By Jamie McGuire
Erin Easter was now Erin Alderman, because Erin Alderman was dead.
In the second installment of this USA Today bestselling series, follow protagonist Erin, a high school senior in tiny Blackwell, Oklahoma. After a terrible accident leaves two classmates dead, Erin learns that she was switched at birth. Shortly after, she moves into the home of her true parents, Sam and Julianne Alderman, transforming Erin over night from pariah of Blackwell High School, to the only child of one of the most affluent couples in town.
Also being pursued by her childhood crush, Weston Gates, the dream she once had is now reality. But when Erin stumbles upon secrets that give her the answers she’s been searching for, she also finds a truth she never wanted to know.
****This review will contain spoilers if you have not read Happenstance Part 1.
When I read and wrote my review for Happenstance, I believed the story written by Jamie McGuire was a stand-alone novella. I recently learned this was not the case, when I discovered that Happenstance is actually a young adult novella series. Through the course of events surrounding the tragic accident that took the life of Erin Alderman, we were able to learn that Erin Easter was raised in the wrong home, having been switched at birth. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that we will be able to read more about Erin Easter as she adjusts to her life as the true daughter of Sam and Julianne Alderman.
Imagine the changes that might take place in your life if you learned you were switched at birth. Not only has Erin Easter lacked a parental support system, but she has lacked being loved. She has essentially raised herself, having been neglected by her mother. Erin has been working at Dairy Queen to earn spending money and to save for a college education. All of these circumstances combined have made Erin very mature for her age. Happenstance Part 2 focuses on the aftermath of the tragedy and changes to her life, going forward. Erin has been taken in by her biological parents, one of the wealthiest couples in Blackwell. She suddenly has a new bedroom in a new home. She now has parents who care about her emotional and physical well-being. Sam and Julianne want to provide for her and make up for lost time. Erin Easter finds herself literally walking in Erin Alderman’s shoes.
Bullying continues to be the primary issue of the Happenstance novella series. Erin is still being bullied, although the focus of the bullying has changed with her new circumstances. It remains a mystery to Erin why her best friends, Erin Alderman and Erin Masterson, turned on her in the fifth grade, but she is about to uncover the hidden truth with the discovery of Erin Alderman’s journals. And, although her relationship with Weston Gates has progressed, he seems to be holding on to his own secrets.
Happenstance Part 2 follows on the heels of a very strong first novella. In my opinion, this second novella started off slowly, with the beginning of the story primarily focusing on the changes taking place in Erin’s life. However, the author definitely captured my attention about halfway through the story. I found myself intrigued by the contents of the journals and the truth of what they revealed. Sometimes the truth isn’t so straight forward, creating more questions than answers. Although Happenstance Part 2 is not as strong as the first novella in the series, I did enjoy reading it. My rating is 4 stars. I look forward to what I think will be a fantastic ending to this series!
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.