Jump to ratings and reviews
Rate this book

Nothing Happened

Rate this book
This modern-day retelling of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing takes place at the idyllic Camp Dogberry, where sisters Bee and Hana Leonato have grown up. Their parents own the place, and every summer they look forward to leading little campers in crafts, swimming in the lake, playing games of capture the flag and sproutball, and of course, the legendary counselor parties.

This year, the camp drama isn’t just on the improv stage. Bee and longtime counselor Ben have a will-they-or-won’t-they romance that’s complicated by events that happened—or didn’t happen—last summer. Meanwhile, Hana is falling hard for the kind but insecure Claudia, putting them both in the crosshairs of resident troublemaker John, who spreads a vicious rumor that could tear them apart.

As the counselors juggle their camp responsibilities with simmering drama that comes to a head at the Fourth of July sparkler party, they’ll have to swallow their pride and find the courage to untangle the truth, whether it leads to heartbreak or happily ever after.

329 pages, Hardcover

First published May 15, 2018

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author

Molly Horton Booth

7 books141 followers
Molly Horton Booth teaches English at Bunker Hill Community College, and also writes books about Shakespeare and feelings. She's the author of Young Adult novels SAVING HAMLET and NOTHING HAPPENED both published by Disney Hyperion. She graduated from Marlboro College and went on to get her English MA, studying Shakespeare some more (twist!), at University of Massachusetts Boston. Molly is a freelance writer and editor and has been published on TheMarySue.com, McSweeneys.net, HelloGiggles.com, etc. She directs a lovely, hilarious, and fierce group of homeschooling teen Shakespearean actors. Molly lives in Massachusetts, where she spends a lot of time with family and friends, and the rest attending to her queenly cat, loaf-of-bread-shaped dog, and small kitty spookyboy. Molly is a Sagittarius sun/Pisces moon/Capricorn rising. You can visit her (please do!) on her website, mollyhortonbooth.com.

Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
68 (16%)
4 stars
133 (32%)
3 stars
136 (33%)
2 stars
51 (12%)
1 star
18 (4%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 119 reviews
Profile Image for Cece (ProblemsOfaBookNerd).
332 reviews7,311 followers
March 13, 2018
Update 2/28/18: 3.5/5

Have you ever read a book description that feels like it must have been written for you personally? Because that is exactly how I felt after first reading the summary for Nothing Happened. Retelling? Shakespeare? Summer camp? Queer? These are all key words that I look for in the things I read regularly, and somehow it all happens in this book at the same time which is both unbelievable and delightful.

So, Much Ado About Nothing is my all-time favorite play by Shakespeare. I have loved all the versions I have seen and read (well, except the disaster that was the Joss Whedon adaptation, but is it all that surprising that Joss deeply messed up something I love?) and I have been anxious in my search for a version with queer main characters. At long last, I have found one. In this version, we have two main couples: Ben & Bee, and Hana & Claudia.

Hana and Claudia are queer. Hana is opening working on figuring out which label works best for her, bisexual or pansexual, and Claudia is similarly unsure, though she is attracted to women more frequently than men. They are incredibly dramatic, throw themselves into things quickly, and make so much sense as a camp couple that I don't know how I didn't realize before that summer camp was the ONLY place you could set a modern retelling of Much Ado. Bee and Ben are equally ridiculous, though their faults are more in their unwillingness to ever say anything out loud so that they are trapped in a never ending loop of miscommunication. But, like, the fun kind that you have to know is going to happen in a book like this one.

You should know going into this book that you will be encountering a fair amount of cheesiness. People are dramatic! Accusations are made! Secrets go undiscussed! There is so much gossip you almost won't be able to stand it! But, at the center of all of this, is an incredibly faithful retelling that is clearly full of so much passion for these characters and this story. If you have read the play, you will find no surprises, but as a faithful fan I was still smiling at every reveal and worried during every confrontation.

There are certain conventions of this story that work better as a play. The entire ending, for example, is a little hard to pull off in a YA contemporary. And sometimes the cheese does get to be too much. These are the reasons I wound up giving this book a 3.5/5, just because it wasn't a perfect novel. However, every time I opened up my kindle app I would grin because I knew exactly the story I was getting into.

Some other diversity that I didn't mention earlier: Bee and Hana are sisters, and Bee is an adopted member of the family. She is originally from Ethiopia, and that part of their relationship is handled excellently. Hana also deals very closely with depression. She is seeing a therapist and is on medication for the duration of the book. Also! There are a number of background characters who are queer and/or POC!

