Stephanie Bradt: Once again, this is a dumb book with zero character development. It has been a few weeks since I read the book, but I suppose listing what I do remember about it will give an idea of what I got out of it:
The parents are getting divorced. The kids are sad. The main character, Karen, has certain questions about the divorce such as, "will we be poor?" “No,” says Karen’s brother, What’s-His-Name, “Dad will have to pay Mom once a month" or something like that. (By the way, Karen’s brother has lots of zits, which is mentioned several times and in several different contexts. Alright…thanks for that, Judy). Anyway, Karen’s new friend is a self-proclaimed expert on divorce and recommends that Karen buy a certain $7 book to learn all about it. Karen tells her grandpa about the book and he says, “ooh, I want one too.” Karen believes that her parents will get back together if one of the siblings were kidnapped. Sure enough, What’s-His-Name almost makes Karen’s dreams come true by running away.
The children of the story do have realistic and understandable questions and concerns about the parents’ impending divorce. However, as always with Blume books, there are several things that bugged me:
-Karen takes a bubble bath with her new friend and is slightly shy about it but whatevs. This has absolutely nothing to do with the story. This is the most random Judy-Blume-Signature-WTF-Moment yet. I think I will have to post a run-down of said moments in the future; the phenomenon deserves its own post.
-I think that instead of saying that he wanted a book too, the grandpa should have manned up and tried to answer Karen’s questions or at least talk to her about the divorce. He knew she was confused and having a hard time with it, but obviously was too stupid to do anything about it.
Lastly, What's-His-Name's excellent adventure:
-I can’t remember what actually triggered What’s-His-Name to run away, but I can assure you that I remember that it was something dumb.
-The parents fight even more over the four days in which What’s-His-Name is missing, leading Karen to the conclusion that her kidnapped/missing-persons theory is indeed false.
-It takes the parents like a day and a half to find ONE picture of What’s-His-Name to give to the police. They tell the police, “I’ll give you a photo of him in the morning.” Really? Why the hell would you wait until the morning? Who does that?! The cop is in your house with you now!
-When What’s-His-Name returns after four days, he tells Karen in a serious tone not to ever run away and she is like, “okey doke.” We never know where he was or what happened to him during those four days. It is like the blank space on the Watergate tapes or something.
After all is said and done, the parents still hate each other. The end. (of the world).
Jordan Bradt: I found a copy of IT’S NOT THE END OF THE WORLD by Judy Blume, at the library’s used book room. Of all the Judy Blume books, I like this one the best. Yes, I actually like it. Sure, there were some random moments. For example, Karen, the main character, takes a bubble bath with her new friend, Val. There was also parental drama and sibling rivalry, but in this format, it fit. You see, the book is about divorce.
I would actually give this book to an older teen whose parents were getting divorced. It shows the emotion a child will go through, such as wanting to fix the parents and blaming themselves. It also depicted how the parents fight in a very believable manner.
A few ties were left unknotted. Karen never made peace with her teacher, who seemed to be a misunderstood character, and she kept believing that her parents favored her siblings more. At least her cat didn’t die. I had books where the pet passes away.
My favorite parts of all were the comments left by the past reader. There weren’t many, but they really captured a few of the “what?!” moments.