Book Reviews of What Happens Here

What Happens Here
What Happens Here
Author: Tara Altebrando
ISBN-13: 9781416541110
ISBN-10: 141654111X
Publication Date: 5/6/2008
Pages: 256
Reading Level: All Ages
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.

5 stars, based on 6 ratings
Publisher: MTV
Book Type: Paperback
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Chloe and Lindsay were supposed to grow old together. They'd escape Las Vegas and go off to college in California. They were going to have awesome jobs that would allow them to own luxurious homes all over the globe. They were going to marry twin brothers. They were supposed to be ridiculously happy.

It didn't happen like that.

The summer after their junior year of high school, best friends Chloe and Lindsay were going to be apart. Chloe's parents decided to take the family on a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Europe for two weeks. Chloe begged to let Lindsay come with them. It was Lindsay's mom who allow it. So while Chloe and her family were off to see the best cities in Europe, Lindsay would be stuck at her life-guarding job with Chris Nolan.

The night before Chloe leaves, Lindsay tells her that she's going to "Go to Vegas" with Chris. (This is their secret code for having sex with someone.) Chloe is no longer a virgin, but doesn't want Lindsay to make the same mistake she made, and definitely NOT with a sleaze like Chris Nolan. The conversation leads to a fight between the two friends, and Chloe leaves for her trip, not speaking to Lindsay.

Little does either girl realize that they'd never get the chance to speak to each other again, let alone say "I'm sorry." For while Chloe is in Italy, her dad receives a call that he decides not to share with the rest of the family. Lindsay has been murdered.

Upon return to Las Vegas, Chloe struggles to get over the dependence she had on Lindsay. Their families are so close that they moved from North Carolina to Las Vegas together. Lindsay was more like a sister to Chloe than Chloe's own sister, Zoe, has been. Looking back over their last few years together, Chloe pieces together when the dynamic between the two of them started to shift and the friendship started to change.

Ms. Altebrando writes a moving story of a teenager forced to grow up far more quickly than anyone had planned for her. Dealing with the grief of losing her best friend, Chloe must accept that Lindsay's death is not her fault. Chloe thinks that had she not been in Europe having her grand adventure, she could have prevented Lindsay from going out that fateful night. But Chloe struggles to realize that there may have been more differences between the two of them than she ever realized, and that she may just be able to stand on her own after all. With a supporting family and a budding relationship with Lindsay's older brother, Chloe comes to accept life after the death of her best friend.