The Dark Side of Nowhere
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The Dark Side of Nowhere

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3.68 of 5 stars 3.68  ·  rating details  ·  879 ratings  ·  109 reviews
Jason is having a bad day. The kind of day when you just don't feel like yourself. Only for Jason, it's not just a feeling. He really isn't himself.

Not any more.

Who is he? That's the problem. Jason isn't sure. And it's not just him. Everyone in town is acting weird. His friends. His parents. Everyone. Billington is usually such a normal town. As Jason is about to discover,...more
Paperback, 192 pages
Published October 15th 1999 by Tor Books (first published September 1st 1996)
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Joseph
If I were 13, I would give this book five stars. That's meant to be a compliment, as that is who it is written for. This book would have been the perfect escape for me when I was a teenager: turns out I'm really not who I think I am (and I never thought I was) and I'm not necessarily happy with who I really am (never really was) and that knowledge could be used to impress a girl in the end (I won't divulge all the daydreams I had as a kid, but they almost always ended with my oddities somehow re...more
Sofia Mejias-pascoe
The Dark Side of Nowhere, by Neal Shusterman, is a surprising novel about the life of a seemingly ordinary young boy. As the story progresses, he learns that his abstractly normal life is not so normal after all…
The story takes place in a small, unsuspecting town named Billington. Jason Jonathan Miller leads a frustratingly normal and boring life, until of series of strange events starts to occur in his hometown; starting with the death of one of his closest friends. His best friend Ethan die...more
Michelle
Stellar. Reminiscent of William Sleator's books, "The Dark Side of Nowhere" perfectly captures a feeling I had so many times as a kid:

"The sunset was spectacular as I came out of the woods and into the open fields. The sky was orange, and the clouds flamed red and purple. Crosswinds sliced them into jagged, bold angles, and it seemed that the heavens were so intense that they overwhelmed the dreary earth below. The sky was mystical and larger than life... I felt sure that going home would catapu...more
Gabriel Hall
This book is about a boy named Ethan dieing, and everybody said it was pendicitis. Later Jason and some others realized it wasn’t. Jason didn’t like his life because he thought it was too boring and he thought his parents were too nice because they never tell him hes in serious trouble. At Ethan’s wedding, Jason wondered why Ethan’s parents didn’t cry but his dad said it was shock. Later Jason learned Ethan hadn’t died at all. At a Little League game in Billington, Jason got in a fight with a bo...more
Dylan
This book was excellent.
I loved how it kept me on my toes a lot of the time. Though, some things were predictable, others made me go "WHAT?!". That was great.
The characters served their purpose. I liked Jason, he was a strong protagonist. The others were alright. The story is the most important part of this book. It was great. Highly recommend this author, he's a great storyteller.
Pandora
Jason is bored with his town and his parnets - who are about the dullest people on the Earth. Then he discoveres that everything he thought he knew was true is a lie including himself. A great book full of high tension as Jason struggles with what is right and what is wrong. A great exploartion that sometimes to do right you do have to take a stand aganist the majority. Powerful.
Brittany Permann
The Dark Side of Nowhere by Neal Shusterman was a very interesting book. It taught me about being okay with who you were no matter what others said. Jason is a typically high school boy who has struggles in his life. His best friend died and Jason was very affected by it. What he learns about himself later is a shock to him and he almost doesn't want to believe it. As he has grown up he went in for monthly shots which didn't seem weird to him until he realized what they were giving him was keepi...more
Jose
1. The plot had a lot of good action in it and it was about teens. It moved slowly, i didn't like some parts of it. It was very interesting at the end.

2. Jason and Grant. Jason is the main character in the book. Grant is the leader of Jason.

3. Friendship it shows how friends are there for each other and how they care and take care of each other.
Matt Marx
THE BEST FRIGGIN BOOK IN THE WORLD !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Kate Brown
Interesting sci-fi read. Jason lives in a small town where nothing exciting happens. Jason and his two friends Ethan and Wade are BORED. But when Ethan suddenly dies from appendicitis, Jason's monotonous life suddenly becomes way more exciting. Jason learns that he has some hidden secrets and his small town may soon be threatened. The story goes in so many strange directions and the plot moves fast. I definitely could see this book being used as a read aloud. It was nice to read a lesser known S...more
Josiah
Some writers are great at making their readers really think, while others do a fine job of creating intense story action that grips the reader tightly and never lets go. Neal Shusterman is richly blessed on both these scores.

