Saturday, June 13, 2015

Book Review: In the Unlikely Event

School is officially out for the summer, which means more time to relax, work on things around the house, and, of course, read. After a sixteen-year hiatus in the world of adult fiction, Judy Blume, who is well-known for her children and young adult titles, such as Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing, Superfudge, Blubber, and Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret, returns with In the Unlikely Event, a hugely engaging and solid adult novel full of dept and humanity.

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In the Unlikely Event takes place in Blume's hometown of Elizabeth, New Jersey during the early 1950s, when the city was shattered by three plane crashes within two months. The neighbors in the diverse, working class city are confused and frightened--how likely is such a thing to happen not once, but three times? Unsure of what is behind such a thing, many rumors begin to fly through the town...communists, aliens, another war.

Fifteen year old Miri Ammerman lives in Elizabeth with her single mother, uncle, and grandmother. She is the center of a large cast of character who tries to navigate this strange period when passenger planes fall from the skies into the center of their lives. Miri's uncle is a newspaper reporter and he gives firsthand reports of each crash, going back and interviewing everyone, and reporting analysis of the crashes. His first hand accounts are included in the novel, in newspaper format, which adds another layer of depth to the storyline.

In the Unlikely Event is a fully engaging novel, with a cast of characters that is almost too big, I had a lot of those, "Wait a minute, who is that again?" moments while reading. That was one of the major issues I had with the novel, as it was sometimes very difficult to figure out how each character fit into the story and what their background was. 

I give the novel an 8.5 out of 10 and I really hope Blume's talk of this being her last adult novel is just

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