Review: Nothing by Annie Barrows

Nothing by Annie Barrow

When I saw that Annie Barrow had written a new YA book, I bought the Audible version immediately. I love The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, which Annie helped write. And while I didn’t love The Truth According to Us, I had to know what Barrows would do in the YA realm.

The premise of this book is that nothing exciting ever happens in real life, like it does in YA fiction books. Charlotte is determined to prove this point by keeping a journal of her sophomore year of high school. It’s a pretty short book, and it mostly chronicles Charlotte’s friendship with Frankie. The book alternates between segments of Charlotte’s book, Nothing, and real life – told in 3rd person. It was a little hard to keep straight what was happening in real time and what Charlotte was writing. Perhaps different fonts are used in the print version?

Anyway, something does kind of happen in the book even though it’s called Nothing, but it is rather uneventful, which shouldn’t have been surprising to me, right? Given the premise of the book. I don’t know. I didn’t love this one. It may have been all the swearing. (There is a lot.) Or the drug use. (There is some.) I don’t know. I thought maybe for once a YA book might actually reflect what my teenage years were like, but even though these two girls were supposed to be super boring, they were still more rebellious than I was at 15.

It’s a cute friendship story with a road trip and first romance, but it wasn’t as great as I was hoping.

Rating: 3 Stars

Annie Barrows
Young Adult Fiction
Greenwillow Books
September 5, 2017

Nothing ever happens to Charlotte and Frankie. Their lives are nothing like the lives of the girls they read about in their YA novels. They don't have flowing red hair, and hot romantic encounters never happen-let alone meeting a true soul mate. They just go to high school and live at home with their parents, who are pretty normal, all things considered. But when Charlotte decides to write down everything that happens during their sophomore year, to prove that nothing happens and there is no plot or character development in real life, she's surprised to find that being fifteen isn't as boring as she thought. It's weird, heartbreaking, silly, and complicated. And maybe, just perfect.

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