Honestly, if you go into this book knowing full-well the level of absurdity Shakespeare includes in his comedies, you know the kind of book you're going to get. The plots are sometimes over the top, and everything would work better if occasionally some characters just talked to one another. But if you're looking for something that is going to make you smile for chapters at a time? Something that reminds you of summer, especially summer camp, and all of the drama and romance of a group of teenagers stuck together for weeks at a time? Then this is the book for you.


Ummmmmm wlw in my all time favorite Shakespeare play?????? I would like to thank everyone who ever made this possible and also I would like to cry for a bit.
Profile Image for megs_bookrack.
1,605 reviews10.7k followers
September 9, 2020
**2.5-stars rounded up**

This was okay. Meh.

Nothing Happened is a quirky, modern retelling of Shakespeare's comedy, Much Ado About Nothing.

The drama unfolds at a summer camp, Camp Dogberry, on the coast of Maine. I did have some fun with this one, but there were definitely some issues.

For me personally, it felt a bit young in comparison with most of the YA Contemporary I read. That feel held throughout the story, so I have a feeling this one would be enjoyed more by individuals who fall within the tween category.

To be clear, there's nothing wrong with that...

With this in mind, there is a lot of drinking in this book, so maybe not. I'm not quite sure who the intended audience was, I guess.

Another slight issue I had was that the story follows multiple POVs and cycles through these views rather quickly and steadily.

It was hard to follow in the beginning as you are learning the characters, their personalities and backgrounds. Multiple times I had to skip back to the chapter header to remind myself who I was reading from at any given point.

For me, I felt the characters lacked their own voices. They all sounded the same.

The story did move fairly quickly, pushed by heavy drama and angst. But really, if you read the synopsis, that's what we're here for!

I did like the relationship between the sisters, Bee and Hana.

Bee is older and was adopted from Ethiopia. Hana, the younger one, battles depression. I thought these aspects of the girl's lives were really well handled.

The romantic relationships were a mess, but again, that's what brought the drama.

No one was communicating, everything was getting blown out of proportion and on and on it went.

Claudia, Hana's love interest, was hugely self-conscious and jealous and I'm not sure if she actually learned anything by the culmination of the story.

With all of this being said, however, it was good. It was a quick read and would be perfect to take on a weekend holiday or to the beach.

I am sure teens will find it fun and relatable. The relationships were dramatic, over the top and actually believable.

I want to thank the publisher, Disney-Hyperion, for providing me with an early copy to read and review.

As always, I appreciate the opportunity!

Profile Image for max theodore.
472 reviews131 followers
January 28, 2023
this book is fine. it’s fine. the prose is on the juvenile side of YA; the characters are lovable enough to follow; it's easy to binge-read; i'm still not sure ben's sister needed a POV. it’s more or less a play-by-play of much ado about nothing set at a summer camp, and i picked it up because i adore much ado; still, there's not much new here. beatrice is black and claudio is a lesbian, which is cool, and it’s definitely sweet! but overall this adds very little to the story. some scenes are almost paraphrased from the shakespeare--and if given the choice between shakespeare or a closely-followed shakespearean paraphrase, i’d always rather read the man himself. (particularly in terms of the main couple--ben especially never really hit the proper benedick notes for me.)

that said, i do famously love wlw hero/claudio, even if i think this book could have done more with claudia + the specific self-consciousness of a first gay relationship. still waiting for the day someone writes a f/f beatrice and benedick, but i guess i’ll have to do it my damn self.

(you may be thinking, "max, you keep rating YA books 3 stars. should you just stop reading YA?" to which my answer is that i will always seek out shakespeare retellings regardless of age/genre. they will always entice me. this will never change.)
Profile Image for Emily (emilykatereads).
406 reviews299 followers
April 4, 2018
This book was so fun. Ridiculously dramatic, but so fun. But what else could you expect from a retelling of a Shakespeare play? I'm ashamed to say I've never read Much Ado About Nothing, but I've read enough Shakespeare to know that this book was true to your stereotypical Shakespeare play. If this wasn't a retelling, I would've been unsure about the over-the-top drama, scheming, and miscommunication, but for the purposes of this story, it was perfect.

This story features two couples (Ben/Bee + Claudia/Hana) and we're thrown right into the drama that occurs between them at summer camp. We're immersed into multiple POVs that aid to our full experience of the story and for us to get the full effect of the dramatic irony. And there sure was a lot of it. The setting of a summer camp worked as a perfect setting for this story to unfold. Where else could this amount of events happen in such a short span of time and be completely realistic?

