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When It Happens
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When It Happens

3.75  ·  Rating details ·  35,483 ratings  ·  1,281 reviews
An off-the-wall love story told in two voices. Straight-laced Sara dreams of two things: getting into her first-choice university and finding true love. Rock-loving slacker Tobey also dreams of two things: winning Battle of the Bands – and winning Sara. He is determined to make her fall in love with him. Tobey's quirky wit and big blue eyes are hard for Sara to ignore. But ...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published May 3rd 2012 by Scholastic UK (first published May 4th 2006)
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Average rating 3.75  · 
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 ·  35,483 ratings  ·  1,281 reviews

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Maja (The Nocturnal Library)
Adorable isn't a word I use often to describe books. In Majaland, the word is not even a compliment in that context– it’s almost insulting, really, like calling a guy cute. But there have been a few exceptions along the way, and When It Happens happens to be one of them. It’s just… adorable.

Told from alternating POVs, this is a story about Sara and Tobey’s senior year in high school. They both start the year single, but Sara has a small crush on Dave, the new boy, and Tobey has a huge crush on
Steph (Reviewer X)
Sep 11, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People looking for a very endearing, feel-good romance book.
Recommended to Steph by: Khyrinthia, Nurin
Warning: It took about 30-50 pages for me to get sucked into the narrative. So if you don't feel the effect super quickly, at least give it those initial 50 pages. The book's a quick read anyhow :)

God, I needed this. (A girl has much to grain from a pinch of romance amidst the midterm hustle.) I have no idea what worked here to make this novel as, I don’t know, endearing? Whatever it was, kudos to Ms Colasanti—a mi me gusta.

Okay, so the theme of this novel is already stamped on the title—what
Mar 17, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was born too late! I wish I were more conscious/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 more*, 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
Aj the Ravenous Reader
So where do I begin? This is hard because I’ve had an okay-meh-hate relationship with the book. The plot is kind of cliché-ish. Pretty, smart, shy Sara wishes to find a perfect boyfriend when the popular Dave finally asks her out because of course he’s only after her for her “goods.” On the periphery, an equally interesting and possibly the right guy in the person of Toby waits in semi-patience. But even though the plot is familiar, the events and the dialogue seem authentic like the author did ...more
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Dec 22, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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" was more distracting 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
Mar 01, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition

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
Jul 24, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2011
The synopsis of When It Happens was interesting; unfortunately, that's not what I cay say about the book. It falls short and by a large margin as well. I was really psyched to read Susane Colasanti after Something Like Fate. Thus, I decided to read this out the three options I had: Waiting For You and Take Me There.

My feelings about the book could be summed up by a repetitive dialog in the book, “You"re so much more than you"re letting yourself be." That's what I felt like saying to the author,
Sarah Augustinsky
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
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Mar 23, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
"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 ...more
When is Happens by Susane Colansanti was a great read. I truly enjoyed it! I couldn't put it down, so I finished it rather quickly. I liked the alternating POVs between Sara and Tobey. However, I found myself looking forward to reading about Tobey. He was such a great addition to this book.

About the story: Tobey's fallen head over heals for Sara. She's smart, focused, pretty, but unfortunately unavailable. After waiting for her dream guy to call her all summer, Dave finally asked her out when
Jun 06, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a really cute story about the inner workings of the dramatic teenagers mind.
The crushes, the swoons, the plans and plotting of it all brings back fond(and not so fond) memories of what it was like to be a teenager searching for "something real", and then realizing that it's even better then you realized it would be once you found it.

This is very dialog driven, and at first I had a hard time connecting with the characters but after a bit I found each of there voices and what I thought
I cannot, in good faith, recommend this. It is a totally vapid novel about a high school romance that is told from two alternating perspectives -- Sara (Ms. Smarty Pants) and Tobey (Mr. Indie Guitar Player/Slacker Guy). I really can't overemphasize how totally shallow the book and its characters are. All of Sara's thoughts and conversations seem to be about what she is going to wear on her dates and Tobey is "all about his music" and trying to get Sara to fall for him. It's just really ...more
Bookaholic (reads every mortal thing)

This was so...immature. Let me extrapolate:

1. Tobey's EXTREME wooing tendencies.
2. SARA.
3. SARA.
4. SARA.

You see where I'm going?
Nov 09, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was really fluffy but I enjoyed it a lot! It doesn't start off very well but after about 50 pages, I was completely hooked. Can't wait to check out Colasanti's other books!
This book was really good! I read it in two days which is very fast for me. It was such a cute book.
Oct 05, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Andrea Eliza
"There's just... this intensity... something real."

