Okay, so the theme of this novel is already stamped on the title what happens When It Happens It being something real I m gonna do an adjunct summary to the one above because I m having fun describing this story Bear with me Voila See, the very likeable heroine, Sara, gets caught up in this relationship with one of those projected Everything Boys popular, good looking, charismatic, barfs out every Gary Stu quality under the sun etc She s thrilled wouldn t you be Except that Dave that s the Ken doll doesn t make her feel very special in fact, he s only in it to, you know, get down tonight and she s just not ready for that Being with him is labor in and of itself cos the dude is, when you get down to it, a son of a bitch.
Meanwhile, over in Reality, there s Tobey, a seemingly confident not so much on the inside, as seen through his first person narration musician who wants to be with Sara While she s undergoing her will she or won t she in regards to breaking up with Ken Doll, Tobey keeps devising ways to get her to get it over with already because he thinks she s his something real and vice versa Too cute This isn t really a spoiler because any half wit can probably happens They get together Too cute And unlike with Dave, Sara feels this incredible connection to Tobey He does too, with her It s instant it s a click it s love.
It is TOO CUTE Just thinking about them as a couple makes me squeal, so I know other romance lovers out there especially those who like for the girl to go for the dark haired, brooding, creative type will devour this one It s not only for the fluff munchers either there s a certain aspect of their relationship this is a spoiler I won t share that inspires some tension between the two Tension sweet torment for us readers D So all is not perfect in paradise, making the realist within me very happy SQUEAL.
Make no mistake however, this isn t perfection epitomized Can perfection be epitomized While I loved the focus on Sara and Tobey s squeal ness, Sara s best friend and even Sara herself had some tough home situations which were only dealt with in peripheral If these element had to be in the story, I think they deserved to becomeprominent and, conversely, to be given acomplete resolution Also, there were a couple of characters, like Cynthia and the art teacher, who feltlike props than real people and were only utilized when jealousy needed to be stirred or there was something to be figured out In that sense, this novel came short ETA Oh and I meant to add in here somewhere that sometimes I got sick of Tobey objectifying Sara many a sexual scenario ongoing in his imagination I mean, I know you ve got the hots for her, but it got to the saturation level Andandand, I sometimes found his narrative cheesy Because this two first person accounts, Sara and Tobey s Most of the dual narrative novels I ve read encounter this problem when the author tackles the opposite sex, so it s not exclusive to this book Or maybe guys really are like they re portrayed and I just have issues when it comes to figuring that out Howeverrrrrrrrr, I perhaps highly recommend this one It goes by very quickly and, to me at least, it was of the very feel good variety.
That said, I still disliked the second Colasanti book, Take Me There Hard to believe it followed When It Happens, but there you have it.
When It Happens begins on an awkward note The author s use of so I go and then she was like instead of the tried and true he said , she said wasdistracting than anything else It jolted the reader out of the narrative long enough for them to think, Wow, the author s trying too hard, before sinking back in to the story.
With little things like that, it took awhile for it to really feel that Colasanti got into the groove of the story Things started to sink into place between pages 30 50, and the real plot began to emerge Once you hit that place in the book, When It Happens turns into a sweet story of a guy who wants to get the girl.
While the novel wasn t perfect by any means, the story was cute, the characters all likeable and the end satisfying If chick lit is what you want, chick lit is what you ve got.
I was born too late I wish I wereconscious aware the decade when The Breakfast Club, St Elmo s Fire and Pretty in Pink were cool and hip Then my inexplicable crushes on Andrew McCarthy sa woon and John Cusack sa wooning some, wouldn t be so well, inexplicable But thanks to weekend reruns on ABC5, I have watched them over and over and over again much to my brother s confusion Why am I so into those movies anyway I am very fond of those movies for the same reason I am very much into When It Happens Those movies, this book are just simple and sweet stories with a dash of teen angst, a little late teen rebellion and a lot of falling in luv.
Who didn t love the emo girl coming out of her shell with the princess make over that she got Or who didn t love the idea of rebel boy getting little Ms Perfect Or who didn t swoon a little with over Lloyd s boom box serenade And then there s my personal favorite, Andrew McCarthy in anything So, yeah, grumbles I feel very cheated having been born too late Where does the book come in Well, When It Happens is a throw back to all those movies In it, Mr Slacker that s Tobey decides to better his ways to get Ms Smarty pants that s Sara All so they could have their something real.
I loved how they would tell the same story with slight differences Where one thought something was cute, the other thought it lame and the rare instances where one thought something lame with the other concurring I also loved their friends What marvelous bonuses Sara, Maggie and Laila probably crack me up because they remind me so much of me and my own friends I love how they laughed at themselves but were there for each other I loved how they weren t peas in a pod clones of each other, but had personalities of their own And Mike and Josh Oh my gosh, they would have been what the guys on Entourage were in high school if the guys in Entourage were slightly dorky er and musically inclined LOVE IT LOVE IT LOVE IT 4.
5 This book lost me on several fronts First of all, I was hard pressed to understand how the sex obsessed liar Tobey was any better than the equally sex obsessed, but virginal, bully Dave Second of all, the pacing issues in this book e.