The pacing and writing were consistent and kept me hooked. I don't often read while eating, but I found myself doing so during my short breaks at work just so I could keep reading to find out what happens next. This was honestly just such a good, fun read.

On top of a feel-good, drama-filled read, this book was great for diversity. I am so here for the happily queer characters. Coming-of-age queer stories are important, but we need more stories in which queer characters are happily living as themselves and just providing great representation. We don't have as many of these yet. This story gives us just that and I love it. Plus, a topic touched upon is that Bee is from Ethiopia and adopted into her family in Maine, and we also get a look at mental illness with Hana.

Overall, if you're looking for a quick, easy read that'll be entertaining, pick up this book.
Profile Image for Biz.
213 reviews103 followers
December 18, 2017
Do you, dear reader of this review, know how much I wanted to like this?? Do you know how much??
I was ready to shout this book from the rooftops. I was ready to personally mail a physical copy to everyone I know. I was ready to do some Disney Channel crap and “accidentally” text a picture of the cover to the entire school. I was SO excited to read this.

So it was probably one of my biggest book disappointments of 2017 when Nothing Happened turned out to be,,,,,, meh.

Before I begin, though, I should put a disclaimer. I’ve been in a reading slump for the past, idk, like two or ten months, and every time I think it’s finally gone for good it pops up again like
so who knows! This might be my reading slump talking, but, uh, this book was not for me.

One thing this book did get right was the D R A M A. Though it didn’t hit the Much Ado About Nothing/Shakespeare comedy vibe right on the nose, it got the spirit of all the capital-D Drama in Much Ado down to a tee.

Also, if there’s one thing that could make Much Ado About Nothing, perhaps my all-time favorite Shakespeare play, better, it’s putting queer girls in it. Make Shakespeare Gay Again

But, uh, that was pretty much all I liked.

The characters were all way too flat and boring. I couldn’t connect to any of them. Not one. I think this was partly due to the fact that there were waaaaaaaayyyyyy too many narrators. We were introduced to five new narrators (all in first person) within the first fifteen percent of the novel. And I couldn’t tell any of them apart, much less any of the side characters. Though Much Ado does have a lot of storylines that all happen at the same time, I think that this could have been handled in a better way, instead of having 5 first-person narrators.

I can’t really talk about plot, because, you know, it’s just Much Ado About Nothing. Just go read the blurb for Much Ado About Nothing. And then picture it at a summer camp. There you go.

The writing was juvenile and choppy. I usually don’t mind juvenile writing, when the book is written for a young audience, but the majority of these characters are 18- and 19-years-old, and yet the way they spoke and the way the book wrote their actions made it seem like they were in seventh grade. They definitely had the issues that a lot of late-teenagers have, but the writing wasn’t on the same level. The dialogue also didn’t flow well, and if there is one thing I physically cannot read it’s choppy dialogue.

So, yeah, that’s about it. Props to the author for putting sapphic girls into my favorite Shakespeare show, but the execution of the story and characters itself makes me cry, because, as said before, I wanted to like this so bad. So freaking bad.
Profile Image for chloe ♡.
394 reviews269 followers
May 26, 2018
I received an ARC of this book from the publisher and Rockstar Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.

So. I'll start my review by saying that a lot of things happened in Nothing Happened. It's filled with drama. And I love it.

I've only read one of Shakespeare's plays so far (which is A Midsummer Night's Dream!). I knew nothing about Much Ado About Nothing, but this book really caught my eye because SECOND CHANCE ROMANCE? COUNT ME IN! Before I started reading Nothing Happened, I did a bit of research - and just in case you haven't read the original play, here's a quick synopsis from Wikipedia - Benedick and Beatrice are tricked into confessing their love for each other, and Claudio is tricked into rejecting Hero at the altar on the erroneous belief that she has been unfaithful. At the end, Benedick and Beatrice join forces to set things right, and the others join in a dance celebrating the marriages of the two couples.

Although I've never read the play before, I really like seeing how similar it is to the retelling, and the author did a really great job of putting a modern twist on the story. I especially loved what she did to the names! In case you haven't figured it out already, Benedick = Ben, Beatrice = Bee, Claudio = Claudia, and Hero = Hana. And the author managed to creatively fit the whole "tricked" thing into the story so perfectly!

Another thing I love about this retelling is the diversity of the cast. Hana and Claudia are queer and are still trying to figure out their sexuality, Bee is adopted, and she's originally from Ethiopia.

