All Hanna's wanted since sophomore year is Seth. She's gone out with other guys, even gained a rep for being a flirt, all the while hoping cool, guitar-playing Seth will choose her. Then she gets him -- but their relationship is hurtful, stormy and critical, not at all what Hanna thinks a perfect love should be. Bewildered by Seth's treatment of her and in need of understanding, Hanna decides to fulfill her school's community service requirement by spending time with Helen, her terminally ill neighbor, who she's turned to for comfort and wisdom throughout her life. But illness has changed Helen into someone Hanna hardly knows, and her home is not the refuge it once was. Feeling more alone than ever, Hanna gets drawn into an audiobook the older woman is listening to, a fierce, unsettling love story of passion, sacrifice, and devotion. Hanna's fascinated by the idea that such all-encompassing love can truly exist, and without her even realizing it, the story begins to change her.
Until the day when the story becomes all too real...and Hanna's world is spun off its axis by its shattering, irrevocable conclusion.My Thoughts:
How It Ends has been sitting on my shelf for months, so I am not sure what inspired me to pluck it off of the shelf Thursday evening....from the first page I was captivated. I totally connected with Hanna, and felt her anguish over longing for Seth. She envisioned them together as a couple, and it was idyllic. In reality, Seth was a hurtful, selfish jerk and unfortunately Hanna found this out on a very personal level. What she thought was going to be a loving relationship with him, turned into a heart-breaking situation for her. That, coupled with losing her special relationship with her Gran (her neighbor Helen) was almost too much for her to bear.
She called Helen "Gran" because they had been close since she was a tiny girl. Helen had looked after Hanna, while her parents worked at sorting things out in their marriage. Helen's house became a refuge for Hanna, and they had shared many special hours together.
You sidled close and touched my hand. "Are you going away too?" "Oh sweetheart, no," I said, and in that heartbeat the bond was formed, the promise made, and the emptiness inside of me was filled with the rush to comfort and protect, to earn this trust you put in me, ME, no blood relation, The Grandma Helen a courtesy title given by your parents to the childless lady in the neighboring farmhouse with a passion for books, stray cats and hungry deer, who fed the birds and loved a creaky old man named Lon who sang Beatles' songs and still had shoulders strong enough for a little girl's piggyback rides. "No, Hanna. Wild horses couldn't drag me away." pg 2
So when Helen's health begins to decline, Hanna doesn't want to face the fact that Helen will not be around forever. Hanna must complete 60 hours of Community Service as part of her school work, so she asks her guidance counselor if she would be able to take care of Helen each day after school. What is terribly sad, is that as a child, she had spent almost every day with Helen. Now, as a teenager, it had been years since her daily visits with her. Hanna was not prepared for what was in store for her.
Helen had begun listening to books on tape. Hanna began listening to them daily, while visiting with her. She is drawn into "How It Ends"....the audio book that Helen is currently listening to. And with each new chapter, Hanna becomes more emotionally involved in the story.
How It Ends is an emotional roller-coaster ride story.....filled with love, sadness, and realization that life can be painful and beautiful at the same time~
"Stay Gran," I said and I wanted it to be an order but it came out a plea. "I need you. I do." I didn't even try to stop the tears. "Who am I going to talk to if you go? You said that you would never leave me, Gran. You said so. Please stay." pg 317
- Paperback: 368 pages
- Publisher: MTV; Original edition (August 4, 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9781416546634