Title: Nothing
Author: Janne Teller
Pub: 2010; Anthenum
Pages: 227
Genre: Young Adult; Contemporary; Philosophy/Fiction
BTW: it was awarded the Printz award *cheers*

You know what this book is being compared to?  A twenty-first century version of Lord of the Flies.  I know you're curious right?  Is it?


I have to be honest here:  I read Lord of the Flies twenty years ago.  I remember the conch shell and a whole bunch of boys who slowly turn on each other...but that's about it.  (Er also, wasn't there a character named Piggy or did I just imagine it?) ANYWAYS,  I was a pretty freaked out fourteen year old, mind you.  It at least left an impression.

Aaannnd...Nothing left equally a strong impression.  But whereas I can peg the similarity in the children eventually turn on each other and there's a heavily played out GROUPTHINK going on, Nothing was by far more wretched than the Flies ever could be.

S'okay, we have this young boy who's about fourteen years old and on the first day of school he suddenly stands up and states that nothing matters.  Naaaasssing (imagine a heavy German accent, peeps).  Of course his fellow classmates get a wee bit wigged out about this exclamatory remark, thus deciding it is up to them to SHOW said flipped out classmate that things really DO matter. 

Now how do you go about that, you might be wondering?  Easily enough, each student will contribute to the something-matters-pile.  An accumulation of personal mattersomes.

It starts off childlike enough.  You over there!  Take off your brand new and favorite shoes!  Throw them in the pile!  And you! Yes you!  I want your musical instrument.  But then it gets feverish.  My favorite instrument?  Oh no you didn't!  I want your pet munchkin.  And YOOOOOUUU!  You must cut off your hair!

Do ya see where this is going?  It gets ohsomuchworse!  *shudder*  To include, but by far NOT THE WORST....a severed dog's head.

And whilst this is going on, the mate that espoused life has no meaning so might as well just enjoy it, is doing just that.  Up in a tree.  Not realizing how crazed his ex-buds have gotten.

EXISTENTIALISM people!  Do you hear me?!  Oh how I lurve thee.  Seriously.  The Big E and I were buds way back in my early 20's.  Must everything have meaning? Is nothing sacred anymore? What is the point?  Who cares we'll all end up dead and forgotten.  Yes, yes, I'm simplifying.  But you get it right?!

Nothing had me biting my nails.  Bwhahahaha I even love using the title over and over again.  *elbows ribs* get it? get it?

This is definitely NOT a book to get if you want to be in a cheery mood.  But it is a fantastic gem of 200 odd pages.


  1. I really need to read this one! I've had my eye on it ever since it won a Printz Honour Medal.

  2. Yes, there was a Piggy.

    It sounds similar in that it shows what horrificness kids are capable of (at least I'm guessing that's where the comparison comes from).

    But LotF has the kids stranded on an island due to a plane crash, in which, conveniently for the story, the adults died. I just want to know where the adults are in nothing??


Talk to me!