I love reading from multiple POVs. But the multiple POVs in this book made me really confused in the beginning. EVERYONE SOUNDS ENTIRELY THE SAME, and I had trouble remembering the names of all the characters. However, as the story goes on, I got the hang of it and started enjoying the privilege of being able to know what EXACTLY is going on. I couldn't help but feel sorry for Ben, Bee, Hana and Claudia when they get tricked.

Overall rating


This diverse, drama-filled Much Ado About Nothing was a really fun read. I can't wait to read more of Molly Booth's work in the future. (+ I plan to read Much Ado About Nothing soon :D Maybe I'll write a post comparing this book with the original play).
Profile Image for Aneta Bak.
428 reviews106 followers
May 18, 2018
Nothing Happened was a very cute retelling of Much Ado About Nothing, taking place in a summer camp.

Bee is not too excited about Ben returning to her family's summer camp this year, last year was supposed to be his last. Why would he return after the last summer they spent together, he didn't even call Bee back after a midnight make out session . On the other hand, Bee's sister Hana is excited that Claudia will be returning as a camp councillor again, they have kept in touch all year and Hana has hopes that maybe they will be able to take their relationship to the next level this summer. Unfortunately John also has a crush on Claudia, and he won't let Hana stand in his way.

One of the things I liked most about this book was that it had so much diversity in it. Not only did it have tons of people of colour, but is also contained multiple characters in the lgbt community. But on the other hand, this book contained too many character POVs, I couldn't keep up with all the different characters, and who's brain I was currently in and who was friends with who. I think if the story was told just from Bee's or both Bee and Hana's points of view, the book would be much easier to follow.

The story itself was alright. If you haven't read or watched Much Ado About Nothing before, then you might be in for a good surprise because Shakespeare's play is definitely a good one. But if you're like me and you've read/watched the play before, this won't be that special to you. And yes while this is a retelling, the story was basically the same with just a few gender switches, a different setting, and more modern english.

Overall, I did enjoy this novel, but there wasn't anything about it that really stood out and made me say wow. If you're really into Shakespeare, or think this will be a cute read, then I definitely recommend giving it a try.

Happy Reading,
September 7, 2021

Whatever. All's well and all that.

I forgot how much I like Shakespeare retellings.

Reading them is so fun - you get to examine who's who, follow the plot as it's translated into a different setting, see familiar lines and characters in a new light. It's the best.

Nothing Happened is a YA summer camp retelling of Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing. You've got Bee and Ben, the at-odds counselors with history between them, and Bee's sister Hana, falling for new crush Claudia. With Donald and John King, the enemy brothers, and Ben's sister Vanessa and her friends, the secret collectors of the camp, it's going to be an interesting summer.

As I mentioned, I really enjoyed realizing where the plot was going, what incidents in the original play the book was referencing, and getting way too excited over minor lines like when Bee and Hana's mom said "Yeah, I told their dad that Hana's his kid" and Bee said "I'm going to effing eat their hearts in the dining hall." And the way the plot worked with the play was so great.

Also, this story has some great diversity - Bee is adopted and Etheopian, and the author made the Hero/Claudio coupling queer with Hana and Claudia. Hana even explicitly says that she's not fully sure if she's bi or pan, but she's dated guys and girls. And characters don't even comment on them being queer, except if they're written as jerks. It's so refreshing.

However... this book let me down a bit. Bee and Ben, our Beatrice and Benedick... don't have that energy. In MAAN, B&B have this amazing battle of wits going on while hinting that they have history. However, as it is obvious to everyone around them that they're in love, antics ensue! It's so, so great.

Bee and Ben, on the other hand, do not have a battle of wits. It's really disappointing. All the author used in that dynamic was the fact that they kind of hooked up and then didn't talk about it. That's it. I was very excited for the first scene where they interacted, hoping for the famous exchange from the play, and... nothing happened (lol). Ben just said "I'm back at camp" and Bee said "Screw you" and walked off. That's it. In the scene where Donald asks out Bee (like the scene in the play!) she shuts him down jokingly not really realizing what's happening at first. That's a great moment and an excellent modernization of that scene in MAAN. But it's the closest the book ever comes to making Bee witty.

Hana and Claudia are good, but I wasn't wowed especially by them. I knew that something would happen and Claudia would get irrational, as does Claudio in MAAN, but it still felt extreme. Although, I will say Claudia's apology was very nice. And quite cute.

