When It Happens
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Paperback, Puffin Books, 2008, ISBN13 9780142411551, ISBN10 0142411558
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WHEN IT HAPPENS Publishers Weekly,In Colasanti's sweet debut, an unlikely pair of high school seniors fall for each other, and learn to handle the ups and downs that come with love. At the start of the book, overachiever Sara starts dating popular Dave, mainly because "after being a nobody for so long, it feels awesome to be a somebody." But when she gets paired up with smart slacker musician Tobey, they instantly connect and Sara realizes true love is "finally happening." Told through the couple's alternating perspectives, the story realistically captures the thrill of first love (Sara realizes that "When I'm with Tobey, an hour seems like a second"). After finding each other, Sara and Tobey must deal with jealous exes as well as their futures (Tobey learns to study, hoping to go to the Manhattan Music Academy and be near Sara at NYU). Readers may find the plot somewhat thin, and secondary story lines remain underdeveloped (e.g., Sara's strained relationship with her mother, who was 16 when Sara was born; her friend Maggie's struggles to deal with her parents' divorce). But the book emulates the feeling that everything but the budding romance slips to the background. Even the delectably hokey scene in which Tobey wins Sara back by standing under her window, holding up his boom box over his head (like John Cusack in her favorite scene from Say Anything) is sure to make readers smile. Ages 12-up. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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