From its first sentence, Natalie Corbett Sampson’s It Should Have Been a #GoodDay shows how easily people’s lives intertwine, leading up to a turn of events no one, not even the reader, saw coming.
It Should Have Been a #GoodDay follows four high schoolers, Emily, Brogan, Thomas and Henry, as they navigate their home and school lives over the course of a day. Some of them know each other, some of them don’t and that’s what matters: how little they know each other. It’s their everyday interactions, or lack there of, that become even more important as the story reaches its penultimate scene.
Corbett Sampson flawlessly moves between each character with a first-person narrative that allows the reader to not only understand what they’re going through, but to connect with each character on an intimate level. This connection is taken a step further through accompanying social media posts from the protagonists and other students, giving this fictional high school world a well-rounded, realistic shape.
While the story is engaging, as are the characters, the build is so slow that the reader is surprised with how fast-paced and quick the climax and falling action occur. The reader may find themselves stopping on the last page, wondering what happened and gong back to see what they missed. It’s that fast. At the same time, many readers may find the story’s pace is too repetitive for their liking, as events and scenarios are often revisited as a new character’s narrative takes over.
Despite a few faults with pacing, It Should Have Been a #GoodDay is a well-written and relatable book for both teenagers and adults. Younger readers will find a bit of themselves in one of these characters, while older ones will find themselves reflecting on their own high school experiences.