“When It Happens” by Susane Colasanti

15 Sep


"When It Happens" is a classic coming-of-age, falling-in-love story, told here in alternating chapters by two seniors, brainy Sara and slacker musician Tobey. The characters are exquisitely real, from the way they talk to their friends and teachers to their private insecurities and fears. The first half of the novel is a powerhouse, as Sara falls for "Greek god" jock Dave, while kind, observant outsider Tobey keeps a close eye on the relationship. As Sara starts to realize that she never feels comfortable with Dave and his popular friends, she also begins to develop an amazing bond with Tobey. Sara's friend Laila describes the growing connection between the two as "something real," and that's exactly what it is.

The story loses some steam in the second half, after Tobey and Sara inevitably get together. What should have been the climax of the book occurs at about the midway point, after which there are some contrived obstacles placed in the path of Tobey and Sara's relationship. Still, because the characters seem so incredibly genuine, most readers will be caught up in this story and hate to see it end. Definitely recommended for older teens, particularly girls, although Tobey's narration might draw some boys in, too.


Posted by on September 15, 2006 in Uncategorized


Tags: , , ,

4 responses to ““When It Happens” by Susane Colasanti

  1. Anonymous

    October 26, 2007 at 9:25 am

    I love this book!!

    When it happens is a very amazing book. I can relate to it deffinitly..I read this book already twice and I enjied reading every bit of it!

    • mel1317

      October 30, 2007 at 4:35 pm

      Re: I love this book!!

      I agree! Although it’s sort of a typical teen romance, it’s just so well done that you don’t even mind the predictable parts. I recently read “Dairy Queen,” which I’ve reviewed in this blog, and it has a similar “opposites attract” type of romance. Totally different setting (rural Wisconsin) and totally different context (football and farm work), but the same sweet, first love vibe that works so well here. You might want to check that out as well. Thanks for posting!

  2. Anonymous

    October 26, 2008 at 9:50 pm


    OMJ! (yeah like huge Jonas fan) hahe
    anyways like i love reading these kinds of books. They are like totally awsome. I was at Barnes and Nobles and I only read the first 3 chapters. I cant wait to go to the library and check it out. GRR. Oh and i want to get Lost it to by Krsten Tracy. I like love those kind of books the ones with boys and falling in love and the first times and the kissing parts. I love it all. GO TEEN BOOKS 🙂

    • mel1317

      October 29, 2008 at 4:39 pm


      Heh … I was still laughing about the OMJ!

      Yes, I agree with you, I love these kinds of books, too. I’m not at all into that mindless style of “chick lit.” Do you know what I mean? I’m talking about those books that are geared toward girls and are just utterly superficial, predictable, and unrealistic. But books like “When It Happens” that closely — and sometimes painfully! — reflect what it’s like to grow up and fall in love are terrific.

      I hope you enjoy the rest of the book when you check out the library copy. Thanks for posting!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: