I was really excited to finally read a book by Susane Colasanti, because I had heard so much about her. However, I was disappointed by this book. I got about 70% of the way through before I put it down, because I was just so bored by the book. And I am a stern believer in finishing the book before evaluating it, but I just couldn’t. The plot was okay, but not the real fault of the novel. No, the real fault was the writing. When Colasanti incorporated dialogue into the story, she occasionally used “And then Maggie was like…” This type of writing is allowed to relay stories through text messages to friends, but is too commonplace for a published novel.
Someone once told me that to be a good writer, you must show, not tell the reader what is happening. This phrase has really stuck with me, because it seems to be a common theme in the bad writing I have come across. The writing in this novel bogged down the story so much I couldn’t even root for the characters, because they came across to me as two-dimensional and unexciting. There was nothing interesting about these characters, no character development.
The writing also affected the love story. When it Happens is a classic case of insta-love, where the two characters who know nothing about each other and haven’t had more than five conversations suddenly are madly in love. Not only is it unrealistic, but it makes the supposed-to-be romantic moments come across as cheesy and fake. There seemed to be no chemistry between the characters, and no reason why they should like each other at all. The supporting story arcs seemed like they were just thrown in there to try to create more complex characters, but came across as random and unnecessary, since they were never fully developed.
Overall this book just disappointed me. I had really been looking forward to discovering another author, since Colasanti has many published novels, but she just wasn’t the author for me. However, she may be the author for you, since most of her books have an average of 3.6 out of 5 stars on goodreads. I’m just notoriously picky about the writing in novels.
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