Wednesday, June 19, 2013

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Title: Some Quiet Place
Author: Kelsey Sutton
Series: n/a
Publisher: Flux
Publication Date: July 8, 2013
Source: received from publisher via Netgalley/finished copy provided
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

I can’t weep. I can’t fear. I’ve grown talented at pretending.

Elizabeth Caldwell doesn’t feel emotions . . . she sees them. Longing, Shame, and Courage materialize around her classmates. Fury and Resentment appear in her dysfunctional home. They’ve all given up on Elizabeth because she doesn’t succumb to their touch. All, that is, save one—Fear. He’s intrigued by her, as desperate to understand the accident that changed Elizabeth’s life as she is herself.

Elizabeth and Fear both sense that the key to her past is hidden in the dream paintings she hides in the family barn. But a shadowy menace has begun to stalk her, and try as she might, Elizabeth can barely avoid the brutality of her life long enough to uncover the truth about herself. When it matters most, will she be able to rely on Fear to save her?

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 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!

Rating:   photo 4-1.png

About the author:

Kelsey Sutton has done everything from training dogs, making cheeseburgers, selling yellow page ads, and cleaning hotel rooms. Now she divides her time between her college classes and her writing, though she can also sometimes be found pounding out horrible renditions of Beethoven on the piano and trying bizarre drinks at her local coffee shop. Kelsey lives in northern Minnesota with her dog and cat, Lewis and Clark.

Find Kelsey:

Blog | Twitter | Goodreads


  1. This sounds interesting, I'm not sure how I'd like the character but I want to give it a try :) Here's hoping my library orders copies!

  2. Wow. She can see emotions? That's... that's pretty awesome. I really can't wait to see how it all turns out!

  3. I usually don't read reviews if I have the book on my pile for publishers, but I just had to know what you thought of it! I'm so glad you enjoyed this one, Jen, and based on what you said I think it will be right up my alley :) I can't wait to meet Elizabeth myself and see the strange relation between her and Fear and the other emotions! I also like that the triangle isn't that important or milked for drama. To be honest I think it's good that there is a human love interest (?), too. And the setting sounds great!

  4. This sounds insanely excellent. I cannot wait to read this book! Thanks for the awesome review!

  5. I had no idea what this was about -- and your description made it sound a little like Chime, one of my favorite YA books. It also has a narrator who says she's evil, but you're not sure if you can trust her….
    Thanks so much for stopping by! Jen @ YA Romantics

  6. Excellent review, I love the cover so much. I requested it on Netgalley but didn't get approved, lucky duck! Great to see you enjoyed it.

  7. Ooh! I was in line for another book at BEA and then saw that the line for this book was winding down so I ran in a picked it up. It s looks and sounds kind of creep/romantic.

    Glad to hear it's not an annoying love triangle. I might read this book next.

  8. This is a unique concept and I have been wondering if it will work for me. I'll have to give it a try sometime. The love triangle actually sounds interesting. You didn't say too much because I am wondering what feelings need to be resolved and it is kind of weird since she has no feelings.

  9. This sounds like a very interesting read. I have it and need to read it. So many books not near enough time. Its really great to see new ideas out there in a flood of so many stories. awesome review.

  10. Okay, okay, I AM IN. The cover is creepily gorgeous, but you completely captured me by how described Elizabeth and Fear and Joshua and the whole triangle aspect because it's kind of a triangle, but not really and it's a GOOD kinda-triangle and gosh, I want to read it now. Like NOW.

  11. The more I think about this book, the more I love it. I've read a few since finishing this one, and it's still stuck with me. The prose was utterly engaging.

  12. I'm glad to see that even though you figured out the story halfway through, that that didn't take away from the rest of the story. That happens to me sometimes, and I'm so disappointed. Happy to hear that's not the case with thsi one! :)


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