Guide/Reviews Database
Blejwas, Emily

Like Nothing Amazing Ever Happened

(2) YA Seventh grader Justin struggles to cope with the ambiguous circumstances surrounding his Vietnam War veteran father's death and ultimately the unknowability of his intentions. Relying on a small circle of support, including his older brother, his best friend, his bus driver, and a local homeless man, Justin slowly comes to terms with his grief and begins to move toward healing. Chapters are a collection of unconnected but chronologically unfolding scenes, most of which bring the reader directly into the events without preamble. This deliberately disconcerting style conveys a perpetual and profound disequilibrium that mimics the protagonist's inability to cope with his daily life, school, friendships, and family while he grieves internally. Deeper themes of war, conflict, and religion, with quantum physics and local small-town Minnesota history factoring in, add depth to Justin's journey.


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