Author: Emily Adrian
Synopsis: 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.
Huge thank you to Penguin Canada for this ARC!
I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed Like it Never Happened. The characters sort of fit into that category that my co-blogger and I love, which is ugly people being ugly. While not all the characters in the story fit that bill, it’s the level of melodrama that really makes this quite the popcorn read.
Rebecca Rivers and her four friends make a pact to never date each other. Except that falls a part fairly fast when Rebecca falls for Charlie. For a kid who wants to be a lawyer, he has some epic moments of dumb in this story, but I enjoyed the fact that as a love interest he was flawed like that. Even though there is a “romance” between Rebecca and Charlie, I hesitate to call it that because a lot of the book really is about the rumours being spread about how much of a “slut” Rebecca is.
… a “slut” whose never had sex. It’s amazing how fast a rumour can spread like wildfire, and it’s even more impressive how fast it can destroy someone’s life. That’s really what this book focuses on — and the characters in this story all self-destruct in fast and rather unpleasant ways. The amount of jealousy in the Essential Five is crucial to the plot development — for a group that supposedly respect each other it’s actually abundantly clear that that is not the case.
What I love about this book is that it is about exploration and experimentation of the self. When you’re a teen, you still don’t entirely know your self-identity, and it’s impressive how people reinvent themselves and the world around them, which is exactly what happens in Like it Never Happened. Furthermore, because of this large over arching theme, I know for me, it made it such a page-turner because I wanted to see if people would even grow. Spoilers: not everyone does.
This book takes a bit to get into, and it may feel at times like it’s not going anywhere, but once the drama begins — the book it quite golden. This is a great summer read, and definitely great for those who don’t mind an unlikeable heroine who has some major growing pains.