When It Happens by Susane Colasanti

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When It Happens by Susane Colasanti

Buy When It Happens by Susane Colasanti at Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Category: Teens
Rating: 3/5
Reviewer: Robert James
Reviewed by Robert James
Summary: Despite the title, not enough does happen to make this one worthwhile reading.
Buy? No Borrow? Maybe
Pages: 320 Date: May 2012
Publisher: Scholastic
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-1407130842

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Sara and Tobey are both in their last year of high school. Sara is fairly straight-laced but is determined to reinvent herself and win over the hunky Dave. Tobey is a musically gifted slacker with a crush on Sara. Told from their alternating points of view, When It Happens is a contemporary romance featuring an older pair of characters than most teen books and I was really looking forward to seeing them juggle the stirrings of love with the problems of planning for their future.

Sadly, a more suitable title would probably be When Nothing Much Happens. There are some pleasant enough characters here and the dialogue is good, but there's a real lack of any conflict for much of the book which stoppped me from ever taking much of an interest in it. There's just too many scenes which are basically Sara and Tobey getting together very slowly with not many obstacles in the way. Dave isn't quite well-rounded enough to be described as a cardboard cut-out, and this means that there's no suspense at all as to who Sara will end up with. It also suffers from the choice to narrate many scenes through both of the lead characters' viewpoints - when there's nothing much happening in a scene, it's bad enough reading it once, without sitting through it a second time. While the voices of both Sara and Tobey are fairly well-captured, they're not good enough to lift it above the repetitiveness of the plot.

It's not all bad - there's significant character development, especially as Sara's influence rubs off on Tobey, which is something I really like in novels. If it had focused more on Tobey becoming more mature and less on the predictable romance I may well have enjoyed it much more. However, overall, it's a disappointment and not one I can recommend. "

My favourite recent teen romance is the wonderful What Boys Really Want by Pete Hautman.

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Buy When It Happens by Susane Colasanti at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy When It Happens by Susane Colasanti at Amazon.co.uk Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
Buy When It Happens by Susane Colasanti at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy When It Happens by Susane Colasanti at Amazon.com.


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