tripping over America, learning to surf & becoming fluent in all the languages of her heritage (which, sadly, does not include Elvish). If she's not reading or blogging, you can find her catching up on Teen Wolf, or reigning supreme with Scrabble/Mario Kart
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28 comments:

  1. That is a cool quote though! But for the rest of it? I get sooo frustrated when books just tell you everything that's happened and except you to be emotionally engaged. I AM NOT. I haven't heard of this one, but the cover kind of doesn't grab me anyway. *shrugs* Sad it didn't live up to your expectations though.

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    1. Yeah, I'm not sure what a leaf has to do with the story, but I've given up trying to understand the relevancy of most YA covers!

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  2. Whiny, self-indulgent teens are not my thing so I'd skip it even if everything else were amazing. I especially hate how she continues to chase this guy who is CLEARLY awful. -.- And it sucks that the 2nd narrative was amazing but didn't add much to the story (from what I gather) and when the author tried to connect the two.. I am guessing it wasn't all that believable.

    I am sorry you didn't enjoy this more and were let down, Allie :(

    Lovely review though!! :)

    Rashika @ The Social Potato

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    1. He literally had NOTHING going for him personality-wise, so it wasn't like he was sweet and first and then suddenly turned into a dick. He was an arse from the beginning, and so I really could not understand why she was so smitten with him. It was just ridiculous and unrealistic!

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  3. I like the cover and premise of this one, but I have low tolerance for annoying protagonists, so I think I'll skip this book for now :) Nice review today!

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    1. I just couldn't connect with Hanna at all, because I didn't understand why she did any of the things she did. And so that made her more annoying, because there didn't seem to be an explanation for her actions :(

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  4. I highly recommend Me Since You by Laura Wiess! Sorry this one didn't work for you. :(

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    1. I've heard good things about that one! I'll have to give it a go – I won't turn my back on Wiess just yet :)

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  5. Sorry to hear that she was an irritating character to you and this story didn't live up to what you'd hoped.

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    1. Yeah, it's always a shame. But onwards and upwards!

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  6. It is always disappointing when you have high expectations and they aren't met. Sorry this one didn't work for you.

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    1. Fortunately I read a book straight after this that was absolutely amazing, so all turned out well :)

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  7. Ah I hate it when you have such high expectations and the book doesn't live up to it (I had this with a book I've been reading since yesterday and decided not to finish it). And I see you're reading Heir of Fire, I can't wait to hear what you think about it! :D

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    1. Heir of Fire was AMAZING. My favourite in the series so far. Words just cannot express . . . ahhhh <33

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  8. Ah too bad you didn't like this one. I've seen a lot of 5 stars for Weiss's other book, Me Since You. Maybe try that one? Lol. Hannah sounds too annoying for me to like her, so no thanks. Great review, Allie!

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    1. Yeah, a couple of people have recommended that one. I'll give it a try one of these days!

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  9. Oh, I hate the sound of Seth, he just sounds like such a mean character! At least you had Hanna's point of view hey? I don't know how the author could stuff up lacking emotion and depth with diary entries. Oh wells, a shame this wasn't for you hun!

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    1. He really was a jerk. I just couldn't believe anyone would 'fall' for a character like that!

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  10. Right? How can you like a douchey person who has no redeeming qualities other than him being gorgeous? As a self-respecting person, I might have committed a crime I'd never go back from if I have to chase after the likes of him. I'm glad Helen was at least there to pick up the story. I'm not sure this one is my cup of tea but thanks for the honest review, Allie.

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    1. EXACTLY. It's so beyond shallow and just showed Hanna's immaturity, since it made it clear his looks were the driving force :(

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  11. LOL! I haven't heard of this book or the author. I think. Anyhow, sorry you didn't connect with Hanna and Seth :/ Her fascination really does seem shallow and meaningless O.o I'm glad you enjoyed Helen though! Yeah? Skim-reading goggles are sometimes the best :D Oh, I hate it when the writing is like that. So mundane and not interesting at all and soooooo hard to connect too :( I'm glad you found some redeeming qualities even if it wasn't your kind of book :(

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    1. Skim-reading goggles saved me from a DNF here, seriously. I just put them on and sailed through :P

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  12. This one wasn't on my radar at all but now i feel kind of happy about it LOL. How It Ends seems kind of like a brutal read especially when I just think about Seth. He sounds like the type of character that would make me want to chuck my book across a room. Better luck on your next read Allie :)

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    1. Seth made me want to chuck the book across the room, then out the window. Actually, I would've settled for just chucking Seth out of the window haha

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  13. Its' always a shame when you find the characters in a book to be annoying; and I completely see why you didn't like Hanna and Seth in this case. I'm glad to hear you - at the very least - enjoyed reading Helen's POV, so I guess that's something, right? ;) I think I'm going to give this a miss because everything you've mentioned will probably bother me too. :( Thanks for sharing though, and, as always, BRILLIANT review Allie! <3

    ~ Zoe @ The Infinite To-Read Shelf

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    1. Yeah, Helen's POV was a saving grace. But unfortunately it just didn't FIT in with the book, so felt a little misplaced. This was just a really jumbled read altogether!

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  14. Ugh, this is very disappointing to see and I'm so sorry you had a bad run with this book. Heroines that are irritating are so often seen in books and so widely hated I don't even know why this continues to be a thing... ._. I mean, sure, it's supposed to be there in order to make leeway for character development that would make us grow alongside them, but... some stories just don't cut it for me >_< And that writing!! That is so exhausting to read! Hope your next book is a better one!

    Faye at The Social Potato

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    1. But if there's no character development, you're just left with an extremely irritating protagonist . . . which is never good lol.

      Don't worry, my next book was Heir of Fire, which was AMAZING. So I pulled myself out of the rut after this :D

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