Jason Miller, caught living in the middle of the ostensibly bland town of Billington, feels a deeply visceral need to change his predictable life, and break free from the light of normality that bathes all things around him. He gets his wish when an embedded secret about h...more
Peep (Pop! Pop!)
Hmmmm, well Neal Shusterman can certainly write some weird books. I really liked it for a while but after a while it started to feel as if I were reading a screenplay for an episode of the Twilight Zone. Most of the time it was weird, awkward, and had me a little confused. But I still kind of liked it.

It was a fast an easy read. I am glad that I read it as there were some seriously funny parts of the book. J.J. never backed down, even when he knew there was no chance of him winning.

Like I said,...more
Victoria Wilkinson
I am not really into alien books, so I was a little apprehensive for this one. The start of the book seemed to be a bit un-intriguing: a normal kid who is bored with his everyday life. It takes a turn as Jason is given a strange glove and learns more than any kid could ever expect at his age. Younger kids will appreciate the mystery and find commonality in how he wants something interesting to happen in regular day-to-day life.

As a reader, I enjoyed the novel. It picked up quickly after the big...more
Natalie Spindle
I am not really into alien books, so I was a little apprehensive for this one. The start of the book seemed to be a bit un-intriguing: a normal kid who is bored with his everyday life. It takes a turn as Jason is given a strange glove and learns more than any kid could ever expect at his age. Younger kids will appreciate the mystery and find commonality in how he wants something interesting to happen in regular day-to-day life.

As a reader, I enjoyed the novel. It picked up quickly after the big...more
Quint
I read The Dark Side of Nowhere because I heard that Neal Shusterman was a good author. This book fills in the category of ‘your own choice.’ I like this category because it allows you more freedom with your book choices.
A character I found interesting was Jason because to me, he was likeable and was fun to read about. Jason’s thoughts and struggles were interesting to read about, and to some extent, understandable.
A quote I liked was “because no matter what my reflection tells me – not matter w...more
Luis
In the novel "The Dark side of Nowhere" Well I thought it was a little bit Boaring in the beggining. It was talking about his regular daily life how everything is the same everyday. I mean I could't get the title like I mean what those the title have to do with the story. I read mor then it got intersting of some of the abilitys he is starting to learn. Also I think the Title make you expanded your imagination. You guys maby I went a Little to far,but really think of it. Just saying Doesen't cat...more
Andrea
This book was an extremely easy read. But, while it was interesting enough to keep me reading, there was nothing particularly magnificent about this book that made me go nuts about it. While I did enjoy it, there was nothing that I could really sink my little bookworm teeth into.

Let's just jump right into my list. Here are a few of the main things that didn't sit well with me.
1.) (view spoiler)...more
Rebecca Zhang
I read The Dark Side of Nowhere because I heard that Neal Shusterman was a good author, and it was the only book of his at the library when I went there.
This book fills in the category of ‘you own choice.’ I like this category because it allows you more freedom with your book choices.
A character I found interesting was Jason because to me, he was likeable and was fun to read about. Jason’s thoughts and struggles were interesting to read about, and to some extent, understandable.
A quote I like...more
Mare
I think I'm spoiled by Shusterman's current writting style. Don't get me wrong this is a good middle school book, unfortunately I don't have a muddle school brain anymore.

Jason is bored in Billington. His town is boring, his parents are boring and to top it off his best friend just died. So when Grant, the odd school security guard/janitor, hinted some mystery the adults want to forget/deny he was OK with it.

But now he's stuck trying to decide them? or us?
Jessica
Back-story: I first read The Dark Side of Nowhere when I was 12, which is probably about the right age group for this book. The writing is from a young teenager's perspective and the language is definitely geared to that age as well. So, adults, please understand that this book is meant for a younger audience and don't hate on it for that.

