Reading Judy Blume’s latest book, In the Unlikely Event, takes the reviewer back to middle school. Judy Blume’s writing style (and topic) really hasn’t changed at all. The book builds a story around the true events of three airplane crashes in Elizabethtown, New Jersey in the early 1950s. There are a dizzying amount of characters to keep track of as the reader meets Miri Ammerman, her classmates, friends, and various families in this New Jersey town trying to make sense of three truly unbelievable tragedies. Miri is fifteen and experiences first love, a best friend moving away, her mysterious mother, and her unknown father. Everyone’s lives are intertwined and often they do not realize it.
The book is segmented by characters and each chapter covers several characters around numerous events. Ultimately, how the characters deal with tragedy is the central theme of this easy-to-read book. But it also, takes on daily life in a matter-of-fact way It is easy to fall in love with the characters; they feel so real with their youth and naiveté. They grow up, the move on but they remember the past with fondness. Judy Blume is a master at the simple, the mundane, and the minute details that make up our lives.
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