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Happenstance: A Novella - Jamie McGuire

5/5 stars

This book reminds me of Stephen King's Word Processor of the gods, but not in a supernatural way. Once again, Jamie McGuire's addictive writing has sucked me in. I read this in one sitting.

Eighteen-year-old Erin Easter has had a rough life. She is dirt poor, living with a drunk, high, neglectful mother. DHS has been out to her house on multiple occasions but did not find sufficient cause to take her away. Those who were once her friends now live every day to make her life hell. They tease her mercilessly. She works at Dairy Queen to get by. Her one friend/mentor/fill-in mom, Frankie, is in her twenties and also works at Dairy Queen. She was a teenage mom, and with the closing of the town's factory, it is the best job she can get. Then one day, the boyfriend of one of the mean girls, sticks up for her.

They start hanging out together. He likes that he can be himself around her and not try to impress anyone. They both have had secret crushes on each other for years. He breaks up with Mean girl Alder, and she comes to the Dairy Queen, threatening Erin and promising to re-double her efforts to destroy her once she returns from Spring Break. In an instant everything changes and all her problems are solved.

No more mean girls hating her. No more neglectful mom. Money problem--gone. Loving family with devoted parents--check. Kind, wonderful boyfriend--check.

The ending reminds me of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

Remember what happened to the man who got everything he ever wanted?
He lived happily ever after.

As this is the first book in the series, I don't have high hopes that this will happen for Erin.