The Dark Side of Nowhere
By: Neal Shusterman

Quick-take: Quick light read.

Dan's Review

Jason is in his early teens. His town is very boring, so he mostly just ponders within his own thoughts. He becomes friends with Paula, and they start a relationship. Things quickly become odd when the school janitor gives him a gift.

This short book was 1 part sci-fi, and 3 parts coming-of-age. I'm not quite sure what to make of it except I think the ratio was about right. The sci-fi part of this book, while minor, was not very good. Some of the descriptions were cop-outs "It is impossible to descibe this. It'd be like explaining the color blue to a blind person". That was not very helpful.

Thankfully, the coming-of-age portion was done a bit better. Jason is conflicted between loyalty to his new group of friends and the budding relationship he has established with Paula. The whole story is quite charming. It is not the type of story I find that appealing though, but I can tell it was well executed. It is believable.

The ending made it feel like the story was really just getting started. However, this is the only entry. That's OK though. This story was enough for me. Score: 3/5.

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