(Website, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads)Also by this author: Liars, Inc., Girl Against the Universe, The Key To Everything
Published by HarperCollins on July 11th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Friendship, Peer Pressure, Romance, Social Themes, Young Adult Fiction
Somehow I’ve become a liar. A coward. Here’s how it happened.
When Genevieve Grace wakes up from a coma, she can’t remember the car crash that injured her and killed her boyfriend Dallas, a YouTube star who had just released his first album. Genevieve knows she was there, and that there was another driver, a man named Brad Freeman, who everyone assumes is guilty. But as she slowly pieces together the night of the accident, Genevieve is hit with a sickening sense of dread—that maybe she had something to do with what happened.
As the internet rages against Brad Freeman, condemning him in a brutal trial by social media, Genevieve escapes to her father’s house, where she can hide from reporters and spend the summer volunteering in beautiful Zion National Park. But she quickly realizes that she can’t run away from the accident, or the terrible aftermath of it all.
Incredibly thought-provoking and beautifully told, Paula Stokes’s story will compel readers to examine the consequences of making mistakes in a world where the internet is always watching…and judging.
I can always count on Paula Stokes to write a socially relevant story that provides a message without being preachy and that’s what she does in This Is How It Happened.
Genevieve Grace wakes up from a coma with no memory of what happened in the car crash that killed her boyfriend Dallas. Dallas was an up and coming star who had just released his first album and having started his career on YouTube had a huge fan base. Genevieve knows a few minor details, she knows that there was another driver and she also knows that Dallas’s fans all are demanding justice and assuming that the other driver was at fault.
As the virtual world demands justice for Dallas, Brad Freeman, the other driver, has been tried and found guilty on social media, and as Genevieve slowly gets her memories of that night back, she starts to realize that maybe things didn’t exactly happen as everyone thinks.
I really enjoyed the way that Stokes tells this story… among the story itself she weaves in news articles, blog posts and tweets and really entrenches you in how social media and the internet can affect how a story gets told. And while impaired driving and cyberbullying are major themes here, one of the points, I think, was that people sometimes say and do things online that they just don’t realize may have consequences for other people.
In the second half of the book, Gen heads to Utah with her father to get away from the media circus and try to heal both physically and mentally. There she starts working at Zion national park and she slowly starts to mend… but that also means remembering the truth of that night. Stokes does an amazing job of really making friends and family a part of this story and yes, there is even some romance!
I think that Stokes really excels and writing stories that are thought provoking and interesting and relevant. She always has an important message in her stories and I appreciate that Paula stretches her wings a bit and doesn’t necessarily stay in the same lane with each of her books. Everything you read by her is so different than the last thing and I just love it!
If you’re looking for a timely book with interesting characters and a riveting storyline, then this is the read for you!