April 2001

$18.95 AU

146p pb

ISBN: 978-0702232299

The Year It All Happened

Catherine Bateson

from the book...

I throw the dice - 

four or over I stay

one to three I pack up.

Six dots stare back, telling me

I've nothing left to lose.

John stays with the dice but not all choices can be left to fate. Merri makes a loaded decision. Nick takes his heart in his hands and gets a second chance. Leigh revs up her life with nearly disastrous results.

In this sequel to A Dangerous Girl, Catherine Bateson delicately unveils a year in the life of these four emerging adults. It is a verse novel celebrating life, love, change and the year it all happened.

If you have read this verse novel and would like to share your opinion of it with other readers please send your review or comments to YARR-A

The Year It All Happened is the second verse novel by Catherine Bateson. It is the sequel to A Dangerous Girl and is an intriguing book that follows the lives of four teenagers who leave their lives to fate for a new beginning of the New Year.

Making choices or leaving it up to fate The Year It All Happened takes off from A Dangerous Girl as Merri, John, Nick and Leigh start the New Year with new discussions and resolutions. Do simple choices really change lives?  Four lives, four choices: Who will get what they want?

The Year It All Happened is a saucy novel with slick and tough characters presented in a verse format by Catherine Bateson, giving a captivating view of teenage life, showing the mishaps which occur through the choices they make. I would recommend this novel for young adults 13+ and rate it 7/10.

Annie, Year 10, Canberra, Australia

This book, The Year It All Happened, follows on from A Dangerous Girl and sums up the first book really well. It tells you how all of the main characters from A Dangerous Girl live their lives after the big split in the first book. This story even adds a few more characters just for the ride.  At the end of this story I felt as if the overall story of the two books was complete.

I really liked reading about how Merri dealt with becoming pregnant.  When she decided to keep the baby I was really impressed at how she told everyone she was keeping Lily even when most people told Merri to give the baby up.  Merri wanted the baby so much that she continued to get her degree so she and the baby had a future.  She managed being pregnant with all its beauties, like morning sickness, while still going to school everyday.

When John moved away I thought that we wouldn’t hear from him anymore but in the first section you get to experience him rebuilding his life.  He has his struggles but I really liked how he found happiness.  He becomes an Uncle and even gets over Leigh, which I didn’t think was going to happen.  It just shows there are more fish in the sea.

After the big fight with Merri I thought Nick was going to run off like his father.  I actually started to despise him. I couldn’t believe he would do that after say he wouldn’t be like his father. Even when he did go back to Merri I didn’t really like him anymore. I felt this even when in the first book he was my favourite character.

Leigh in the first book was my least favourite character but she became one of my favourites when she swallowed her pride and went to say sorry to Merri.  This is one thing I have a lot of problem doing and I found it an interesting part of the book because you know from then on things were going to get exciting.  Leigh seems to have a way of fixing problems when she gets her mind set on doing it.

I really enjoyed this book.  Being a verse novel it made it a quick and easy read which adds to some places when you couldn’t wait to see what was coming.  The way the story was broken down into a section of months made it easy to understand where you were up to in the year, especially with the baby coming along.

Ally, Year 10, Canberra, Australia

The Year It All Happened is a story written by Catherine Bateson and is told in poetic form. This present day story is based on the daily lives of four close friends who face some problems together. One night, an accident changed all of their lives forever.

My recommendation for this book would be to readers between the ages of 12 to 15 because it can make people aware of issues that can happen at any time. I would rate this book 8.5 out of ten because I liked the book and I liked what happened; however, I found the switch between characters a little difficult.

Teagan, Year 8, Canberra, Australia

Back to verse novels list