Review: This is How it Happened by Paula Stokes

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4/5 stars! 

“It won’t be easy and there are no guarantees, but I’m going to try anyway.” 

I have so much appreciation for the messages of the book and I thank Ms. Paula Stokes for bringing these issues to people’s attention. Online shaming and hate culture for many people have somehow become a way of life. It’s as if people are always waiting for people to make mistakes just so they could release their unreasonable wrath with their hate comments online. It’s honestly exhausting and it’s also the same reason I don’t spend too much time on social media and social networks.

Opening the readers’ eyes about the consequences of the above mentioned is only one of the novel’s achievement because above these messages is actually a really good story of a teenage girl caught in an accident and later on buried in grief, guilt and fear over the implications of the things she did or did not do.

The plot is finely enveloped in mystery and psychological subtexts while the characters are well-portrayed. I liked that despite the atmosphere of sadness, there was still plenty of things to smile about including the romance, friendship and inspiration especially in the concluding pages of the book.

Everyone has his or her version of This is How it Happened and the story reminds us about being cautious in our words and judgment. A simple hate comment is enough to encourage the end receiver to feel worthless as a person or worse to end his/her life. Let’s not contribute to the cruelty of the world.

P.S. The American Ninja Warrior part really won me over. My mom and I watch it as if we’re relatives of the contestants. Sometimes I even dream about getting up that warped wall in my sleep. Lol!

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