Monday, January 14, 2013

Add to Goodreads
Title: Nobody But Us
Author: Kristin Halbrook
Series: n/a
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication Date: January 29, 2013
Source: from publisher via Edelweiss
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & 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.

So, last year I discovered that I liked contemporary YA novels.  This year, I decided to see if I like grittier contemporary novels.  If this book is any indication, the answer to that question is a resounding no.  But I'm not going to give up on them.  I did like Send Me a Sign last year, and it was full of the sads.  So maybe it was just this book and I that didn't mesh well, not just the fact that it was dark.

The fact is, these two kids have had really effed up, crazy lives, and them taking off on their own isn't going to change that.  But I know from experience that sometimes it does help to put distance between you and your problems, if only to gain some clarity.  Though, that isn't what happens in this story.  My heart hurts for these characters and everything they've been through -- and are still going through -- even though I never developed an emotional connection to them.  Which is really sad because I really wanted to love them, to love this book.

This book was all gogogo and I was all, Hey, wait a minute...we're moving on from this already?  The brief glimpses of Will and Zoe's lives prior to their, well, for lack of a better word, escape, are fleeting and pretty much serve to garner more sympathy for the characters.  But while that tactic is successful, for the most part, it also made me question why they were being so impulsive and not facing their fears head-on.  Zoe seemed to have a relatively good head on her shoulders, so why was she running?  At times, she would second-guess their decision to hit the road, but then she'd think about Will and his love for her, and she would settle back into her resolve to start a life with him.

Will.  This guy is one I would never give a second thought to, except to remind myself to stay away from him.  Not because he's a shelter kid but because of his freakishly scary mood swings and easily provoked anger management issues.  Honestly, he reminds me of someone I know, which freaks me the eff out because guys like that really do exist and they end up just like the man Zoe is so desperate to flee.  But Will and Zoe both believe that they're saving her.  Will who is 18 and Zoe who is a mere 15.  Will knows how much trouble he could get into for high-tailing it with a minor across state lines, but the wacko already thought of this and got her a fake ID stating she was of age, prior to their road trip from hell.


This story is just one bad decision after another, and it doesn't end well for either of the characters.  All I felt throughout the book was a penetrating melancholy, and I kind of wish I'd never read this.  I know this story isn't completely fiction.  That things can go terribly, terribly wrong in a matter of moments, based on few bad decisions and that a story like this is the result.  But I read to escape, to feel good, and this book achieved the exact opposite.  It was like watching a bad car chase, and it ends about the same as one, too.  It wasn't terribly written, but it also wasn't the book for me.

Rating:  Photobucket

I know, I know...I still haven't put up my DAC 2013 post, but I'm counting this book toward it, as well as using it as my "outside of my comfort zone" book for the January mini-challenge.


  1. Yeah I think I will skip this one. Thanks for the review!

  2. Ahh, sorry this one didn't work for you. I don't like when a book is gogogo either and forgetting to expand where it needs to. I am still on the fence if this is something I want to read. :/

  3. Ooph, sorry to hear you didn't enjoy it. This is actually one I've been pretty eager to get my hands on. I've heard both good and not so good reviews, which is making me waiver on whether I should read it or not. I may hold off on it for a bit though, since I have so many on my pile already. Thanks for the review!

  4. Nobody But Us isn't a great example of a good, gritty book. There are loads of good ones out there, and while I thought Nobody But Us was 'okay', it wouldn't make my list of top gritty books! So I do hope you keep trying. :)

    But I agree with a lot of what you said in your review. I never connected to the characters so I didn't get sad or emotional during any of the parts when I thought I was supposed to get sad or emotional.

    Ultimately I felt like I wasn't the target audience for this book. I mean, the kids were so "Let's run away together! I love you more than anything!" But they were so, sooo young. I just couldn't help but roll my eyes a bit.

  5. Thanks for your review. I can tell you put a lot of thought into this one. I hope you have better luck with the next grittier book you read.

  6. SIgh, well it sounds like it has some important issues to share but I don't like that it moves too fast and glosses over them. I am not doing sad or melancholy this time of year. I struggle enough with SAD as it is during the winter and reading dystopian/ gritty sad books does not help, I learned that last winter. This year I am doing light, sweet and funny. THanks for your honest review, Jen.

  7. I'm sad you didn't enjoy it that much :( Too bad you're not able to connect to the characters, I think I may still give it a shot. Thanks for the honest review!

  8. I also had a hard time with this book. Not at all what I expected or wanted. I wanted so bad to like it but the the more I read the more It went down hill. I still need to do my review. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Awesome as usual!

  9. Zoe's only 15?! (I wish numbers could be capitalized), but that seems so crazy young! I'm really looking forward to this one, but I've been reading so many reviews about how... for lack of a better word nitty gritty this book is. It makes me want to cry that things didn't work out in the end (but really how could they have, and I'm an emotional person so this behavior isn;t strange for me)

    I also wouldn't let this book stray you away from books about hard hitting subjects! There are so many great ones out there. (:


  10. I had a lot of the same issues with Nobody But Us that you did. It could be my age (31) but I kept thinking throughout the entire book, why are these two so stupid? Also, why would Zoe leave an abusive father to be with a man with literally no impulse control? I think when you truly dislike on of the main characters in a book that pretty much features only two characters, it can be getting through it a huge slog.

    Others do seem to enjoy Nobody But Us but it just really was not for me.

  11. I have also learned I love contemporaries, but the good ones sometimes seem hard to come by. Maybe because they are so realistic, its harder for us to stomach? Fantasy and Paranormal have way harsher story lines a lot of the time, but its obviously not real! I don't know...I'm not sure if I'm going to read this one yet! Thanks for the review!

  12. I liked this book a lot but I get a good sense of why it didn't work for you from this review. Contemporary is my genre although I usually prefer lighter works than this so I hope you continue checking out other contemps-there is such a wide variety in theme and intensity so I'm sure you'll find ones to suit your taste.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...