by Emily Adrian
Publisher: Dial Books
Release Date: June 2nd 2015
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Realistic Fiction, High School, Chick Lit, Theatre, Fiction
Stereotypes, sexuality, and destructive rumors collide in this smart YA novel for fans of Sara Zarr’s Story of a Girl, Siobhan Vivian’s The List, and E. Lockhart’s The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks.
When Rebecca Rivers lands the lead in her school’s production of The Crucible, she gets to change roles in real life, too. She casts off her old reputation, grows close with her four rowdy cast-mates, and kisses the extremely handsome Charlie Lamb onstage. Even Mr. McFadden, the play’s critical director, can find no fault with Rebecca.
Though “The Essential Five” vow never to date each other, Rebecca can’t help her feelings for Charlie, leaving her both conflicted and lovestruck. But the on and off-stage drama of the cast is eclipsed by a life-altering accusation that threatens to destroy everything…even if some of it is just make believe.
So this a group of theater kids and theater kids can be dramatic. When I was in High School my friend transferred to another school where she became a part of her own type of Essential Five. I was the token non-theater kid that would hang out with them periodically. They were fun and adventurous and often times very silly. I would hang out backstage and watch their plays. One of the guys passed away very young and I remember riding around in his truck that I can’t believe even worked. So this book found a soft spot in me pretty easily right off the bat. I felt like Emily easily captured the theater/art kid spirit and how it can be bonding and sometimes a little cut throat. You are all going for the star roles.
I actually liked Rebecca, which I wasn’t sure if i was going to at first. She was so matter of fact and just who she was. I loved the confidence she exudes and the way she has her own mind. We find out some things that make you realize that she is not going to crack under pressure. She does have some growing up to do in the department of empathy. She does learn some things but still has growing up to do, she is only 16.
At first I wasn’t so sure about the summer camp part but I realized as I kept reading how it had given definite input into Charlie. Rebecca too but mainly Charlie. The pieces of his personality just keep falling into place and normally I would be jealous of his relationship with Liane for Rebecca’s sake. I felt like she could do better and this is high school. There is so much time for so many greater things.
I loved the way the book focused also on Rebecca and her relationship with her family. Her mother, father and sister. I have three older siblings, two of which are 10 & 12 years older than me (I know seriously I need to stop comparing this book to my own experiences but seriously!). My oldest brother was so similar to Rebecca’s sister! Except for one thing but it’s crazy. So I was so glad that we get to see how she had seen her sister when she was young and how her sister and her interact now. It was a mixture of how other people had wronged her sister but she had also wronged herself. A good example of how you see things in the moment and how you see things when you grow up.
So the drama that happens later in the book, actually happened to a guy I know. So I felt like I was so angry for him all over again. Even when the truth came to light for him just like in the novel it changed him. I loved how Rebecca handles thing, even though she is the victim of rumors she is still confident and doesn’t let it break her. Which is a good quality to have as an actress.
I really bonded with this book and maybe it was because there were multiple things that I was able to connect with life experiences, either I had or know people who have had. When I finished I felt like, that was a satisfying read. It’s hard for me to explain the writing type. It has that narrative that is more matter of fact then emotional. Which for this kind of contemporary read I really enjoyed. I felt like the book moved very quickly for me and I was engrossed the entire time.
I would say give Like it Never Happened if you are looking for something that isn’t necessarily a teenager finding their great love but definitely navigating their way to adulthood.
Emily currently lives in Toronto with her husband and their dog named Hank. Like It Never Happened is her debut novel.