Nothing – Annie Barrows

Finally! A book that comes with its own cover story!

“What are you reading?”

Nothing.”

The banter between Frankie and Charlotte hooked me before they’d even finished their first conversation. I loved their friendship! They were both fluent in sarcasm, were self-deprecating and funny. They got frustrated with one another. They knew each other so well and supported each other, even when supporting meant tough love. They were real! The way Frankie and Charlotte talked and thought reminded me of a rapid fire Gilmore Girls script. I could definitely imagine a teenage me being friends with these girls.

Nothing unfolded through alternating chapters. Charlotte’s first person written account of how nothing interesting ever happens to them was followed by third person prose that focused more on Frankie. This type of format can be hit and miss, but this time it worked for me. There weren’t gaping holes in the narrative where you needed to catch up and the changeover between first and third person didn’t feel disjointed.

I don’t exactly know how the author managed it but this book about nothing and how boring it is that nothing ever happens is actually quite interesting and very entertaining. Between the nothingness and the boredom, there are friendships (obviously), families, first kisses, parties, a road trip, drugs, alcohol, school, mobile phones, swearing, a stick figure, driving lessons, and plenty of ridicule aimed at YA book clichés, although not in that order.

The style had me believing that this could easily have been written by a teenager. Not in a condescending ‘ugh’ way, but in a ‘the author captured the teenage experience, including the way they talk’ way. I’d happily sign up for another instalment of the nothingness and boredom of these girls’ lives.

Thank you so much to NetGalley and HarperCollins Publishers Australia for the opportunity to read this book. I’ll be checking out the author’s back catalogue and will be on the lookout for future releases.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Once Upon a Blurb

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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