Publication Date: May 15, 2018
3.5 ☆s – ‘Nothing Happened’ is a fun and quirky YA contemporary that is actually a modern day retelling of Shakespeare’s comedy, Much Ado About Nothing. The drama unfolds at a kids summer camp called, Camp Dogberry, on the coast of Maine. I did have fun with this one but also had a few issues with it that I will touch upon briefly here. For me personally, it felt a bit young in comparison with most of the YA contemporary I read. That feel held throughout the story so I have a feeling this one would be enjoyed more by individuals who are actually younger than I am (and since that is A LOT of readers, I think this will do great!) With this in mind, I was surprised at how much alcohol was consumed by the characters in this book – I know some of the characters were in college but many were not. I am certainly not being prudish about this, I know underage drinking is a thing, I mean, I was young once, but I don’t think I have read a YA Contemporary recently were it was so much a part of the story line.
Another slight issue I had was that the story follows multiple POVs and cycles through these views rather quickly and steadily. This being said, it can be hard to follow in the beginning as you are learning the characters, their personalities and backgrounds. Multiple times I had to skip back to the chapter head just to remind myself who I was following at any given point. For me, I felt the characters lacked their own ‘voices’ – they all sort of sounded the same so it was really hard to decipher at times whose chapter you were actually in.
The story did move along quickly – pushed along mainly by gossip and angst but really, if you read the synopsis, that’s what we’re here for! I loved the relationship between the MC sisters, Bee and Hana – it was 100% supportive and loving. Bee is the older girl and is adopted from Ethiopia. I thought that was handled well. Hana, the younger of the two, battles depression and I also felt that was handled well. The love relationships were a mess but that is what brought the drama. No one was communicating, everything was getting messed up and around and around it went, like a perfect Shakespearian comedy. Claudia, Hana’s love interest, was hugely self-conscious and jealous and I’m not sure if she actually learned anything by the culmination of the story; poor Claudia.
With all of this being said however, it was good! It was a quick read and would be perfect to take on a weekend holiday or to the beach. I am sure teens will find it fun and relatable. The relationships were dramatic, over the top and actually believable. I want to thank the publisher, Disney-Hyperion, for providing me with an early copy to read and review. As always, I appreciate the opportunity and look forward to seeing other readers thoughts on this one!