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Nothing to See Here

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  104,502 ratings  ·  13,835 reviews
6 hrs 40 mins

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Family Fang, a moving and uproarious novel about a woman who finds meaning in her life when she begins caring for two children with a remarkable ability.

Lillian and Madison were unlikely roommates and yet inseparable friends at their elite boarding school. But then Lillian had to leave the school unexpectedly i
Audiobook, Unabridged
Published October 29th 2019 by HarperAudio
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Virginia I agree somewhat with the other readers, especially Francisco who relates being the "best one" to Jasper's fluctuating favour. Timothy's ritualized se…moreI agree somewhat with the other readers, especially Francisco who relates being the "best one" to Jasper's fluctuating favour. Timothy's ritualized selection process also reminded me of how younger, articulate autistic children organize their possessions. The whole combustion scenario reminded me intensely of how some autistic children appear to have "meltdowns" when anxious and under pressure, and Lillian's relaxation and training relates to how some autistic kids and adults are taught to self-regulate and defuse their reactions to stressful situations. Just a thought.(less)

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Average rating 3.94  · 
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 ·  104,502 ratings  ·  13,835 reviews

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Aug 11, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
edit: it’s been days and i can’t stop thinking about her so i guess it got to me more than i thought,,2am kat didn’t know shit

quirky and wholesome story about loneliness, family, and some kids who catch fire (literally)(the cover is not a metaphor) idk if i don’t have much else to say bc this didn’t leave an impact on me or if it’s more bc it’s currently 2 am, but i have no other substantial thoughts about this book.
it was cute lol i don’t know
i need to go to bed
Jan 22, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: overdrive
Quirky and Heartwarming

Nothing to See Here is about two small children who have the power to spontaneously combust. Yup. Sounds crazy, but Kevin Wilson pulls it off!

The premise is a little odd, but it lured me in and works to examine an undercurrent of themes, including class divisions, the dynamics of friendship, otherness, loneliness, and the power of love.

I love the tone of Nothing to See Here--narrated by Lillian (the caregiver of the fire children), it's dark, emotional, and filled with hu
“This is weird, Madison. You want me to raise your husband’s fire children.”

i won this through the gr giveaways but i didn’t read it right away—choosing instead to read ARCs of books that were coming out before this one, then delaying it further for my horror-only october bookplan. i thought i had plenty of time before it pubbed because i saw this on the side of the ARC:

and misunderstood it to mean it was pubbing on the 19th of november instead of in november 2019. which i now realize is a monda
Nilufer Ozmekik
Dec 27, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Surprising, entertaining, emotional, original!

Dysfunctional family dynamics, political ambitions, fire-starter kids seem like little Drew Barrymore’s incarnations, not reciprocated, quirky best friend a.k.a nanny’s surprising connection with them, finding her new life purpose.

This book is definitely different fiction you’ve lately read. Lillian doesn’t come from money. She needs to work so hard to deserve a place and prove her value in the society.

She has no father and a problematic, selfish mo
Nov 11, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nothing to See Here by Kevin Wilson (Author), Marin Ireland (Narrator)

It was a bit hard to get my head around this book because it's about ten year old twins that will burst into flames when they are stressed. Since they aren't harmed when this happens, it can be sort of funny to think about this situation and how adults can make it work, make combustible children fit into everyday life. And that's the sad part...that the wealthy father of these children dealt with them by paying to have them ke
Oct 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
Do you need your heart-strings pulled but you REALLY want them pulled in the weirdest way? Then Nothing to See Here is the book for you.

It is a story of friendship.
It is a story of family.
It is a story of politics.
It is a story of abandonment.
It is a story of growing up.
It is a story of self-discovery.
It is a story of karma.
It is a story of kids who catch on fire.

*sings* One of these things is not like the other . . .

So, how does that last item on this list fit in with all the others. I ca
It takes a lot of skill for an author to write a book about children bursting into flames and do it in a way that makes it not only believable, but endearing. I absolutely loved this quirky, funny, and sweet story.

Lillian hears from Madison, her old friend and roommate, asking for a favor. The two have a checkered history, with Madison being blessed with beauty and wealth, while Lillian, having neither, does Madison’s bidding, getting nothing in return. This time the favor is asking Lillia
This book was a freaking balm on my soul. You have to understand, I have been completely SWAMPED in the waters of Moby Dick and the meandering ramblings of Midnight's Children - I know... WHAT WAS I THINKING?? But this book, folks, this book is short, (darkly) funny, and easily holds your interest. There are no dissertations on whaling to be found here, or a dizzyingly long character list. Never, at any point, did a hopelessness descend on me, or existential questions assault me (will I ever fin ...more
Feb 05, 2021 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Every once in a while, I come across a book that seems to be exactly what I enjoy and everyone else loves it, but for some reason, I just don't connect with it. And unfortunately, Nothing to See Here falls squarely in that camp.

