Set in Manhattan and told through an ensemble of endearing voices, These Things Happen is not he quite coming of age story about a modern family. Fifteen-year-old Wesley, a tenth grader, has moved from his mother and stepfather's home to live for a school term with his father and his father's partner, George, so that father and son might have a chance to bond again. But when Wesley finds himself unexpectedly at the center of an act of violence, everyone around him must reexamine themselves, their assumptions and attitudes.
I went three whole years with only one review book that I could not finish, then 2012 happened. With These Things Happen, I have now tripled that amount. I feel horrible about it, I have no desire to even be sitting at the computer right now, typing these words. I would rather be doing anything else, including building a replica of the Acropolis out of marshmallows. I don't like having to admit I've given up on a book, it doesn't feel good.
So needless to say, this won't be a review, and I give you permission to exit out of this window, and go about your day. I do want to explain my reaction to the book, so if you are a bit curious but don't need a lot of details, then you may want to finish reading this post.
I think most of us have that one friend, who just tries to hard. They want to be all things to everyone. They strive to be funny, but normally fall flat. They will spout of facts, normally incorrectly, in order to appear smart and worthy of deep conversations. They wear clothes appropriate to someone 20 years younger than them. They want to be cool, witty, and fun, but the harder they try, the worse the results. Since they are your friend, you can forgive it. I just wish I could have forgiven it with this book.
Now I'm not saying These Things Happen fit that mold perfectly, but it's the closet analogy I can come up with. The entire time I was reading it, and granted I gave it less than 50 pages, I was grinding my teeth in frustration. Nothing I read felt real or personal to the characters I was wanting to like. The dialogue felt forced and unnatural, trying to hard to be witty and current. And that's my hang up with the book, I hated the way the characters talked, I couldn't get over it, and because of that I closed the book and have no desire to pick it up again.
I know that not giving you all that much detail, but that's all I have in me right now. I wish I had the energy to give you some examples of what I'm talking about, but that would require me to reopen the book and pick a few to share, which I just don't care enough to do. I wish I had more to say, either positive or negative, but I don't. So I'll leave you with this thought, I do think this book will appeal to readers who enjoy YA more than I do. I think These Things Happen is marketed towards the adult market, but I think it would fit in better with YA readers who are used to unnatural dialogue coming out of the mouths of teenagers.
I would like to thank Trish of TLC Book Tours for the opportunity to read/review this book. Please visit the tour page to read other reviews.