Review: When it Happens

At the start of her senior year in high school, Sara wants two things: to get into a top college and to find true love.Tobey also wants two things for his senior year: to win Battle of the Bands and to make Sara fall in love with him. However, a popular jock named Dave moves in on Sara first. But Tobey’s quirky wit and big blue eyes are hard for Sara to ignore. Plus, he gets the little things that matter to her. Can a slacker rock-star wannabe win the heart of a pretty class brain like Sara?–From Amazon

When It Happens is Susane Colasanti’s first book. After I finished Something Like Fate, a lot of people mentioned that they liked When it Happens better, so I decided to go back to the beginning. I love Colasanti’s writing in both books because she has an incredibly realistic sense of what it means to be a contemporary American teenager. I hear people complain all the time that YA doesn’t depict high school life as it really is; you don’t often see characters studying and freaking out about college apps. As a teacher for many years, Colasanti clearly gets the reality of what goes on in and outside of school, and portrays it in her books.

Sara and her friends are nerdy girls obsessed with getting into their dream schools and dating smart guys. There’s little I enjoy more than nerdy protagonists that I can actually relate with. I was also so pleased with the message behind this book, as Sara dates the popular guy and finds her way into his circle, but finds it ultimately unfulfilling and superficial. It’s so wonderful to see a character who can be comfortable in her own skin without feeling the need to sacrifice who she is to hang out with the “right” people, even if she had to try it out to realize that.

When it Happens is not the kind of book that’s going to make you hold your breath wondering what happens. There’s nothing unpredictable about it, but so it goes with most romances. The fun is in rooting for characters you know are going to end up with each other, enjoying the unusual ways in which people are thrown together, discovering what they share, and of course, savoring the steamier scenes which I can’t imagine writing without feeling incredibly awkward.

I now have two more of Colasanti’s books to read: Take Me There and Waiting For You. I’m looking forward to both, but hoping they won’t feel too formulaic if read shortly after this one. Maybe I should take a break? We shall see. Until I decide what I want to read next, I could continue staring at the covers on all of these books. I love them all.


One Response to "Review: When it Happens"

  • This was definitely one of my favorite Colasanti books. I love her writing style and how she incorporates music into all her books.

    1 Jessica said this (June 9, 2010 at 7:49 PM)