Author: Kelsey Sutton
Publication Date: July 8, 2013
Source: received from publisher via Netgalley/finished copy provided
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
The fact that Kelsey Sutton was eighteen when she wrote Some Quiet Place notwithstanding, this is a phenomenal debut. It would be a uniquely captivating story regardless, but when you take into account the author's youth, it makes it even more so. The mystery of Elizabeth's existence was compelling and her isolation from the feeling world was complete. And yet I wanted to know the why and how, unravel the enigma that was Elizabeth in her emotionless state.
Some readers will find it difficult to connect with such an uncaring and unfeeling character as Elizabeth Caldwell. But that's if the reader chooses to view Elizabeth as she portrays herself. The deeper you delve into Elizabeth's life, her world, the easier it is to see that she is unable to emote like the rest of us. She feels twinges and twitches that alert her to the fact that she should feel something...the emotions just can't break through the barrier that's been erected around her. Emotions can't touch her -- not the Emotions personified, nor the sensations they radiate.
But Fear is enraptured with her very existence. His touch alone should leave her enveloped in terror, yet she feels nothing. He tests her again and again, sure that her hard exterior will have to crack one day. While everyone else, those in her human life and those in the other plane (the other Emotions and Elements) have all but given up on her, Fear becomes more and more intrigued by Elizabeth. Oddly enough, this obsession didn't squick me out. Maybe because I'd already figured out what role Fear was to play or maybe because he was the only one who seemed to care about Elizabeth anymore, but whatever the reason, I was hopeful that his presence would do just as he intended.
Just as I was shipping a Fear/Elizabeth romance, though, Joshua entered the picture. And I thought to myself, This could be the kid that breaks through the wall. I know, I know...a love triangle? How is that even possible when the girl feels NOTHING? It wasn't...not really. And I think I'll leave it at that...except to say that this romantic triangle won't leave you with a bad taste in your mouth. Because it's almost nonexistent. But there are feelings that need to be resolved...and they are. And now I've said more than I meant to. *sigh*
Anyway, the Emotions and Elements themselves were a nice addition to the cast of characters. To see each one embodied, to see the sway they held over humans...it was atmospheric and intense. And kind of creepy. The setting only added to that, with all the corn fields, the shadowy barns, and creaky screen doors. Not to mention that Emotions like to appear out of nowhere. Not that that really bothers Elizabeth.
I'd already guessed the big reveal halfway through the book but not to the detriment of my reading experience. In fact, knowing what likely happened to Elizabeth made concentrating on the how that much more intriguing. Usually, I mind coming to revelations pages or chapters before the characters do, but in this case, it made complete sense that it took Elizabeth so long to get there. It did make for some slow pacing at times, but the beautiful imagery and the shock and awe of it all kept me engrossed in the story. I should mention that the story does touch upon some rather tough subject matter, and yes, maybe it should have been examined further, but as it wasn't the primary focus of the story, I am going to refrain from judging it too harshly. Since the rest of the story was so compelling, I'm willing to overlook it this time.
I really love how this story came together. I loved the beings from the other plane. I even loved the tragedy of the fact that Elizabeth couldn't experience sorrow or hope or fear -- even when she knew she should feel them -- and how she was portrayed in those moments. I think I kind of even love Fear. I'm so glad to have had the opportunity to read this story, and I was even more excited to learn that the author is slated to write another story set in this world, scheduled for release next year. I hope the cover is just as gorgeous as this one!