Saturday, January 26, 2013

ARC Review: Nobody But Us by Kristin Halbrook

Title: Nobody But Us
Author: Kristin Halbrook
Pages: 272 pages
Acquired format: Paperback (ARC)
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication date: January 29th 2013
Source: Received from publisher for an honest review (Thanks, Christine!)
Pre-order the book: Amazon / Barnes and Noble

Bonnie and Clyde meets IF I STAY in this addictively heart-wrenching story of two desperate teenagers on the run from their pasts.

They’re young. They’re in love. They’re on the run.

Zoe wants to save Will as much as Will wants to save Zoe. When Will turns eighteen, they decide to run away together. But they never expected their escape to be so fraught with danger....

When the whole world is after you, sometimes it seems like you can’t run fast enough.

Nobody But Us, told in alternating perspectives from Will and Zoe, is an unflinching novel, in turns heartbreaking and hopeful, about survival, choices, and love...and how having love doesn’t always mean that you get a happy ending. Described as “beautiful, heartbreaking, and exhilarating” by Kody Keplinger, author of The DUFF, Nobody But Us will prove irresistible to fans of Nina Lacour, Jenny Han, and Sara Zarr.

(Image and summary taken from Goodreads)


I honestly had pretty high expectations for Nobody But Us, mostly because Kody Keplinger, who I worship, blurbed it and also because they compared it to If I Stay in its summary and we all know how amazing If I Stay is. I just felt like this book fell flat with me, there was a disconnection between me and the characters. It's like no matter how hard I pulled, they just kept pulling back as well. It wasn't that the characters were hard to relate to (and they were because of certain aspects that will be mentioned in the latter part of this review) but mostly it's because they weren't properly created as people. Or rather, they lacked in being fleshed out further.

I really got into the first parts of Nobody But Us but towards the middle to the end, it kind of got a bit too much for me. 'Cause yeah, two teens decide to run away and the cops start going after them... but how? Zoe's father is an alcoholic who beats her and pretty much killed her mother, why would anyone listen to someone like that? It was mostly her friend's parents who got into looking for her. I actually thought that no one would really notice her leave since she is kind of a quiet loner-type. But I guess everyone is important.

I think that both Will and Zoe had plethora issues they needed to sort through. I really felt that Zoe was just too weak to be a protag. I don't know if the author did it on purpose to show us how much Zoe needed Will in her life or how much she depended on him or something. The girl gets beaten up on a daily basis, you'd think that when she got her freedom she's finally grow a backbone but nope, nada. Still nothing. I think it was near the end when I really started to care about what she did. There was a realization somewhere in there that really made me feel like Zoe and I were finally on the same page. Zoe still had so much potential to grow as a character but with the way it ended, all that happened was a gigantic roadblock was placed in front of the people.

I know that I'm usually suppose to fall in love with the leading man no matter how much of an asshole he really is or what, but I just couldn't bring myself to feel anything other than pity... and fear for Will. Lots and lots of fear. Will is a human being with enough issues to fill a whole room. Yup. This guy is frightening, I honestly don't even know why she thinks it's safe to behind her abusive father for this guy. The whole book, I was waiting for him to explode and maybe start beating her or something. He has got one long violent streak. There was actually a part where I thought I was going to cry, Will's chapters are definitely more heartbreaking than Zoe's is. I honestly really felt bad for will.

Their relationship can accurately be more described by the word "obsessive". I honestly didn't know if they were in love with each... The details are pretty ambiguous and I really think that really needs to be further elaborated on in the book. The fact that they've only actually been together for two months isn't really assuring either. When you read both their POVs, you'll feel a sort of dependence for each other radiating from the two characters. And being together obviously makes them tick.

I felt like the ending was kind of an overkill already. It was very predictable, especially since you already know where the storyline is heading. I think what made the ending special, albeit predictable, is that the emotions of the two characters are emphasized in the last part. You'll really see how important they know their respective counterparts are. Just a note though, I really don't understand what happens at the end. You may understand what I'm going through if you decide to read it.

Even though there were parts that were a bit too much for me, I'd still recommend Nobody But Us to people who feel like putting themselves in the crying/depressed mood. Don't expect too much from it though, certainly not like If I Stay but it's definitely unique in its own way.


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