November 19, 2009

Review: When It Happens by Susane Colasanti

When It Happens by Susane Colasanti
Release Date: 2008
At the start of senior year, Sara wants two things: to get into her first-choice college and to find true love. Tobey also wants two things: to win Battle of the Bands and to make Sara fall in love with him.

Dave, the boy Sara was hoping would realize she exists, moves in on Sara first. But Tobey is impossible for Sara to ignore. He gets the little things that matter to her and, most importantly, he feels like something real. Can a slacker rock star wannabe win the heart of a pretty class brain like Sara?

Hilariously and movingly told through Tobey's and Sara's authentic voices, Susane Colasanti's debut novel sizzles in its portrayal of two teens searching for the one.

From page one, this novel just felt real to me. Yes, the story is far from original, but Susane Colasanti managed to make something old into something completely unique. Also, I thought the characters were stereotyped--like the hot nerd, the ignorant jock, or the diamond-in-the-rough slacker--but Colasanti managed to breathe life into them. By the first chapter, I felt like I was reading about real people my age, and I liked it.

When It Happens is told from the two different point-of-views of the main characters, Sara and Tobey. Sara is your typical nerd who just wants to fit in, but there are little details about her that set her apart from the rest of the nerdy pack in YA novels.

And Tobey? How do I even begin to describe him? Well, let me start off by saying I want my own Tobey. On the surface, he's a slacker who dreams of being a rock star. Yes, I know it sounds completely clich├ęd but Colasanti's writing made him real for me. He's just like any other teenage boy who thinks about sex 99.5 % of the time, but he's also looking for something real, something that's going to last.

The only thing I didn't like about this novel was that Tobey and Sara both kept going on and on about their special "connection" and how they just clicked. They said it so many times it almost got stuck in my head. They didn't have to do that, though. Readers can see their connection. The author didn't have to remind us every five minutes or so. Doing that made their so-called connection seem fake.

And the ending? I love where the author left the characters. It felt like all the pieces of the puzzle were about to fall into the right place.

Rating: 9 out of 10

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