On Reading

"When you read a book, you don't just read, you journey. This is why at first, one is always regretful upon nearing the last page, thinking that it all ends there. But it is when we look into our minds after reading that we find the new world we discovered and with dawning realization see the truth of the matter:
...that the journey never ends."

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Review: When It Happens by Susane Colasanti

I’ve heard good things about Susane Colasanti’s works from a friend of mine who’s read some of her books; he said it’s like Sarah Dessen, for middle-schoolers. So going into When It Happens, I was expecting middle-school issues, a maybe-broken-maybe-not kind of guy, and a main character with stuff to resolve within her. It turns out, it wasn’t what I expected at all, and I mean that in a good way.

When It Happens is told from the alternating perspectives of Sara and Tobey, both seniors who have totally different priorities. Sara, whose aim is to get into NYU and experience being in the spotlight in her last year in high school, has set her eyes on Dave, who she sees in her head as the ideal boyfriend and has everything all planned out. Tobey, on the other hand, a slacker yet talented musician who doesn’t worry about college at all, is focused on one thing alone for his senior year: getting Sara. Both are in for surprises when they find out there’s a lot more in store for them than they planned.


This book made me laugh. Seriously. Two chapters into the book and I was already laughing. It’s just that Colasanti has a way of making things seem realistic and totally relatable, despite the fact that it’s a fiction book. It’s as though she was a teenager herself when she was writing this, if only because you understand the characters’ issues well yourself. The issue of college was an issue of mine too, a year ago. I know the pressure Sara and the others went through, which is why it’s so refreshing to have Tobey’s point of view, which was laid back and carefree. It was fun reading how Tobey saw things and going ‘Ohhh, so that’s how it feels like to not care…’ And the immediate ‘Awwww’ when he decided to turn things around and get into all the college hype for Sara and for himself, too. Tobey’s unwavering dedication and perseverance was admirable, and I can only imagine those wide, blue eyes that are talked about in this book so much. Sara’s view of things was nice to read too, I just enjoyed Tobey’s more. But her courage to choose what would make her happier, made her strong in my eyes. I mean, I know it was an easy choice, considering she had a lot in common with Tobey and none with Dave, but still, the decision to act on that choice, despite the consequences, was truly a feat on her part. 


The one thing that didn’t sit well with me happened in the middle part of the book, when Sara and Tobey finally got together. There wasn’t as much excitement as there was in the beginning with the chase. I just missed the action and the problems. That’s weird, but hey, sadist here. 

When It Happens wasn’t what I expected because it turned out to be a fun read that still had depth. It still managed to address certain teen issues that are still prevalent these days. With all the things begging for our attention in life, and yes, that includes us teens, it’s just hard to find the balance that we all need, and the characters in the book undergo that kind of conflict. They learn, and we learn along with them, that everything can be managed if taken one thing at a time.

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