I'll be honest, maybe part of the reason I couldn't fully connect with Hana was because she's the age of my younger sister and I'm Bee's age. So I kind of read Hana as the younger sister character and felt weird when she was making out and stuff. Older sister syndrome I guess. Any ways.

My minor issue with Claudia's character boils down to my real problem with this book - it feels unfinished. Aside from Bee and Ben, almost every character is given details but not depth. I wanted to know more about all of them - what are some struggles with Hana's depression? Why is Claudia so insecure in her relationships? What really motivates John? Was Donald ever in love with Bee? Did Margo's silence have anything to do with Bee's judgement of her?

I really did enjoy these characters and the world, but in the end I wanted more. John was given a strange amount of characterization but at the same time not enough of it. What happened to him at the end? And what about Donald? It seemed strange not to give closure to his story. And what about Margo? Isn't half the reason she didn't say she was the one on the volleyball field because she didn't want Bee judging her again?

But, oh man - there were some parts in here that were so, so good. I almost teared up at that scene with Hana and Bee And I loved how the author worked in that line about Bee being born under a "dancing star." Great closer.

I kind of wish this book had a sequel, but I know that wouldn't work because it's a retelling. But if the author wrote one, I'd gladly read it. I had fun over here. 3.75/5 stars.
Profile Image for Shadae Mallory.
1 review3 followers
October 11, 2017
I read NOTHING HAPPENED in one sitting. I could not put this book down, every minute of it brought joy to my heart. My summers spent at camp are fond memories, and I was delighted to be able to experience moments of nostalgia as the characters were embarking on their summer adventures.

A mechanic that is done well in this book is the varying POVs. The various characters all had their own voices, an aspect that I greatly appreciated. A common issue in multiple POV books stems from the lack of voice-- but Molly did an exception job making sure each character sounded different. Within the differing POV, I found it refreshing that each character reacted differently to the canon LGBT relationship. Without giving too much away, I will say that the realism of the situation was applied well.

Ultimately, I found my greatest enjoyment with this book came from the characters. I found Bee and Hana to be so vulnerable at times. The moments that look into their intimate lives as sisters were well written, and honestly made me envious (haha I never had a relationship with my siblings).

Overall, NOTHING HAPPENED was a refreshing look into contemporary YA fiction. It focused on topics that are commonly discussed, but in a way that brought new components to the conversation. The setting of the story was so incredibly unique, but familiar in a way that I would not have expected.

NOTHING HAPPENED is absolutely going on my YA "Must Read" of the year.
Profile Image for Ashley Owens.
405 reviews68 followers
June 15, 2018
I received an electronic copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I have to say I was a bit disappointed in this book. It had a lot of my buzzwords in it: Shakespeare retelling - specifically of my favorite Shakespeare play, Much Ado About Nothing, LGBT characters, summer camp setting, POC characters, and more.

As a concept for an Ado retelling, this works. changing the estate to a summer camp makes sense, and everyone's relationship to one another makes sense too, like Hana and Bee being adoptive sisters, John being the stepbrother, and more. The route the author took to modernize the story makes sense.

Unfortunately the writing itself was so damn corny I literally outwardly cringed all the time. There were exclamation points where there definitely shouldn't have been any, the characters would seemingly start talking to the reader randomly, sometimes new characters or camp rules were introduced without any explanation, which left me confused. Kangaroo court, for example, was first introduced as a reference to a past drama from like 3 years prior. And then the next time Kangaroo court happens, we're in the middle of it without knowing what the hell it is.

I will say I really loved Bee as a character. She is fierce and wonderful and I just adored her completely.

I wish I could give this more stars, because I am in love with the idea of this book. But for me it ended up feeling childish and a bit unpolished.
Profile Image for Katie.
2,712 reviews142 followers
July 24, 2018
I get this is a Much Ado About Nothing retelling, but WAY TOO MANY CHARACTERS AND MISUNDERSTANDINGS. Bad ones, too, like, "okay, I can't root for you anymore." Or just WEIRD ones, like, "okay, I don't get why that was such a problem." (That last one was also verrrrry drawn out. You don't find out what happened until the 73% mark!)

Fulfills "Set at Summer Camp" for Ripped Bodice Bingo.
May 11, 2018
DNF at 47%. 2-2 1/2 stars for what I read.

I just couldn't connect to this book. There were too many points of views that sounded alike and too many people to remember. I also felt that the characters were way too immature for their ages. The 18-19 years olds seemed more like middle school kids.

I did like the f/f relationship and Margo (I think that was her name). The camp setting was cute.

I'm sure there will be some people who love this book, but it just wasn't for me.

