Friday, July 06, 2007

When It Happens, by Susane Colasanti

Sara spends the Summer before her senior year waiting for Dave to call her, while Tobey spends the Summer trying to build up the guts to ask Sara out. So, things get complicated in the Fall when Dave asks Sara out before Tobey can make his move. But things will work out in the end, because when it happens you just know that it is right...and Sara and Tobey are soul mates. Misunderstandings ensue and the young couple work through applying to colleges and deciding whether to have sex.

And that basically sums up this story. It has a nice realistic quality to it (and Colasanti does a fairly decent job of portraying her male characters -- a real challenge as the novel is told in alternating narration from Sara and Tobey), but the story has very little in the way of surprises or drama. You basically know where the story is going. In fact, the story is so predictable that even Colasanti decides to drop most of the plot lines before she concludes them. That makes for a brisk read, but not for anything you can get your teeth into. Good characterization, but really thin story.

Oh, and please save me from another YA novel where the kids have unusually ancient tastes in music. In this one, they swoon over The Cure, Bob Seeger, REM, Chicago, and even James Taylor! I can understand a few retro tastes, but give me a break! Those are my favorite bands, but I'm old enough to be a Dad in this book! I'll cast my vote right now for fictional pop music. Either that or we require all authors to actually learn some current pop culture before they publish (and a few gratuitous references to the White Stripes or Coldplay - so yesteryear! - does not qualify).

1 comment:

Katie said...

I believe this is a great book and I like how it unfolds in the plot. That is REAL life.