"All around me I see people laughing, joking, and walking around with these huge, goofy smiles plastered on their faces. I've begun to wonder how they do it, and more important, will I ever be able to be like that again?"Review:
Five months after his dad's unexpected death, Billy Romero is still struggling with the loss. Billy's mom spends more time talking to her Bluetooth than to him, and his best friend, Ziggy, just doesn't get it. There's no one who understands how alone Billy feels...except his new English teacher, the young and beautiful Miss Gate.
Miss Gate offers support and friendship, even giving Billy extra help with his writing outside of school. Billy isn't really sure how he feels about spending so much time with his teacher. It's a little weird, but it's also kind of exciting that someone like Miss Gate wants to hang out with him. But the closer they get, the more Billy wonders what kind of friendship this really is....
Something Happened has been sitting in my TBR pile for ages now, and I'm not really sure why that is, since I always find this subject matter (teachers crossing over the line between right and wrong with a student) to be interesting, and I'm a big fan of Greg's wife's books (Lauren Baratz-Logsted). Though, sadly enough, when I recently did give this book a chance I wasn't impressed, since, in all sincerity, when I think of Something Happened the only word that truly comes to mind is mediocre; not rock-my-socks amazing or I-want-to-burn-this book-bad, just bland, something I can manage reading, since I find it decent enough.
Though, first of, let's start of the parts I did like. One, would be the characters, especially Billy. Billy is someone that my heart truly went out to, since I can only manage how awful it must be to have a dead parent, especially one you were close to, and the feeling that no one you know truly understand what you're going through. Billy's letters to his dad were often my favorite part of this book, because they were poignant in a way that touched me, since in them the reader gets to see Billy without his guard up and how truly lonely, sad, and angry of a kid he is. I also liked the touch of romance Something Happened had between Billy and Amy; it was innocent and cute, perfect for younger spectrum of YA readers, in my opinion; and I liked how Billy reached out to another kid in his grade feeling the loss of someone close to them as well. In addition to this, Something Happened is an easy read and never became boring.
To me, things started to go badly in this novel when Miss Gate came into the picture and tried to pursue a relationship with Billy. It was not that she did this exactly, since this is what the whole book is set up on, but the way it was executed. It was believable, I'll say that, but it took a long time to build up, then was rushed, and given one lackluster, sudden resolution.
And given the short length of this novel, other characters, such as Billy's friends, mother, and therapist, were never fleshed out enough for my liking, along with other plot events that were either rushed or forgotten about. Though, with saying that, I still thought Logsted's writing was well-done in a way that makes me want to try one of his other books sometime.
In all, Something Happened is a novel I would suggest passing up, because it's never close enough to make it truly wroth the reader's time, though if you would still like to read, consider picking it from the library before hand. Who knows? Maybe you'll end up enjoying it a lot; I know others have.
Something Happened is now out!
Source: Author. Thanks, Greg!