Any Sci-Fi loving parents should definitely read this to their kids (not too young!) or at least recommend it to their young teenagers. It's so much better tha...more
Autumn Banks
Aug 08, 2014 Autumn Banks rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Every age group; very clean material minus the violence
I have three words for those of you who enjoy adventure/science-fiction novels; read this book! This book is a relaxing read with a fairly casual diction and a plot that pulls you through. Being that I, myself, am in the middle of a small town in just about nowhere, I could fairly well disable reality and enter into Shusterman's fictional reality. I definitely look forward to reading more of the author's other stories.
Roger Mcdaniel
Another early Shusterman novel. I really enjoy his more recent novels, so I'm giving some if his earlier books a try. Like the others, this one also shows me how much Shusterman has become a better writer. This book wasn't bad, but I never felt connected with the main character. Plus, it took entirely too long to get the story started. Possibly 50 pages in, the reader finally gets part of the story.

I did enjoy the nice twist at the end, saving this book a little bit.
Eva
I've read a number of books by this author and enjoyed them quite a bit. This one, however, is in a category all its own. I was willing to suspend belief because initially I liked the protagonist, Jason, who presented like any typical teen. I liked the secondary characters and the direction the story was going -- until who or WHAT Jason and the residents of Billington really were. At that point, I nearly gave up on this novel and nearly tossed in the resale bin. But instead I stuck it out, waiti...more
Erin
If I were a middle school age kid I would probably like this book. The plot is interesting with several twists that I didn't quite expect but I found the characters slightly 2-dimensional and lacking in development. Again, if I were about 20 years younger this would probably be an enjoyable read but it fell a little flat for me.
Barton Hills Sixth Grade
Jason lives in the most boring town in Mercia. He gets shots monthly along with most of the kids in his town but what are they for? If you love dystopian styled books you will love this one. I've never read a book quit like this one. I loved this book because it moved along so quickly, I read it in two days.

Cade
Heather
After reading Unwind, I can't say that I'm super impressed with this book. It's more pure science fiction than dystopian. Kind of a Will the Real Martian Please Stand Up Twilight Zone sort of book. If you have a real Shusterman fan, they might be interested, but he has better books. Grades 7 and up.
Gigi
This book was was amazing, it isn't the types of books I usually read but I loved it. The dark side of nowhere was just unique. It had all this suspense and all these questions yet all the answers where hidden. It was the type of book which is like accept yourself for who you are. This book is kind of inspirational to me because the character had so many problems and was going through so much, yet he pushed through all of it and showed himself to everyone and was proud of who he was. I loved thi...more
Heidi
This is not the typical book that I would pick up, but it was short, cassette, and YA, so I went for it. And it really wasn't that bad. I wasn't sure where things were going in the beginning, but eventually I was drawn in and interested in the storyline. Simply told, good character development, and not too long or dragged out. I liked the internal struggle in the main character, because it was the same one I wondered over as the book went out. (So I'm human--I couldn't help it.) I can see myself...more
Douglas Larson
I did like this book to some degree but I also found it a bit tedious to read. Some reviewers have called the story complex or complicated. While the details of the story are a bit more complex than other books of this type, I wouldn't characterize the overall plot in that way. What I did find complex and, at times a bit difficult to follow, was Shusterman's development of the characters, especially the dialog between characters. Some of the conclusions that the protagonist and other characters...more
Robin Conley
I remember reading this book when I was younger and enjoying it, so I thought I'd read it again as I was clearing out my bookshelves. It's an intriguing read, leaving you wondering what is going on and what will happen. I think my largest problem with the story was that I didn't really like the main character. I can't pinpoint why, but I couldn't connect with him and it made me much less interested in the story. If it wasn't for the concept of the plot, I think I would have stopped reading the b...more
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Award-winning author Neal Shusterman grew up in Brooklyn, New York, where he began writing at an early age. After spending his junior and senior years of high school at the American School of Mexico City, Neal went on to UC Irvine, where he made his mark on the UCI swim team, and wrote a successful humor column. Within a year of graduating, he had his first book deal, and was hired to write a movi...more
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“You never realize the holes a person leaves behind until you fall into them. ” 56 likes
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