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Something Happened Paperback – November 4, 2008
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From School Library Journal
Grade 7–9—As Billy begins eighth grade, he is still grieving the recent death of his father and is emotionally vulnerable. Enter Tess, a young and beautiful teacher who claims she experienced a similar loss and who insinuates herself deeply into the teen's life. The story is told through Billy's first-person narrative, interspersed with letters he writes to his dad. The voice is occasionally stiff but it is passable; it's the plot that falls apart at the denouement, which hinges on a string of unlikely coincidences. Readers who enjoy the sensational and aren't quite ready for Dave Pelzer's A Child Called It (Health Communications, 1995) might not mind these aspects. What is uncertain is whether they will be able to swallow how clueless both Billy and his mom are as the teacher's behavior becomes increasingly outrageous. In terms of content, the "something" of the title stops short of total seduction and Logsted goes light on descriptions in the brief kissing scenes.—Faith Brautigam, Gail Borden Public Library, Elgin, IL
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About the Author
Greg Logsted has lived in Connecticut his whole life. He occasionally escapes but always comes back. He suspects that strings are attached. When he’s not writing he’s climbing ladders, drinking coffee and turning night into day. He presently lives in Danbury with his wife Lauren Baratz-Logsted and their daughter Jackie.
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Top customer reviews
It's been five months since his father was killed in a car accident, and it's all he can do to get through the day without breaking down. His friends can't understand why he can't move on. After all, it happened LAST year. Billy thinks to himself, "Seventh grade was only three months ago, not a year ago!" Billy is still grieving and has withdrawn from most of his friends and has to see a shrink once a week.
But the start of eighth grade holds promise. After a race to the bus stop, he's forced to take the only available seat left on the bus, next to a girl he's never seen before. Before too long, Amy starts saving him a seat every day, and the two form a tentative friendship. And he's managed to land in Miss Gate's English class. She's the hot new teacher this year.
It isn't long before Miss Gate (or Tess, as she asks Billy to call her) takes an interest in Billy. It starts innocently enough, when Billy misses the bus home and she offers to drop him off at his house. She begins to encourage Billy to pursue his poetry after school. She confides in Billy that she too lost her father at a young age, and she's there for him if he needs support.
Through all of his encounters with Miss Gate, Billy slowly starts to emerge from his grief. He begins to force himself to venture out with his old friends, even surprising himself at how much fun he's been missing out on. Amy asks him to the Sadie Hawkins dance. And he's shocked when an old friend wants to just be around him because of his strength. Billy feels far from strong, but when he learns his friend's mother has cancer, he is there for the kind of support that no one else can offer him.
But something feels wrong to Billy, though he just can't put his finger on it. It isn't until the night that Miss Gate drives him to a regional poetry contest that it all comes to a head.
Mr. Logsted has stepped out from behind his author wife, Lauren Baratz-Logsted, to publish his first novel.
SOMETHING HAPPENED is a shockingly real look at how subtle gestures by someone in authority can slowly mount into something not quite right. Billy is aware that there is an undercurrent of something, but can't quite figure out why he feels uncomfortable with the situation.
The author quietly weaves Miss Gates' spell over Billy. The reader picks up on the crafty way Miss Gate is able to get Billy to spend more time with her alone. The story is a great reminder that there is danger even in places that are supposed to be safe.
Reviewed by: Jaglvr
Something Happened is surprisingly (and even frighteningly) realistic and believable. Throughout the novel, Billy's uncertainties, insecurities, and fears are emphasized to demonstrate his innocence in this teacher-student relationship, and his letters to his deceased father, scattered throughout the book, elicit sympathy and understanding for Billy, and the appropriate amount of dislike for Tess Gates. Logsted highlights how thin the line is between the student-teacher relationship and something more in a sensitive and straightforward manner, and draws the plot out at just the perfect pace to get arouse curiosity, which propels the reader through the book. Something Happened is detailed without being graphic or inappropriate, thought provoking, and an ideal book that illustrates the danger and delicacy of such situations.
This book definitely kept my attention, I had my eyes on Miss Gate/Tess the whole time waiting to see how she was going to behave around Billy. Waiting for that moment where something happens. Billy was so lost, he lost his father, his mother isn't around much and his friends just don't understand anymore. He found a friend in Tess, someone to talk to and someone to just have fun with. Always late for the bus, Billy always ends up sitting next to Amy on the bus and they slowly begin to form a friendship which becomes as important to him as his friendship with Tess. He finds himself trapped between Tess and Amy trying to keep them both happy. Tess's reaction to Billy being unable to attend a poetry group with her one evening is one of the first concrete glimpses of her true personality.
I really liked this book, I was very very very curious to see how it unfolded. I was not disappointed. The only thing that I found lacking was maybe a bit more to the ending, it was satisfying but wrapped up a bit too quick for me.