This book is a love story. An insta-love story. And if you don't already know this... I am not a fan of insta-love.

"I peer into my dresser drawer at my ancient underwear. If I were seeing my underwear for the first time, what would I think? It all looks kind of damaged. Do I need to get new underwear? I hate having to ask my mom to buy it for me. Everyone wears underwear, but it's humiliating to admit this fact to your mother. Even if she
Dec 16, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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When I finished, I sat on my bed and just thought. There were so many 5 star ratings and people gushing about how good it was, did I somehow miss it?

I'm not understanding what people are finding so "undeniably cute" about this book. I can honestly say, this was one of the worst books I have ever read.

It's not hard to please me. Give me a relatable main character who I will like and a good main guy, and I'm all into the story.


My problems began with Sara and her friends.
Sep 09, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 22, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
First of all, i gave this a 1 star at first...but then I changed it because I finished the book. I am very confident that if a book was a 1 star book I would not have finished it HOWEVER this is the only book that I can remember reading and thinking the whole time "...only ____ more pages until this thing is finally over". this is the only young adult book that I have read and thought, man, maybe i', too old for these books. I am well aware that these books are intended for YOUNG adults but ...more
Karla Mae (Reads and Thoughts)
Like other books, i wanted to read this just for its pretty cover very likely of me. haha

Basically, this one is a very fun, fresh and witty read. Since i'm a big sucker for happy endings I love love stories like this. What i trully like about this one is how it is told in both the perspectives of the main characters Sara & Tobey regarding the same situations. The scenes between these two are so sweet, romantic and well-written. I especially like the remake of the scene from Say Anything
Jul 31, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: realistic
Sara is on a quest her senior year; to find something real and to get into NYU. She is a self-described nerd and proud of it, yet secretly longs for popularity and acceptance.

Tobey comes across as a lazy, but musically talented guy. I sort of picture him as a skater boy. He is majory crushing on Sara and even with his gorgeous eyes, he just can't figure out how to get her to notice him. There is the whole problem of Dave, seriously his nickname sould be D-Bag Dave.

Sara, for whatever reason
Mar 07, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 16-chick-lit
Hmm, can’t say that I’m very fond of this one. I thought the whole plot was really lame. No twists and turns, no dramatic events or anything like that. While reading I kept thinking “this can’t be it, something must happen soon” and I was always waiting for the big climax. I was still waiting for it on the last page….
What I found extremely annoying was the style of writing. All this “and then I was like and then she goes” wasn’t my thing at all. What’s wrong with good old “I said and she replied
Jul 13, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I did not really care for this book...too much inappropriate content
May 14, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: borrowed
"And while you're waiting, don't settle for anything less than what you really want."
Jun 21, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If he’s so interested, why didn’t he call? I hate that a boy is making me feel this way. And I hate that I’m letting it happen.
- Sara
I’m tired of waiting for my life to begin. Something has to happen. Like an amazing boy. I know he’s out there. I just have to find him. And it would be awesome if that boy was Dave.
- Sara
Love isn’t based on intelligence.
- Maggie
An admirable quality of parenthood is the ability to respect your kid’s privacy
- Tobey
I can be the person I want to be.
- Sara
People pay
Oct 25, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, ya, 2010
Sara Tyler has goals for her senior year. The first is to get into NYU, but the second is to find something real. This means finding a boyfriend and having that perfect connection that comes with first love. Tobey Belcher has goals for senior year, too. Win battle of the bands, and win Sara's heart. When Sara starts dating douche bag Dave, Tobey's discouraged, but then he decides to pursue her anyway. It isn't long before Sara's ditched Dave and is with Tobey, but are they really meant to be?

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Crazy for Young A...: When It Happens by Susane Colasanti → Start Date: July 14, 2014 13 23 Jul 29, 2014 12:44AM  
The Story 2 31 May 21, 2014 09:26AM  
The book! 22 100 Feb 25, 2012 04:27PM  

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Susane Colasanti is the bestselling author of When It Happens, Take Me There, Waiting for You, Something Like Fate, So Much Closer, Keep Holding On, All I Need, Now and Forever, the City Love trilogy, and the serial fiction book Inside Wants Out. She has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania and a master’s degree from New York University. Before becoming a full-time author in ...more
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