Thank you to netgalley for sending me the book for review.
Profile Image for Cassie.
44 reviews12 followers
December 21, 2017
I received an advanced copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Much Ado About Nothing is my favorite Shakespeare play, so of course I needed to read this modernization. There were many things about this novel that I loved. I loved the diversity, of both character ethnicity and sexuality. I loved the way the characters from the play were adapted into a modern setting. I think the modernized setting at a summer camp was perfect for this story, where rumors run wild and hookups are common.

The adaptation choices were really smart almost across the board, from making the Watch Counselors-in-Training, the youngest in the hierarchy who no one listens to, to making the prince and his brother sons of a Senator. I really appreciated how much thought went into characters and events.

However, the novel suffered from the way it was told. There were too many first-person voices. While I understand the choice, the transitions were jarring and the voices were not distinct enough for me to always keep clear who was speaking. I think the story would have been much stronger if the author had chosen third-person instead, making the transitions between focal characters smoother. I also felt that the falling out between "Hero" and "Claudio" wasn't strong enough, and the resolution was anti-climactic. The modernized version lacked the stakes from the original story.

All in all, I enjoyed the read, but there are elements I felt could have been done better.
Profile Image for Jamie (Books and Ladders).
1,382 reviews189 followers
May 16, 2018
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book and chose to review it. This in no way impacts my opinion.

DNF @ 45%

I was not a fan of how this one started. There were way too many POVs and the story wasn't that intriguing. I didn't like the casual aspects of well this is clearly a thing because we're at camp that weren't given any more detail. This should have been a book I adored - Shakespeare retelling, set at a summer camp, LGBTQ+ romance - but no. It took too long to get anywhere interesting, I don't care "what happened," and the LGBTQ+ romance was so rushed and is going to be overshadowed by the heterosexual one so I really don't care. I couldn't bother finishing but based on the current trajectory, it would have been a 2 star read from me.
Profile Image for Elle.
33 reviews2 followers
August 15, 2019
This book was cute and fun and I enjoyed it, but as a retelling of Much Ado I felt like it missed a large part of what I love about Beatrice and Benedick. I didn’t get the sense of the merry war between them - maybe they were too aware too early for my tastes. But I appreciated the resolution of the big drama - it’s hard to make the original ending palatable to a modern eye, and this worked pretty well. I’d been worried about making Claudio into Claudia only because of the possibility that the character would still be one I can’t stand, but I could genuinely feel for Claudia and not think that Hana needed to dump her ass forever. So because of that, I loved the wlw rep too.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Ruth Lehrer.
Author 3 books65 followers
March 9, 2018

NOTHING HAPPENED, Molly Booth’s second YA novel, gives us a present-day teenage-energy version of Much Ado About Nothing. Updated with summer camp and girl-kisses-girl, it is still charmingly fraught with Shakespearean mis-communications. I’m sure if I remembered Much Ado better there would be hidden easter eggs because Booth is obviously incredibly Shakespeare literate. The great one liners added a lot of enjoyment to this great summer read dosed with teenage angst.
I was lucky enough to have received an ARC of this book. Hope you all check out this fun read in May 2018!
1 review
May 9, 2018
I loved this book, and so did my daughter! As a parent, I really appreciate the diversity in a young adult book, because we live in a world full of diversity. I also love the connection to Shakespeare! This novel introduces one of Shakespeare's plays, in a way that young people can relate to it. For my daughter, it was an entertaining, fun read. I couldn't ask for more from a young adult novel! :)
263 reviews10 followers
November 17, 2017
Received an ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

This is a fun, cute take on Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing. Rumors fly at a summer camp in Maine, the hook-ups, the scheming, the mosquitos...everyone gets caught up in it - even the campers.
Could be a great book to read along with Much Ado About Nothing.
Profile Image for Lys.
820 reviews
July 10, 2018
Oh Em Gee. Where do I even begin? NOTHING HAPPENED is everything I want in a YA summer read -- angsty, funny, diverse, and queer, filled with amazing friendships/relationships. Anyone who has fond memories of summer camp will love this book. I want to go to Camp Dogberry and stargaze from The Nest; Molly Booth makes it feel like a real, magical, sun-kissed place. <3
Profile Image for Carrie.
333 reviews119 followers
June 4, 2018
It's been a while since I did a review, but this book was so much fun!!!

