Friday, July 29, 2016

IN THE UNLIKELY EVENT BY JUDY BLUME - BOOK REVIEW

Hello everyone!

I am back with another book review, In The Unlikely Event by Judy Blume. Thank you to Penguin Random House for sending me a copy of this book in their Blockbuster Books Binge Box. A review was not requested, however I am providing one as a complimentary copy of this book was sent to me by the publisher. All opinions are my own.


My fairly short history with Judy Blume starts in elementary school. It was in grade 4 or 5 that I distinctly remember picking up her children's books, Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing, Superfudge, Freckle Juice, and Blubber, most memorably. I remember them all fondly, but I couldn't remember if I LIKED them. At the age of 10, I pretty much read all I could get my hands on. So when I was sent this, her newest adult book, I was intrigued.

The premise sounded interesting, and I knew, once I was about 50 pages in, I would love this book.

We start the book in "present" day, in 1987. A woman is on a plane, and after reading the character guide on the pages earlier, it could have easily been one of about a dozen women. Then the story jumps to 1952, where the majority of the book is set. We get many perspectives within the book, Miri, is kind of the main one, although we do get her mother, Rusty, grandmother, Irene, best friend, Natalie, as well as a handful of others. Each "chapter" starts off with an article from the community paper, some pertaining to the incidents, some not. Some written by Miri's uncle, Henry, other's anonymous.

I was happy to find that Miri wasn't one of the passengers on the plane that fell, I think the whole situation was handled quite well. We got firsthand details, without making it too gruesome that you'll never want to fly again, although there were a few times when I got the chills reading the passages.

This book just had so many amazing aspects to it, Miri's first love, that was so sweet, I was heartbroken for her, the role of women in the 50s, the background threat of the Korean War, still looming in the background. If I didn't already know that Blume had lived in Elizabeth, in this time, I would have thought she did, the details were so much more than just facts from someone who did some research. There's something to be said about this kind of book, where you get lost in the world around the story. I really felt like I was in Elizabeth when everything was happening.

When the story starts in November/December and its winter, almost Christmas, I got nostalgic for Christmas, and it's only July!

I haven't read a book like this in a long time, one where I found no faults, and loved everything about this book. I most appreciated the timeline. It jumps ahead 35 years earlier for the first chapter, goes throughout 1952 and a bit of 1053 and then jumps back to 'present' day, 35 years later. It felt so well rounded, and I loved seeing what happened to everyone almost four decades later. They all got together to remember the plane crashes, and it was fun seeing who married who, how many kids soandso had. I appreciated the update, because I was so invested in the characters throughout the story.

What I loved most about this book though, was that it was totally unexpected. I went into it, firstly thinking the main character was going to be on the plane when it crashed, and that it would be her story of survival/death afterward. What I got was so much more. First love, hardships, drama, mental illness, war, all with the worry that a second, third, plane would come crashing down.

Overall, I cannot recommend this book enough! One of my new faves!