, Sara finding out that Tobey and Cynthia used to have casual sex meant a frequent glossing over of major developments On one page, Sarah has just found out about the relationship and is angry as hell at Tobey The next page, the beginning of a new chapter, picks up some time later, and they have already mended fences Where is the relationship building in this How can we forgive Tobey his omission of truth if he atones for it off the page How can we understand how this relationship can last if conflict resolution is skipped in favor of shallow banter which, in most cases, does little to advance the plot between friends There are other instances when scenes gain momentum and then drop off suddenly This made the narrative feel choppy.
Moreover, there simply wasn t a strong enough connection between Tobey and Sara to warrant the soulmate label We re told that they re something real, but the book does little to show us why this is true The two have hardly ever interacted when he takes it upon himself to scheme for her affections There is little direct communication instead, just a sad series of manipulations and contrivances to get her attention, rather than just talking to her as actual soulmates would Though, to their credit, Sara and Tobey do play Dots in class sometimes This is another YA romance with the class partner setup though, in this case, the setup is orchestrated by Tobey himself When they finally do talk on the phone, a conversation that propels Sara to break up with Dave, they say nothing of actual substance to one another The conversation is awkward At one point, it actually devolves into a string of yeahs There is nothing to indicate what it is that makes them right for one another.
Also, is it at all believable that a girl born in the late 80s would never have heard of R.
M It pains me to concede this point, but I can at least understand her never hearing of Jane s Addiction ow, that hurt But R.
M They re kind of hard to miss Kind of iconic In general, the music used in this story felt out of tune with the narrative, as if the author just found random places to insert her own favorites There are mentions of The Cure, Led Zeppelin, Peter Gabriel, Coldplay, and Eminem Dave Matthews Band pops up gratuitously in several places, and Tobey makes the strange choice of using Say Goodbye to prove his love to Sara before sleeping with her for the first time Nice try, Tobey, except Say Goodbye is a song about being lovers for a night and going back to being friends the next day Hardly the lyrical gesture necessary to prove to this girl that you want her forthan just sex.
It doesn t help that, in the formative stages of their relationship, Tobey is constantly thinking about doing it with her and going so far as to feign interest in what she is saying something he admits to doing to up his chances of scoring Rarely do we get any introspection from him about his actual feelings for her, or anything at all to indicate that there is anything beyond sexual attraction.
Also, the non relationship between Sara and her mother needed waydevelopment We are supposed to forgive Sara for breaking the code and ditching her friends for Dave and the popular crowd because she feels unwanted at home her mother, who had her as a teen, is hyperbolically cold and blames Sara often for ruining her life But there s no exploration of this beyond a few paragraphs of information dumping exposition Then, the book abandons this key issue until the end, when Sara s mom hugs her awkwardly at graduation before returning to her regularly scheduled ambivalence Simply put, I neededshowing and less telling on multiple fronts, not just this one.
Finally, the Yale diss at the end of the book didn t improve my mood My husband is a researcher at Yale, thank you very much This book is not without potential I think it just fell into several traps along the way that plague a lot of YA narratives right now Love triangles will never, ever stop making for a compelling read However, they require deep dialogue and even deeper character exploration to be convincing I think that s where this book fell short.
My feelings about the book could be summed up by a repetitive dialog in the book, You re so muchthan you re letting yourself be That s what I felt like saying to the author, as the seemingly interesting storyline gotandfrivolous.
I know that Dave thought of girls in terms of sex but so did Tobey his thoughts weren t just as pronounced and as forceful Plus, the whole slacker thing with Tobey didn t work out well enough, either Moreover, the whole Battle of the Bands aspect also lagged behind in the development area.
The character of Sara got immature with all the self indulgence about being in the popular world and then studying like a maniac On the one hand, she s proud to be a nerd and on the other, she can t resist the high life What high life, the popping pills in try rooms one In all, I had high expectations for this book But Maggie turned out to be not what I thought and the book s target audience is probably 11 to 15 Granted, it did make me laugh with at the corny jokes but, after a while, the story got way too messed up that I just rushed through it.
THIS REVIEW WILL CONTAIN SPOILERS Literally one of the most awful books I have ever read, and this is coming from a girl who has read a lot of books, and always finds something to like about them no matter what.
Unless you re thirteen or have a thirteen year old s ideology of love, I suggest you skip over this one.
Sara wants Dave the hot guy and Dave wants to have sex with Sara, the hot smart girl Tobey likes Sara for who she is and also wants to bang her and Sara feels something real for Tobey, even though she s dating Dave It s not complicated or convoluted at all And yet, it somehow became this stupid complicated mess I can name a million things I disliked about this abhorrent novel, but I ll start with the thing that insulted me personally it took me over a week to finish this quick, 600 page read I can scan through a book this size in a few hours flat, but this novel was so boring, so mind numbingly ridiculous, I could barely get through ten pages without having to take a break from it.
The only reason I even read it until the end was because I had seen so many people say it gets better halfway through, and although that IS true, I still wish I hadn t wasted my time on it, because this book s better was still pretty awful.