Much Ado About Nothing is my favorite Shakespeare play, so I had pretty high expectations, and I feel as though this book lived up to them!!! It stuck very closely to the original plot, adding in more scenes and fleshing out the characters, which enhanced my enjoyment of the story. Very loyal adaptation, though in a way I wish it had been a little less loyal, but that's spoilers, so I'm not saying more on that subject.

I want to quickly address the characters, as they are always the best part of a book for me.

Bee aka Beatrice- My all time favorite Shakespearean character and my dream role!!! Bee was a wonderful modern adaptation of Beatrice. I loved that the author wasn't afraid of making her cast incredibly diverse, both with race and queerness. And I know there are issues with black women being portrayed in the media (for so many reasons) but Bee was a well rounded character, shown as both desirable and powerful and that rep I found very important. She was fiercely loyal and proud and a total goofball as well. I adored her and also think she's demisexual (look, she only has feelings for one person and constantly talks about how she hates relationships and doesn't understand why people are obsessed with them)

Ben aka Benadick- My socially awkward nerd, I adore him too!!! He is such a good friend, and loves being Bee's friend, even though he loves her romantically. Seeing his struggle between his loyalties to his all his friends when they split up. He was very sweet and super awkward and made him a nice change from most male romantic leads in contemporary novels. Also, I was worried he would be a whiny white boy, but instead he just really sucked at expressing his emotions and was quite insecure. (also totally might be demi, sadi very similar things as Bee and only has feelings for her.

Hana aka Hero- I thought depression instead of physical illness worked for the shift in time period. I also like whenever books address mental illness, I think they are helping with the stigma against mental illness. And having a bisexual major character was one for the main things that drew me to the book. Her relationship with Bee was wonderful and I love when siblings are put front and center because we don't see enough of them. (psst I didn't ship her with Claudia) (I know, but Hero and Claudio has never been a ship of mine) (it's not terrible, I just don't root for them)

As to the rest, I thought the author did a good job making the charters relatable, even the jerkier ones. Like, John I found slightly more sympathetic than Donald, but I was still not a fan. And Margo had a nice arc as well.

Additional notes: I found the ending to be rushed and the writing style to be a little underwhelming and the amount of characters made parts overwhelming, but overall, very enjoyable.

I would recommend this to anyone who either loves Much Ado About Nothing or is looking for more diversity in their realistic fiction and enjoys YA books.
Profile Image for susan.
57 reviews
April 2, 2018
I was super excited about this book because a) I'm a huge fan of wlw anything and b) I love Much Ado About Nothing, the play. The idea of it is very clever (a modern update of Much Ado wherein Claudio and Hero are both girls), and the modernization is fun and very natural (having them all at a summer camp is a good way to get all the various characters in one place without having to reach too much).

Unlike some, I don't mind multiple POVs (I actually kind of like getting different insight on various scenes) and it works pretty well here, although there are some places where I would've liked a certain character's POV but where it doesn't appear (particularly with Claudia later in the book). Ben and Bee aren't quite as rapid fire clever as Benedick and Beatrice (they mostly come off as exasperated/angry than cleverly cutting), but it works for the update and the characters as written.

So I liked it, I really did, and I think it was a very good way to update the setting. But unfortunately it reminded me of my biggest problem with the play, and one that I think doesn't work quite as well in a modern setting.

Which is that...

I'm still giving the book 3 stars, because I did like the story and the way the characters were written (except for Claudia and Donald in the part mentioned above), but if you have a problem with the same parts of Much Ado as I do (basically the meat of the third act), then that part of this book may bother you. Credit for a fun idea and a good update in setting and of the characters, updating their issues to the present day (just that ONE LITTLE THING...)
Profile Image for Amanda Wigfall.
19 reviews
March 25, 2019
I've edited this review after some thought. It deserved a higher rating for what the author did with the characters. She drew the main characters with such detail that I could see what they were wearing, how they wore their hair and practically how they walked without an issue. The book definitely deserved a higher rating than I originally gave it.

This book is a take on "Much Ado About Nothing", so a lot of the story cannot be blamed on the author and is actually a part of the story's charm. There is intrigue and confusion and misdirection, and it's based at a summer camp in Maine, fun!

The summer camp in Maine part is actually quite cool. It allows time for the primary characters to develop and events to unfold organically. My issue was the sheer number of secondary characters and my inability to remember who they were in the story. Again, this is a part of the origin story, but the supporting characters' personalities didn't make enough of an impact for me to keep them straight.

On the other hand, I did appreciate the author's approach to the queer storylines. There was no pearl-clutching and all of the characters accepted the relationship(s) without comment.

