119 Cross Point Road, Edgecomb, Maine 04556
(207) 882-9706

When It Happens by Susane Colasanti

February 9, 2019

Seventeen-year-old Sara Tyler is looking for something real, and her best friends Lila and Maggie are helping her search for the right guy. Sara has been waiting for Dave— a popular, handsome, and (sadly) cruel jock– to call her all summer, but he hasn’t, and it’s the last day of break. Sara can’t stop thinking about Dave and how he could be her ‘something real.’

Then there’s Tobey Beller, who has had an overwhelming crush on Sara for what seems like forever. He, too, is looking for a true connection and thinks Sara is the one he is looking for. Tobey has made a plan with his friends Mike and Josh, two members of the band he’s in, to get Sara. Tobey knows that Dave is not a good fit for Sara and plans to win her over before Dave does. On one of the first days of school, Sara and Tobey begin to talk, and the connection between them is instant. Soon Sara realizes that she might be falling for the wrong guy. As the plot moves onward, readers will get pulled into the blissfulness of budding high school romance that Susane Colasanti has created.

I thoroughly enjoyed the way that Colasanti crafted When It Happens because of the way she effectively flipped between perspectives. Each chapter alternates between Sara and Tobey’s points of view —and overlaps on what happened last. When readers read Sara’s perspective, they see how confusing her position is: stuck between two guys and putting herself under a lot of pressure in school. Tobey’s perspective is more chaotic and fun loving. He does not plan to go to college at first and does not put much effort into his school work. Tobey shows a lot of commitment towards getting Sara, and any —single— girl who reads this book will surely be jealous of Sara.

I was astounded at how amazingly Colasanti built the characters in her novel. Within the first chapter from Sara’s perspective, readers will understand her friendships with Maggie and Lila, and see how smart and opinionated Sara is.

Colasanti makes it clear what Sara is looking for (something real) and then proves that Tobey is just that. In the chapters with Tobey, the reader gets to see what he cares about and the special things about him. Colasanti made all of the secondary characters unique as well. Readers get to know more and more about everyone as the book goes on, along with the tiny details that make them who they are.

I rated this book a ten out of ten. Anyone who enjoys a romance novel would adore this enthralling tale. Some other books that readers of this book may like are Keeping The Moon by Sarah Dessen, The Last True Love Story by Brendan Keily, and To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han. They are all very intriguing stories like When It Happens. I think that this book would be a good fit for a lot of people, and I hope that many others will get pulled into the sweet world Colasanti built for readers of her work.


Speak, 336 pages

© Center for Teaching & Learning
Web Hosting Provided by Maine Hosting Solutions