Title: Something Happened
Author: Greg Logsted
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publication Date: November 2008
Recommended for Ages: 15 and up
Synopsis: (from Goodreads) –
"All around me I see people laughing, joking, and walking around with these huge, goofy smiles plastered on their faces. I've begun to wonder how they do it, and more important, will I ever be able to be like that again?"
Five months after his dad's unexpected death, Billy Romero is still struggling with the loss. Billy's mom spends more time talking to her Bluetooth than to him, and his best friend, Ziggy, just doesn't get it. There's no one who understands how alone Billy feels...except his new English teacher, the young and beautiful Miss Gate.
Miss Gate offers support and friendship, even giving Billy extra help with his writing outside of school. Billy isn't really sure how he feels about spending so much time with his teacher. It's a little weird, but it's also kind of exciting that someone like Miss Gate wants to hang out with him. But the closer they get, the more Billy wonders what kind of friendship this really is...
“Something Happened” was a very intriguing book to read. It deals with Billy Romero, a boy whose father died five months prior to the beginning of the story. He’s become withdrawn and shy. He’s somewhat resentful to his mother, who has buried herself in her job as a real estate agent, and toward his therapist, Dr. Bragg. Billy’s English teacher, Miss Tess Gate, reaches out to Billy saying she wants to help him because her father died when she was Billy’s age and she remembers how difficult it was for her.
Early on in the story, it’s evident that Tess’s actions toward Billy are very inappropriate. To say that it takes some time for Billy to realize this is an understatement - he doesn’t realize until Tess is chasing him down the street in her Mustang wearing nothing but a bathrobe. Even though on some level I find that ludicrous, on another level it must realistic in these situations.
As someone who works around high school kids, I cannot imagine what would compel a teacher to try to seduce a student. I’ve seen news reports of these things happening and every time I see them, I really don’t understand why. I did enjoy the way Logsted told this story from Billy’s point of view, but it would be interesting to read it from Tess’s point of view. Also, it would be interesting to read a story where the student reciprocated the teacher’s feelings, because that happens in the news as well and it’s another thing that I just don’t understand.
This was a nice, short read – nothing terrible happened in the book, but the situation still wasn’t good. I wouldn’t recommend this to someone dealing with a death of a loved one, but it was a fluffy, guilty-pleasure sort of story.