Nobody But Us by Kristin Halbrook
HarperTeen, 304 pages
Expected US Release Date: January 29, 2013
Format: print ARC
Source: DAC ARC Tours - thank you so much!
Challenges: 2013 Debut Author Challenge, Contemporary Challenge
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.
My body feels urgent. The chaos we've created makes me need her more. The things we been doing, the distractions, they make me forget how right we feel when it's just us. When the world ain't creeping in. This is the perfect we been aiming for.
Can I make a quick note on the cover? While I do like it and the pose and it actually really does fit the tone of the novel itself - the two models? Definitely not how I picture Will and Zoe. Maaaaybe Zoe, but Will? Not at all. I wouldn't really put Will in a picnic checkerboard shirt. He's definitely more...leather jacket, aviators and hair he's got to flick out of his face. To me, anyway.
You guys, this book is absolutely heartbreaking. And completely filled with a devotional love that truly fits the situation. Usually this kind of love between two characters is tinged by an obsessiveness that's disturbing, or seems so fragile - but not so with Nobody But Us. The love between Will and Zoe is true and real and I never once doubted it. They are a couple I utterly believe in. Perhaps my favourite thing about this novel was watching this love that already existed really mature and change and shape itself into something stronger and filled with a depth that I don't think I've found in many YA books before. It's marvelous to read about, truly.
I also really enjoyed the dual narrative - which doesn't say much really, since I'm all about the dual narratives - but this is done really well. Both Zoe and Will have a very distinct tone to them, and the writing is fantastic. In some books, I have to read the chapter headings to know whose head I'm in, but definitely not with this one - every word is very clear to whom it belongs.
Quite obviously, there are some really strong elements to this book. I adored those. Absolutely. Unfortunately, there were a few things I wasn't entirely too crazy about, too. For one, the general movement of the book is very...slow. I think I just didn't have enough outside details to their road trip to really anchor me in time, but a lot of the book was just them driving. And thinking, or having small conversations, or lots of thoughts about how much they love the other...which is cute, yes, but doesn't really help much in terms of a plotline. There are certain scenes of action and tension (oh, some very tense scenes!), but they were very few and farbetween.
And while I loved Will and Zoe together, I'm not certain I love them individually. I never really connected with either of them, and I actually felt like they were a bit...underdeveloped. We know so little about them, other than why they're in this situation and running away together, and that bothers me. I love getting to know characters, and I wish they had gotten to know a little more about the other so I could have, too.
Still, this was a fantastic read. I was so invested in their journey and what would happen to them, and it just broke my heart at how fast it goes out of control. They've already had such crummy lives, and then when it seems to take a turn for the worse...I just couldn't. I wanted to hug them both to my chest and protect them forever. And the ending?! I mean...I can't...but I just...*sigh*