I definitely look forward to reading more original stories by the author in the future.
Profile Image for C. A..
931 reviews
May 14, 2018
This was good--a Shakespeare retelling (Much Ado About Nothing) set in a camp environment. Unfortunately, I never went to camp, so the nostalgia factor didn't appeal to me, also there were SO. MANY. POINTS. OF. VIEW. Molly did keep the characters in check with their own unique voices and I think that the diversity in this book will be so great for kids to see themselves represented in contemporary YA.
Profile Image for Lauren Sapp.
94 reviews12 followers
April 3, 2019
"You're my favorite weird thing in the world."

Profile Image for Hannah.
242 reviews22 followers
October 2, 2023
Wow, this took longer than I wanted it to, but that's what happens when you and your boyfriend get lazy and don't want to read. Motivation is fickle that way.

I'm a sucker for Shakespeare comedies, but I'm also well aware of the fact that they don't translate very well into a modern setting. I thought this was a really interesting way to set up Much Ado About Nothing because summer camp is basically a rumor mill on steroids, and Shakespeare comedies, by definition, are all about misunderstandings and rumors gone awry. I loved that the cast was diverse and the representation felt naturally integrated. Some of the little quips that the characters had with each other were hilarious and pretty spot on for the late 2010s; whether or not that will date this book is questionable, but that's not something that bothers me too much.

While this was a cute story, there were a lot of problems I had with the plot. Because this is an updated version of a centuries-old play, the miscommunications seemed very forced and unrealistic. I found myself rolling my eyes constantly when characters refused to directly address their issues and instead resorted to gossiping or quietly brooding. Hana's depression after she and Claudia break up wasn't handled well, especially at the end when she realizes everything was due to a misunderstanding. She's suddenly snapped out of it and life is okay again, which is NOT HOW DEPRESSION WORKS. AT ALL. Bee and Ben's will-they-or-won't-they relationship wasn't as charming as Molly Booth wanted it to come across. Maybe that's a trope I've grown out of, but it was frustrating to watch them banter back and forth and not do anything about it. John, the antagonist who sets everything into motion, gets off scot-free at the end, with hardly a wrap-up for his plot. I would have at least thought Booth would give closure for that. And some of the writing was just very cringy and out of place. ("Claudia glowed faintly, like the sorriest star in the sky" made me stop reading and question my existence.)

I like to indulge in cheesy things now and then, just like anyone else. There's no shame in that. This isn't a terrible book by any means, and I'm sure if I had more motivation to read, it probably wouldn't have taken me four months to get through it. Updating an older story into a modern setting is definitely no easy feat, but it can be done competently by fleshing out the characters so they don't fall into archetypes and not having a cast list a mile long with forgettable extras. (Seriously, half the people at this camp were named briefly and then I forgot who they even were.) If you're looking for a fun summer read that isn't too heavy, I'd say check it out. I'm hoping to read Booth's other Shakespeare-inspired book at some point, but I'm keeping my expectations a little lower next time.
Profile Image for Sasha.
311 reviews42 followers
May 18, 2020
Nothing Happened is a Much Ado About Nothing retelling. It's about two sisters, Hana and Bee who live with their parents at their summer camp. When camp starts though, there is nothing but drama and rumours and relationship drama. Hana is super excited to finally spend time with Claudia, however, a rumour is spread that tears them apart. Bee has an on-and-off relationship with coworker Ben and it's even more complicated by events that happened - or didn't happen - last summer. So, these camp counselors will have to swallow their pride and put an end to these rumours once and for all.

So, going into this, I anticipated a more immature read. I definitely got that. I will say though, I did love the sister dynamic between Bee and Hana. Bee was adopted and became the older sibling at the age of 5, and sometimes that doesn't go well with the other siblings, but oh my gosh, they were super cute together and really knew how to be role model sisters.

Now, this book reads really immature and I would recommend this almost as middle grade, if it weren't for all of the unnecessary swearing!! Every five sentences it was f*** this and f*** that and it got so repetitive. I also struggled with liking really any of the characters. No one was really written in a way that had me rooting for them, other than Hana. Bee was a bully, John was a dick, Claudia and Donald were naive, the parents were inconsiderate and only really thought about camp rather than their children, and the list goes on. There were also SO MANY ITALICS . I don't typically complain about this, but it got so frustrating to read and I was honestly unimpressed.

Unfortunately, I didn't love this story, although I can definitely see the appeal. I also think reading it right after my first five star of the year kinda set some unrealistic expectations.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 119 reviews

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.