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.
Title: Like It Never Happened
Author: Emily Adrian
Publisher: Dial Books
Date of Publication: June 2, 2015
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Thank you to TFBBC and Penguin Random House for the review copy! Having received one did not affect my views of the novel.
I had no idea this book even existed until I saw Christina’s praises for it. Then I noticed that the reviews for Like It Never Happened were generally positive and I vowed I’d read this one day. So when the opportunity to join the blog tour came around, I jumped at it.
And thank the book gods I did because, whoa.
Whatever you think Like It Never Happened is about, you’re probably wrong. Because it seemed like it just chronicles Rebecca’s life, with a focus on The Essential Five, her theatre best friends. We have the oh-so-handsome and charming overachiever that is Charlie, who Rebecca crushes on hard. However, The Essential Five vowed not to date each other, to avoid personal drama onstage.
So obviously, I thought that the novel would be about Rebecca and Charlie’s secret relationship, juggling high school, a bit of family drama, a crush on a teacher, and a play. HOW WRONG I WAS. Sure, it was about those things but it was also about more. So much more than that. Those plot arcs only scratch the surface of what is such a realistic narrative of the teenage experience. And it’s not shallow too. I wouldn’t have expected Like It Never Happened to delve at topics I won’t disclose because SPOILERS! Okay, fine, for example, rumors and how it can really ruin the high school experience (and your whole being and how you perceive yourself and your character and BASICALLY EVERYTHING). Gender/sexual preference, marriage, love, growing up, boundaries, and just so much more. WHO WOULD HAVE THOUGHT?
I loved how I basically knew nothing of the plot but I had these hunches and while I was right about some of them, I still was surprised by some. And while Like It Never Happened isn’t exactly a mystery, the sheer readability of the story Emily Adrian crafted just kept on propelling me to read on and know the full grasp of the story. I got so curious where the story’s going that I just wanted to get there.
Not to say that all I wanted was to reach the end. I also enjoyed my time reading Like It Never Happened because Rebecca’s voice, while not one that will go down the books as one of my favorites, was engaging and rang true to me. Her concerns, her motivation, how her mind works, it was familiar yet still sounded refreshing.
Plus, THEATRE! And their drama!
Just trust me that the less you know about the story, the better. It’s the good kind of not knowing. Let Emily Adrian take you for a ride with Like It Never Happened. I was just there for the ride and what a ride it was!
About Emily Adrian
Emily Adrian was born in 1989 in the suburbs of Portland, Oregon. After graduating from Portland State University, she moved to Toronto, Ontario, where she worked as a receptionist while secretly writing books.
Emily currently lives in Toronto with her husband and their dog named Hank. Like It Never Happened is her debut novel.