Some of the things that peeved me off most Sara and her constant self reminders of how smart she is How clich d and stupid the popular kids were Sara s annoying friends and their annoying problems and their ridiculously easy process of getting over said problems seriously one of the girl s dad s decides to move out, Sara has nothing comforting or helpful to say to her friend in fact, as her friend is crying and splashing her face with cold water, Sara experiences this unwanted moment of jealousy because if SHE ever did that her makeup would run and by the end of the day, her friend seems to be over this horrible thing that s happening in her family Complete lack of descriptions I mean I barley know what anyone looks like, it just never went into very much detail at all These people do not have senior mentality, they have middle school mentality, or freshman mentality at best The only plus side, I suppose, was Tobey, because he was sort of cute and I liked his friends better than Sara s, but not by much There was also this big dramatic scene when Sara is still with Dave and Tobey drives her home She gets out of his car and goes to the driver s side and they press their hands theatrically against the window and it s ridiculous the way they re acting as if there s some unstoppable, cosmic force keeping them from being together, instead of just a sleazy boyfriend Also, Sara makes a point over and over to emphasis just how smart she is, and how she needs someone just as smart in her life And yet, she can t find it in herself to end it with a guy pressuring her into having sex Dave As tacky as I think it is to comment on your own level of intelligence, I will say I was one of those people in a lot of advanced classes and my friends were similar, and next to NONE of us had this problem The types of girls who have problems like the Sara Dave situation are literally girls who a can t think for themselves and b don t make smart choices, and Sara is supposedly neither I d also like to point out the number of things Sara and Tobey have in common i.
e EVERYTHING is just one of the stupidest things I ve ever seen Just because they have a billion things in common, they re all of a sudden soul mates At one point one of Sara s friends says that you ll never find a guy with every quality you like, which is true and realistic, and although Sara agrees out loud, in her head she still believes in the guy who can have everything in common with her and be the exact person she wants him to be.
I wish you could see how hard I m rolling my eyes In the end, I guess this novel could be considered cute if you can ignore how utterly silly it all is, and also if you re maybe a little younger I think this was written for a younger audience, just because of the easy 1 1 2 ways the characters had of fixing problems But since it was targeted to a younger audience, I can t understand the need for there to be so many references to sex.
Although I will say that may have been one of the most realistic things about it, boys at that age WOULD have that at the forefront of their minds, and girls would too for that matter.
Would not recommend to ANYONE.
At The Start Of Her Senior Year In High School, Sara Wants Two Things To Get Into A Top College And To Find True LoveTobey 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 Hilariously And Movingly Told Through Tobey And Sara S Authentic Voices, Susane Colasanti S Debut Novel Sizzles In Its Portrayal Of Two Young People Searching For The One I read this book on the recommendation of a very sentimental friend, and the novel turned out to be everything I expected predictable, overly forced, and out of perspective Within the first fifty pages, I had planned out the whole entire plot of the book After I finished, I was completely right about the whole thing Every part of the plot line was predictable It s quite a boring read when you already know what happens.
This author, honestly, is something out of touch with anything that teenages do and how they talk and what they talk about or whatever you want to say I, being a teen myself, felt like this was someone who had no idea what she was talking about All the words seemed dated and like she was trying to hard.
All in all A predictable, ho hum, normal novel that was generally pointless But my friend loved it, saying that it was so romantic and cute If you re like that, then I guess you ll like that.
It s one of the best YA novels out there, and definitely the best love story, on par with that of Ron Hermione, or Lily James It s one of those epic ones that you don t logically think exist, and yet, can t help but hopeTobey s the guy every girl is looking for He s sincere and honest and sweet and just a thoroughly lovely open person He and Sara make an unbeatable pair.
While Sara and Tobey are the main focus, the other plotlines Maggie s parents, college hunting, etc all work effectively together It gives the bookdimension and realism.
Colasanti is a master of characterization She manages to get into the boy s brain and perfectly capture it Her alternation of POVs is also great, with not too many but not too few characters telling the story One would think this would be repetitive, but I LOVED seeing the very different ways Sara and Tobey thought about the same events Hilariousness ensues.
Why is this better than other books in the romantic YA fiction genre Because it has serious depth many of those lack Because we get geeky characters that are really really relatable Because it s realistic and really can happen Because it tells a good story, but has a great moral too Identify your dreams and then do whatever it humanly takes to make them a reality It s not only an adorable lasting love story, but it s got much depth and other things that provide deep reflection Why Because this is perfection in a book.
Maggie s like, Did he call Already, by this line in the second paragraph I was frustrated and disappointed by When It Happens The author is a high school teacher she should have been able to write realistic compelling dialogue However, her writing seemed to fall between corny and contrived The alternating first person narratives between the two protagonists does not present a cohesive story but rather a battle of the sexes and comes no where near the writing of Nick and Norah s Infinite Playlist The plotline, all though certainly not an original one, could have worked had Colasanti not confined her characters to stereotypes of jock geek and slacker The emotions of the characters are blunt and one dimensional Unless you like to go through a book and make your own edits, I do not recommend this read However, I hope that if encouraged to experiment and with a little writing help, Colasanti could come out with a strong second novel.