How It Ends Review

PUB DATE: August 2009

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.


Laura Wiess is a new to me author so whenever I get a book to review from someone I haven’t heard of before I get excited. I love to discover new authors.

I am not sure who sent the book to me to read and review but the book is from MTV.

I have to tell you in advance that How It Ends is a very emotional and sad story. When I read the back of the book I thought that it was a story about Hanna and everything Hanna. I admit the story begins that way but as the story progresses you begin to realize that the novel revolves more around Helen, the audio book and it’s story of Helen’s life.

The book is about Hanna and Helen who are next-door neighbors with a great bond that stands the test of time.

As Hanna is getting older and is more concerned with boys and being a popular girl then having to spend time with Helen. Helen misses the days when Hanna would come over and stay until she had to go home at night.

When Hanna was a little girl, her parents asked Helen to keep an eye on her. Helen became a surrogate grandmother to the little girl and is still called grandmother by Hanna. Hanna learned many things from Helen, such as canning, sewing, and an appreciation for the wildlife that lived in their backyards. As there was huge fields behind the houses and deers were known to go there because they were safe from the hunters.

When Hanna was growing up she asked how Helen and Lon met and Helen weaved this truly romantic story of how they met but it was a lie. When Helen begins to realize that she is getting sick she sets out to tell her story in an audio book. She feels as though Hanna must know the real story of how they met. How will Hanna react when she finds out?

Helen is slowly dying and its really sad to read. When Hanna’s school realizes that she isn’t doing her community service requirement she goes to the school to see if she can do it with Helen. So the school has agreed. Hanna goes over after school for a few hours to help out.

With the progression of Helen’s disease (she is only able to communicate with blinking her eyes) Lon is having a hard time dealing with and watching his wife die slowly. Lon’s health isn’t the best either. He feels as though he is at the end of the rope with taking care of Helen and himself. What will he do?

This is a book with a message and the message is that true love never dies. It also tackles the issue of Parkinson’s Disease.

Note that you should grab your tissues cause this one is a tear-jerker!

About the Author:
Laura Wiess is the author of the critically acclaimed novels Such a Pretty Girl, chosen as one of the ALA’s 2008 Best Books for Young Adults and 2008 YALSA Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers, and Leftovers. Originally from Milltown, New Jersey, she traded bumper-to-bumper traffic, excellent pizza, and summer days down the shore for scenic roads, bears, no pizza delivery, and the irresistible allure of an old stone house surrounded by forests in Pennsylvania’s Endless Mountains Region. Email Laura Wiess at or visit Laura Wiess for more information.

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