Obtained: Penguin Random House, ARC
Publish date: June 2, 2015
I was informed of Blume’s new novel for adults at the Penguin Random House Blogger Preview in February, and I’ve been waiting for June to roll around just so I could get my hands on a copy of this book. Judy Blume has been a beloved name in my household ever since I was a little girl. Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing and Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret were two of my favourite books growing up, and now it was time for me to indulge in a little Blume as an adult. I was worried I was getting myself too over-excited, but In the Unlikely Event lived up to my own hype.
In the Unlikely Event tells the true story of the town of Elizabeth, New Jersey in the winter of 1951-52 when three planes crashed in this town within a two month period. Though the story of the planes crashing is real, Blume creates the stories of characters who live in Elizabeth and who are trying to cope with the tragedy that seems to be hitting them again and again.
There was so much I loved about this book, I don’t even know where to start. There are so many characters that, at first, I thought I was going to get lost with regards to who was who; but once you get into the story, these characters are all so dynamic that it’ll be hard for you to confuse them. The realism in all of their overlapping plots was incredibly developed.
I found it so hard to put down In the Unlikely Event that I ended up finishing this 400-page novel in only a few days (with work and other things to do). Anytime I picked it up, it took me no time to get fully immersed back into the world of 1950s Elizabeth, wondering what would happen to these characters next and hoping that all of these character conflicts (internal and external) would work themselves out by the end. I cared about the characters so much. I was hurt when it was over and had to say goodbye.
If you’re looking for a great read this summer, Judy Blume does not disappoint. This book will make you experience a range of emotions, but the one that I kept feeling was attachment. I don’t think I’ll recommend a book as aggressively as I will recommend In the Unlikely Event.