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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
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on 20 August 2012
I'd be lying if I didn't admit I primarily picked this book up to see what had become of my favourite brat-packer but was pleasantly surprised by the content.

Thoughful, touching prose renders beautiful the trials and tragedies which punctuate everyday life. The much trodden ground of divorcing parents is delivered feeling somewhat refreshed while the parent/child relationship is approached from various angles, all of which are both heart-felt and covincing. My only real quibble is the choice to conclude my favourite story, The Little One, indirectly through a different narrator. While no doubt a matter of personal taste, I felt most strongly for the lonely Betty and was disappointed that she slipped away so quietly while I was still getting to know her prodigal daughter.

Nonetheless this short debut novel manages to explore complex relationships in surprising depth, with some chapters comprising some really beautiful writing. I'd recommend it.
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on 29 August 2012
This is a book of short stories, the like i have never known before. Instead of stories that don't have much in common, maybe a theme or a place, these stories have in common a family. A family of Greta, Phillip and their daughter Charlotte. Each story has one of the characters in and who they meet and how that person affects them, their situation and their lives. Although other stories focus on another character, the family is always in the back ground, letting us know what is happening. Personally i love the book and found it hard to put down. A refreshing change to how short stories are written.
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on 23 February 2013
This is a lovely book. Easy to read and smartly done. The stories are interesting and interweave in a lovely way. We ALL enjoyed this book and were surprised that is was so enjoyable.
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on 15 October 2014
Really enjoyed this collection of interlinking stories. I found some of the writing lovely to read as the character's emotions and feeling unravel.

I’ve quoted my favourite lines below which so evocatively describe the despair felt when a relationship you’ve taken for granted will always be there suddenly isn’t.

“When it happens to you, you will be reminded there are worse things but your heart won’t listen to reason. Your heart is a muscle like any other, full of blood and very hungry for oxygen. Your heart doesn’t think. It doesn’t consider the relativity of tragedy when it breaks.”
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on 31 January 2017
"When it happens to you" mainly follows the lives of Phillip and Greta - a couple destroyed by Philip's infidelity. Each chapter added another character's story - all of which linked to either Greta or Philip in some distant way. Why? I don't know. I really don't get the relevance of introducing other people's 'stories'. All these side stories went absolutely nowhere whatsoever. And I am left wondering why the author didn't just stick with Philip and Greta and been done with it. Strange.
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on 18 June 2014
As a fan of Molly Ringwald’s acting work in movies such as The Breakfast Club, Pretty in Pink and Sixteen Candles, when I popped into my local store and spotted When it Happens to You I was intrigued as to what her writing work would be like. I was not disappointed. When it Happens to You is an enjoyable, profound character-based narrative, exploring morals and betrayal of love and emotion.

When it Happens to You provides examples of people’s real life troubles in everyday life. It explores emotions and reactions, as well as a chance to view the situation by different perspectives which allows the reader to empathise with many of the characters. Molly Ringwald has certainly mentally placed herself in the shoes of each character, discovering their personality, flaws and reactions.

Many readers may have experienced one or more of the ordeals that the characters are experiencing themselves or will know of someone who has. It is because of this that makes it so easy to relate and connect with the characters and their story. The reader can begin to understand how an unfaithful partner, an act of betrayal, can affect their partner’s life, their child’s life and their own life, as well as the lives of their friends, families, neighbours and new acquaintances they may meet.

When it Happens to You is made up of short stories based on each of the characters and the events that are taking place in their lives and how they respond and feel about them. Each short story centres strongly around that particular character, however as the reader goes from one story to another it becomes obvious that the book as a whole can be read fluid-like through each chapter and has a strong current running through all of them which allows the reader to see the bigger picture as well as the individual one. The stories are all connected, some more subtle than others, and they all share a main theme based on betrayal and different kinds of relationships that people have with others.

My favourite short story has to be ‘When it Happens to You’ as it explores every possible mental thought that a hurt, deceived individual would think. It asks all the questions, no matter how insane they sound and goes on to reveal how priorities are mixed up and how one loses all sense of logic when in this dark, lonely place. For example, regardless of all global troubles, natural disasters and tragedies, etc, the mind will focus on the one hurt that affects them personally. There is a great deal of powerful description, language and feeling in this one particular story. I felt that this was the core of the book and could have used the whole chapter as a quote, however this would certainly spoil the book for any future reader.

The strength and emotive power that takes over the audience when watching Molly Ringwald in character in her movies are all too apparent in her writing also. Emotions run high, there are scenes that can bring on tears, whilst around the corner Molly provides the characters (and the reader) with hope and opportunity.

Aside from the novel itself, the reader is also provided with two fantastic features in the book once the story has been read. Firstly, there is a section About the Author ‘Meet Molly Ringwald’ which provides the reader with background knowledge of Molly Ringwald’s career. This is followed by About the Book ‘A Conversation with Molly Ringwald’ where the reader is able to discover ideas and main themes of the individual short stories, as well as the book as a whole and what holds it all together. Although I found this to be fascinating to read as it breaks up the emotions and parts of the story even more, the story speaks strongly for itself and requires no clarification. It is an absolutely captivating read!!
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on 19 June 2014
An easy read but enjoyable novel. Found myself looking forward to picking up the book for the next story within the novel. I liked the concept of telling the story of characters who were in the periphery of previous stories. Would recommend as a light holiday read.
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on 4 April 2013
This book is so much more than I expected from a debutant. The characters are very realistic, the stories are well written and their focus on fidelity brings out some realistic issues that make it easy for the reader to feel for the characters.
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on 22 January 2013
8 short pieces that could be read independently but lightly layer up to give a great multi-angled story. This narrative really added to the building up of the characters and a wide insight into their actions and the outcomes. Fabulous.
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on 16 March 2015
This is a difficult book to gel with but im happy i stuck with it. Its a collection of stories and some work and some dont. Id read more by Ringwold she has an interesting voice and now a second career.
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