When Lillian's best friend from her school days calls on her for help, she immediately jumps at the chance. When she arrives at Madison's house, she learns that her friend wants her to take care of her two stepchildren, who have the unfortunate ability to burst into flame
David Putnam
Apr 10, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A quirky story about two kids who once agitated light on fire; burst into flames. Nothing happens to the kids, they are unharmed when it happens. This book has a gentle pressure that pulls you through the text and keeps you turning the pages. I did not think I would like it but, ended up enjoying it a great deal. Its more about relationships, old and new. How Lilian melds with the two children almost like an Old Yeller kind of story (that’s a bad example but that’s what it felt like). I laughed ...more
Mar 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Why have I waited so long to read this???

This may have been one of the cutest stories I have ever read. 🥰

Lillian is asked by her best friend Madison to become the "governess" to her two 10 year old twin step kids, Bessie and Roland. Their mother has just passed away so they will be coming to live with them and she could really use the help. However there is a catch. The kids spontaneously combust when ever they become upset and let me tell you that hilarity ensues from here. Oh, my heart, how I
Brenda ~Traveling Sisters Book Reviews
Great flaming balls of fire!! Kids that catch on fire! No, nothing to see here!

You can't get anymore original than this quirky, sweet, mesmerizing funny and touching story that uniquely explores what is normal and the power of compassion. It left me thinking we can normalize almost anything if we have compassion for each other.

I loved our main character here, Lillian, whose's job is to keep fireballs Bessie and Roland calm while keeping her own cool. These adorable twins who I wanted to give a
Larry H
Nov 03, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
This is truly an odd, funny, poignant book about finding a place and people with whom you belong, and how family can spring from the strangest of situations.

"How did people protect themselves? How did anyone keep this world from ruining them?"

Lillian has always accepted that she won’t accomplish much in life. For a brief moment in her teenage years, however, she attended a private high school and befriended Madison, a beautiful but quirky rich girl, and Lillian started to believe she had potenti
Chelsea (chelseadolling reads)
This was bizarre and mundane at the same time but I kind of think I loved it?????????????
Dec 08, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
An interesting premise, but I did not enjoy the writing or characterisation at all. I was curious enough to see where it would go, but at the end I am feeling like there was really nothing to see here.

Dorie  - Cats&Books :)
I really didn’t have much idea what I was getting into with this book, I just went into it blind. I loved it!!!!!!!!!!! I listened to the audiobook from Audible and the narrator was fantastic.

Is this book quirky? YES Is it hard to believe that children bursting into flames is possible? YES Did it matter to the enjoyment of the book NO!!!

This book was clever, witty and incredibly original.

This is a story about friendship, often taken for granted by some while held onto fiercely by others. It’s a
Jun 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Lillian had "a desire to be superlative...a sterling representative of this backward county"... when she won a scholarship to prestigious Iron Mountain Girls Preparatory School. Lillian and her roommate Madison became fast friends despite the fact that upper crust Madison "...had been raised since birth to recognize importance. [Lillian] was not that." However, Lillian and Madison needed each other. They strived to "tamp down their weirdness." Madison acknowledged that rich people "... had to be ...more
Oct 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019-favorites
[4.5] The idea of a plot involving two kids who spontaneously ignite when they get anxious didn't sound appealing to me. But I was wrong. I loved the main character, Lillian, an outsider who is stuck in her life until an old friend calls for her help. I loved the way Wilson portrayed the two very likable kids - who have been unfairly treated by their family because of their unusual ability (or disability).

I was pulled into this novel from the first pages and got up for air only to help prepare d
Betsy Robinson
Nov 08, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When I was an actress in my 20s, I took voice lessons with an old German man named Mr. Jacobi. I was a terrible singer, but it was okay. I wasn't learning to sing. I was learning to use my voice to its full potential. I knew this because one of Mr. Jacobi's favorite things to say after he sat down at the piano and leaned on the first chord was, "We accept here." That meant that no matter what sound I made, it was fine with both of us.

"We accept here." That could be the philosophy expressed by th
Kim ~ It’s All About the Thrill
May 25, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Kim ~ It’s All About the Thrill by: Dita
Shelves: botm
Sooo if my college roommate contacted me to be a nanny I would have to politely decline. If she added that it is no biggie that the kids have this little condition- that they spontaneously combust on occasion...yeah that answer would be hells to the no! I really was hesitate to pick up this little quirky book but the raving reviews got to me.

