From Annie Barrows, the acclaimed #1 New York Times–bestselling coauthor of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society and the author of the award-winning and bestselling Ivy + Bean books, this teen debut tells the story of Charlotte and Frankie, two high school students and best friends who don’t have magical powers, fight aliens, crash their cars, get pierced, or discover they are royal. They just go to school. And live at home. With their parents. A great read for fans of Becky Albertalli, Louise Rennison, and Adi Alsaid. 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.
Figuring Out What Nothing Really Means
'Nothing' by Annie Barrows has an intriguing premise. The two girls in the story - Charlotte and Frankie - feel that nothing in their lives ever happens in the way that it does in young adult novels. To prove this, Charlotte begins writing their story. She calls it 'Nothing' and writes about their daily lives.
Despite all evidence to the contrary, life begins to change for them in ways that they didn't foresee. These changes are not necessarily the most obvious at times, but they show that anything can change in a moment and that the unexpected truly can make life worthwhile.
Even though the story was meant to show the normal, everyday lives of two average teenage girls, the story still had moments in which it could have been fleshed out further. For example, some of Charlotte and Frankie's friends were mentioned here and there, but no emotional connection ever seemed to stem from those mentions. It was realistic that they have other friends, but those friendships should have amounted to more, along with explanations as to the two guys they were semi-interested in at the beginning of the book. Showing how they dealt with those guys as they made plans to move forward with more "real" relationships would have strengthened the story all the more.
From unanticipated kisses to meeting penpals and helping friends and family find and hold on to love, the 'Nothing' girls have more going on than they would like, based on their thought that nothing ever happens. Yet it shows how writing down your everyday experiences, whether in book, journal, or some other form can encourage even those people most bored with life to come out of their shell and discover truths that they never saw coming.