Like it Never Happened is the debut novel of Emily Adrian who launches into the YA genre with this compelling story surrounding Rebecca Rivers, the girl who finds herself part of the “it” crowd by being cast as the star of the school play. Then she finds being popular is a role that comes with scandal, on and off the stage. The supporting characters are a group of talented actors and their storyline hints that all is not what it appears and some of them deserve Oscars for their performances. High School nowadays seems more dramatic than anything that could be imagined by any drama club.
When the characters start working on the play, a Streetcar Named Desire, I thought their lives might parallel that story but the author did a great job of throwing a curveball. The “it” in the book title could have been connected to several things that happened in Rebecca’s life (or her sister’s life) or as the general theme of the entire book. In the end there was a satisfying ending for most of characters but I was waiting, to the very last page, for a final confrontation between Rachel and Tess to bring some sort of closure to their complicated past. There are many adult themes tackled in this story which makes the story much richer for the readers. I have high expectations for Emily’s next book.
Stereotypes, sexuality, and destructive rumors collide in this smart YA novel for fans of Sara Zarr’s Story of a Girl, Siobhan Vivian’s The List, and E. Lockhart’s The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks.
When Rebecca Rivers lands the lead in her school’s production of The Crucible, she gets to change roles in real life, too. She casts off her old reputation, grows close with her four rowdy cast-mates, and kisses the extremely handsome Charlie Lamb onstage. Even Mr. McFadden, the play’s critical director, can find no fault with Rebecca.
Though “The Essential Five” vow never to date each other, Rebecca can’t help her feelings for Charlie, leaving her both conflicted and lovestruck. But the on and off-stage drama of the cast is eclipsed by a life-altering accusation that threatens to destroy everything…even if some of it is just make believe.