When it Happens Review

I couldn't really divide spoilers from non-spoilers so there is a tiny spoiler at the end of the fourth paragraph of the review.
When It Happens by Susane Colasanti
Seniors in high school, Sara and Tobey couldn't be more different. She wants to get into her first-choice college; he wants to win Battle of the Bands. Sara's other goal is to find true love, so when popular Dave asks her out, she's thrilled. But Tobey always creeps into her thoughts. Lucky for Sara, one of Tobey's goals is also to make her fall in love with him.

I'm still kind of on the fence about this book.

I love the alternating points of view between the characters, but there were certain bits that I wished I could see from the other character's point of view (usually it was something I wanted to hear from Tobey and heard from Sara instead). Another thing about the changes between narrator is some scenes were repeated. First we'd hear about it from Tobey and then we'd hear about it from Sara, or vice versa. That kind of left me confused because it was like "didn't this already happen? How'd you get here, you were just there? Oh, it's the same scene."

I didn't like the jumps in time. It was like we went from a significant event one day to seven days later and it left me confused and wondering what came in between. I kept feeling like I was missing out on some major events and a couple times I even had to flip back a chapter to see just how far we'd jumped.

There were a couple things that were absolute genius though. The Rules of Cafeteria Survivor, for example, are so unbelievably true. Also the bit about AP English being the most difficult class of their high school career, not an exaggeration! (Not to scare off any of you future AP Lit-ers. It's an amazing class, but it's definitely not a blow off one.)

I liked the characters in general. They definitely felt real. Though honestly in the beginning they felt more like freshman than they did seniors, at least to me. Tobey was by far my favorite character. I loved him, even if he was a slacker. He was a hard guy not to like. Sara on the other hand...well, let's just say I wanted to slap her. A lot. Especially when she was dating Dave, but that was supposed to be a learning experience for her so I went along with it anyway. Then I wanted to do it again through the last quarter of the book. I just wanted to scream "Girl get over yourself! He's a freaking guy he's human he makes mistakes!" It annoyed me that she loved Tobey so much, until she found out that he had another "girlfriend" before her and then she was so close to throwing it all away.

As for Tobey and Sara's relationship overall, I loved it. It was so awkward and oh so real all throughout. I don't see that a lot in young adult these days. It's like two people meet and they automatically connect. There's no first love awkwardness. But there definitely was here and I loved that.

Overall: 7.5 I liked the book, but I didn't get that cloud nine feeling after I turned the last page.


Nomes said…
I keep thinking about reading colasanti. I like straight up contemp YA and see her name a lot.

have you read any others of hers?

nice review - and not too spoilery :)

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