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Something Happened
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Something Happened

4.2 4
by Greg Logsted

"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


"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....

Editorial Reviews

KLIATT - Sharon Blumberg
Billy Romero is a 13-year-old whose father was recently killed in an accident. Billy's mother sends Billy to a psychiatrist so he can learn to cope with his grief. Eventually Billy finds his way to connecting more with his mother and even the psychiatrist. The story is written in the first person, from Billy's point of view. At first Billy finds his English teacher Tess cool and different from other teachers. But she soon becomes a menacing presence in his personal and social life. Though unsure of himself at the onset of the school year, Billy socializes with a few good friends off and on. He even begins an innocent romance with a girl he sits with on the school bus. The story concludes with Billy's teacher Tess punished for grossly crossing social boundaries with one of her students. This is a work of contemporary fiction for YAs with a coming-of-age theme. Reviewer: Sharon Blumberg
School Library Journal

Gr 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

Product Details

Simon Pulse
Publication date:
Edition description:
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.60(d)
HL550L (what's this?)
Age Range:
12 - 18 Years

Read an Excerpt

Dear Dad,

I can't believe I'm doing this. I can't believe I'm writing to you. It feels strange — really, really strange. It's not like you're ever going to write back or give me a call or anything. It's not like you're going to be driving into our garage again, messing with the garbage cans before trudging up the back stairs, throwing the paper on the table, and giving me a hug like you did for years and years every day after work. No, I don't imagine it's going to be like that. Is it?

I don't even know WHY I'm doing this. I really don't. It's Bragg's idea, of course. Mom keeps saying I've got "issues" and I haven't "properly grieved" and all that other stuff Mom always runs on about. You know how she is and how she gets. So guess what? About four months ago she sent me to this head doctor. Dr. Christopher W. Bragg.

He's got an office over by the mall in that ugly brown building. You know the one. You used to call it ugly just about every time we drove by it. She said I needed someone I could "talk" to. Yeah, right. Talk? To him? I can't even get him to tell me what his "W" stands for. He's from Texas, too. I smell a story. What's up with the "W"? Inquiring minds want to know. My money — if I had any — would be on "Wilbur."

Anyhow, Bragg seems to do most of the talking. I thought these guys were supposed to listen and keep quiet and all that. Maybe he doesn't want to be there any more than I do. Could be, right? I know if I was him, I wouldn't want to spend two hours a week locked in a small room trying to "talk" to a thirteen-year-old. He drinks a ton of coffee, too. I think he's struggling to stay awake. His tongue is always brown. I bet they know his first name at the coffee shop. Maybe they even know what the "W" stands for.

Bragg said I should write to you whenever I need to. Like a journal. Tell you what's going on in my life. Tell you my feelings. Tell you I miss you. God, Dad, I do. I miss you so much. I miss you all the time. I miss you so much that it hurts. It's like poison ivy. It's just inside me constantly, this burning and itching feeling of loss. I just can't seem to leave it alone; it's always there just begging me to scratch it. I keep expecting you to walk into the house and announce it was all some kind of a joke. Every time the phone rings, I hope that it's somehow you. Every time I see a car that looks like yours, I check out the driver. Sometimes I'll see a guy your age walking down the street and something about him will look like you, and it's like all the blood in my body just rushes to my head. I stop in my tracks and stare at him, but whatever it was that reminded me of you always melts right away.

I know I have to accept the truth. The stupid, stupid truth. I stood next to Mom at the wake with your open coffin. I stood next to Mom at the cemetery as they lowered your body into the ground. Now I have to stand tall and be brave. Help Mom and the twins. Be the man of the house. Right? That's what you would tell me to do. Isn't it? You'd say, "Billy, wake up. This is the way it is. Deal with it. You have to be a man now."

Dad, I'm sorry I overslept that day. I keep thinking about how I never got to say good-bye. How you got into your car, went off to work, and never came back. I keep thinking that maybe if I had gotten up a little earlier, we would have talked about something. Maybe the Yankees or the weather — you know, anything — and maybe I would have delayed you for just a minute. I figure even just one minute's delay might have been long enough to change everything. One minute is the difference between being in front of the truck or behind it. You were just waiting at a tollbooth. It's not like you were doing anything. Just sitting there waiting. Did you even see the truck coming up behind you? Did you know what was about to happen before it happened? Did you think of us: me and Mom and the twins?

If only I had gotten out of bed. You see, Dad, I didn't really oversleep that day. I was just lazy. I was just lying there listening to my stupid radio. I feel like this was all my fault. I'm sorry.

Well, that's enough for now.

Copyright © 2008 by Greg Logsted

Meet 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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Something Happened 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
It's the start of a new school year for Billy Romero. But nothing has changed.

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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Tiffanyrose More than 1 year ago
This book was crazy
musicbooklover0717 More than 1 year ago
This book has a very interesting ending. It is good for kids who are going through rough times and to remember to be very alert with the people around them.