Happenstance Novella Series- Book 1
By Jamie McGuire
#1 New York Times Bestseller Jamie McGuire returns to self-publishing with this page-turning YA account of Erin Easter, one of three Erins in the small senior class of rural Blackwell High School who not only share a first name, but also their birthday. Easter, raised by a neglectful single mom, keeps to herself and admires Weston Gates from afar. The other Erins, Erin “Alder” Alderman and Erin “Sonny” Masterson are the darlings of the community: daughters of the two wealthiest families in town, best friends, cheerleaders, and everything Easter isn’t–and they never let her forget it. Alder has even claimed Weston since the 8th grade.
Weston is a well-liked star athlete, and the son of two prominent attorneys. He struggles daily with the pressures of living up to his family name and secretly empathizes with Easter’s feeling that she belongs somewhere else; in a different life. Not until he begins sneaking nights out with Easter does he gain the courage to buck expectations and acknowledge his feelings … both for his future, and for her.
A shocking tragedy rocks the tiny town, and Easter’s life is turned upside down in the best way possible. But when the truth is revealed and everything she thinks she wanted falls into her lap, life only becomes more complicated.
Jamie McGuire has returned to self-publishing with her young adult novella, Happenstance. The events of this story take place in the small Oklahoma town of Blackwell. There are three young ladies in the senior class at Blackwell High School named Erin, and they each just happen to share the same birthday. Erin Alderman (Alder) and Erin Masterson (Sonny) both come from quality families and are on the cheerleading squad at school. But our primary character of this story is Erin Easter (Easter).
The mother of Erin Easter is Gina. Gina Easter drinks to numb the anger and resentment she feels for becoming pregnant at a young age and missing out on her dreams. Gina is poor and has spent some time in jail over the years. She is a neglectful mother, but Erin also goes out of her way to avoid interacting with Gina. After school and on the weekends, Erin works at the local Dairy Queen. The only parental influence she has in her life is Frankie, her coworker at Dairy Queen.
The three Erins were close friends when they were young children, especially during kindergarten and first grade. But sometime during fifth grade, circumstances changed between the three friends. Erin Alderman and Erin Masterson began to verbally abuse Erin Easter. The bullying has progressed over the years to include many other students and is nearly constant. Name calling. Cruel rumors. Slander. Social exclusion. Not only does Erin Easter experience verbal bullying at school, but it continues when she is working at Dairy Queen.
Erin Easter has admired Weston Gates for many years, although he has dated Erin Alderman since eighth grade. Weston is part of the popular crowd, and he is a star athlete for Blackwell High School. He has always felt an overwhelming burden to live up to the expectations of his wealthy parents and friends. One day, Weston decides to defend Erin Easter when she is being bullied by his friends. And then, he defends her again. And again. Weston and Erin begin to hang out during the evenings. Soon, they realize they have more in common than they thought they did, and a very sweet relationship develops between the two of them. Weston is very supportive of Erin when karma strikes during the last few weeks of high school.
Jamie McGuire grabbed my attention quickly with her interesting characters and a topic that carries a relevant message for people of all ages. Her writing in this story is beautiful, simple and crisp. The pacing of this novella is ideal, giving it the feel of a full novel. I found Happenstance to be the perfect, relaxing read. I truly enjoyed this story and definitely recommend it!
Jamie paved the way for the New Adult genre with international bestseller, Beautiful Disaster. Her follow-up novel Walking Disaster debuted at #1 on the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestseller lists. She has also written apocalyptic thriller Red Hill, a novella titled A Beautiful Wedding, and the Providence series, a young adult paranormal romance trilogy.
Jamie lives on a ranch just outside Enid, OK with husband Jeff and their three children. They share their 30 acres with cattle, six horses, three dogs, and Rooster the cat.