I am not going to lie this book was entertaining but I don't know why. I simply can't put my finger on it. The plot was pretty much non existent. The charac
Maggie Stiefvater
A sarcastic girl from the wrong side of the tracks finds herself nannying two children who catch fire whenever they're agitated. A brief and slyly-observed novel on parenthood and privilege. ...more
Mar 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audio
This book gives a whole new meaning to the word hot-flash! 🔥
Once I learned what the story-line for this book was, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on a copy.
It involves twin kids that spontaneously burst into flames. It now had my un-divided attention. See, growing up, this was actually my greatest fear – that I would spontaneously combust! (Thanks to my big brother). It’s something we still laugh about to this day. And now after foolishly sharing that little fact with my husband, he constantly
Dec 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library-books
This book was so good, but it was weird. I did not think I was going to like this book, but I loved it. This book is about a woman paying her best friend to watch her step children. The children are not normal children. The children catches on fire when they get mad or upset. The fire does not hurt the kids, but it burn the clothes they are wearing and hurts people near them. The book is written very good. I cannot say how much I loved this book. If you like different or little weird books you s ...more

Originally I came across this book when I was reading the excerpts in the Buzz Books 2019 Fall / Winter collection of the best stories to look out for in the coming months. It sounded promising, but it took me a while to request this since this is an author I wasn’t familiar with. I’m glad that I did, even more so when I saw the author’s Dedication – ”For Ann Patchett and Julie Barer” having recently spent time in another world courtesy of Ann Patchett.

Madison is the daughter
Apr 29, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to Paula by: Audie Awards
Audie Award for Best Female Narrator 2020

Entertaining, funny and weird...

Lilian and Madison are old college buddies that have kept in touch by email for years. Out of the blue, Madison offers Lilian a job in Tennessee to look after her husband’s ten year old twins that are soon coming to live with them. Down on her luck, and always willing to help out her best friend, Lilian accepts. The issue is, however, that the children catch on fire when stressed. Kind of like a few of the young X-Men...

Oct 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Told in first person, our main character and narrator Lillian travels to see her friend, Madison, who has a job offer for her. It isn't until after she accepts the job as governess to Madison's step-children that Madison tells her the kids burst into flames when they feel angry or frustrated.

The fire children do not make an appearance until 26% (on a Kindle). The first 1-7% is the foundation of Lillian and Madison's relationship. This includes how the met, their school-girl-days, and their curre
Jan 12, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
10 yr old twins Bessie and Roland have some kind of medical problem that when they get angry or upset.. they spontaneously combust..yes, literally go up in 🔥
They were pushed out of their wealthy father’s ancestral mansion along with their mother when they were five years old because he found a new young and beautiful wife.
Now their mother has died and they have to return to their fathers estate and will be cared for by Lillian.. a longtime but distant friend of their stepmothers.
These two poor
Elyse  Walters
Nov 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
The responsible adults in charge needed to come up with a plan.....
....the fire children’s mother died.
*Fire* children - you ask?
YEP!!!! 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥

read by the ‘outstanding’ Marin Ireland.

Marin Ireland, made this book come ‘alive’!!!!
The ranges in her voice sounded completely different for each character.
She was fantastic with the children’s voices.

The children, ( twins Bessie & Rolan), & Lillian ( unique governess), stole my heart.

Quirky and moving!!!

You’d have
Tamar...light at the end of the tunnel?
This is another one of those stories where she could have had it all, but got shafted and her life went down the tube thereafter. Lillian is raised by a single mother who barely scraped by and what little money she made was blown on booze or gambling. She sure didn’t spend it on Lillian.

When Lillian proved to be an exceptional student her teachers encouraged her to apply for a scholarship place in a top tier boarding school. Her mother was not impressed when she got accepted and wouldn’t even s

“I had the children. They caught on fire. I had to keep them from catching on fire.”

As soon as I read Kevin Wilson's dedication (“for Ann Patchett”) I had a feeling that I was in for a treat (and I was right).
There was something about Wilson's surrealism that reminded me a bit of Charlie Kaufman's films (in Synecdoche, New York a character moves into a house that is permanently on fire). Comparisons to Wes Anderson would also not be amiss (dysfunctional families + parental abandonment + quirky
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Kevin Wilson was born, raised, and still lives in Tennessee. His writing has appeared in Ploughshares, One Story, Greensboro Review, The Oxford American, Carolina Quarterly and elsewhere. His work has twice been included in the New Stories from the South: The Year’s Best anthology (2005, 2006). He has received fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, and the KHN Center for the Arts. A graduat ...more

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