Review of “Nothing Happened” by Molly Booth

Booth, Molly. Nothing Happened. Los Angeles: Hyperion, 2018. 

Hardcover | $17.99 USD | ISBN-13: 978-1484753026 | 325 pages | YA Fiction

4 stars

Nothing Happened is a title that sums up the story both very well and not so well. as upon first being exposed to Much Ado About Nothing, the play upon which the story is based in college, I found myself dismissing it as both a story  that is both simultaneously “about nothing” and too confusing to get into, then dubbing it the worst/most boring of Shakespeare’s best known works (judging by what I’ve heard about Coriolanus, I hesitate to call it the worst or most boring, period).

That being said, this modernized, yet faithful retelling charmed me. Yes, it’s still confusing, particularly due to the writing style of having practically everyone have chapters in first person, and this book still simultaneously has a lot happening, yet nothing more than exaggerated melodrama, which makes sense even more due to the young age of the characters. But there is a sense of relatability in the way the story is translated to modern day, keeping some of the same elements of misunderstanding, but adapting it to the setting of twenty-first century teens at summer camp.

My favorite characters were the pairing of Hana and Claudia. I loved seeing that this story showed a different, much more tolerant angle of queer relationships than many stories out there, not differentiating them from heterosexual ones, but showing that they can be faced by similar issues. Aside from a brief remark about homophobia, none of the other characters treat Hana or Claudia any differently because of their sexuality, and aside from Hana saying at one point that she is probably bi- or pansexual, there is no discussion of labels which might further confine them.

 

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