Monday, January 21, 2013

Nobody But Us by Kristin Halbrook

Title: Nobody But Us
Author: Kristin Halbrook
Release date: January 29, 2013
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: 272
Source: Publisher
Reading level: YA

Nobody But Us

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.

Nobody But Us is pitched as If I Stay meets Bonnie and Clyde. After reading that I knew I had to give this book a shot. I had super high expectations and I think that might be why I didn’t really like it all that much. Nobody But Us let me down.
Zoe and Will held no interest to me. From the very start of the book I felt no connection to them and I didn’t care one way or the other what happened to them. I thought that I might grow to like them as characters throughout the book but that wasn’t the case. If anything I felt more distanced from them as the book went on. Zoe was rather weak and she never seemed to make any decisions of her own. First she let her dad run her life and then she let Will do it. I wanted to see her have a backbone and decide what was right for herself. Then there was Will. I didn’t get the romantic appeal of Will. He didn’t seem smart, funny, kind, or really anything good. He seemed dangerous in a bad way and his attachment to Zoe was really unhealthy. His whole life circled around her and she was all he cared about, even more than his own life. Running away together was not a good idea for them and I could see that from the beginning.
Normally I like switching points-of-view and I did kind of with this book but one thing that really bothered me was Will’s dialect. He and Zoe were at opposite ends of the spectrum. In her chapters everything was educated and well put, even the thoughts going on in her head. In Will’s chapters that was so not the case. Will’s chapters are told through a rather dumbed down almost hick kind of dialect. I know Will was supposed to be rather stupid but it really annoyed me. I couldn’t get into his chapters because of the dialect and it really kept me from getting into the story.
Also, this book is rather odd. It’s set in present day but it doesn’t read like it. I almost felt like it should have been set in the 1950s or so with the way people talked, acted, and things like that. Even the setting seemed old fashioned for some reason. It was rather odd.
The only really good thing about Nobody But Us was the writing. Kristin Halbrook is very clearly a talented writer. I found myself continuing with this story just because I loved the writing so much. Most of the story is set in a desolate, desert landscape but the way Kristin Halbrook writes makes it seem so beautiful. I also must mention that even though I didn’t really connect with Zoe and Will when the ending came around I found myself with tears in my eyes. I felt that between the writing and the second half of the book I hadn’t wasted my time. It was worth it.
Overall, while I didn’t love Nobody But Us I will definitely be checking out Kristin Halbrook’s upcoming books for the writing alone. If you don’t expect too much from this book I think you could really enjoy it!
Looking for more reviews of Nobody But Us by Kristin Halbrook?
The Perpetual Page-Turner’s review

16 Comments

  1. Brittany @ The Book Addict's Guide

    That’s how I felt too! I don’t know why, but it felt old-fashioned to me too.
    I just wasn’t invested in either character and really ended up disliking them both to a certain extent. I was really disappointed with the book, but I think the comparisons of Bonnie & Clyde/If I Stay were way too much for the book to live up to.
    Great review! Very well said.

  2. Kelsey

    I’ve heard so many mixed things about this book, which is disappointing because the summary sounds fantastic! Plus, how can you go wrong with If I Stay meets Bonnie and Clyde? Thank you for the honest review!

  3. Jen Halligan

    Great review Katie! I hate when I have high expectations and the book doesn’t live up to them. I’m curious about this book and will probably end up reading it, but it’s fallen a notch on my priority list.

  4. Kaina

    Disappointed to hear you couldn’t connect with the characters :/ It may have to be one of the things that most ticks me off in books because if I can’t relate with them I can’t really enjoy the story. Great review! :D

  5. Bookworm1858

    Interesting thoughts about the setting! I thought it seemed very contemporary and am now reevaluating my thoughts to see if felt ’50s ish or anything (I was originally thinking 30s since that’s when Bonnie and Clyde lived).

  6. Taylor McBroom

    I think the premise of this book sounds great, but I’ve seen some less than great reviews. I’ve read a few books where one of the characters is supposed to be “stupid” and then it makes the narration annoying, and it’s not really something I enjoy. Great review, though!

  7. Vi Nguyen

    Yea, this one didn’t do it for me that much either, but I think because so many others were saying the same thing, I didn’t have high expectations going in, so I found myself breezing right through it. Not that it held my attention for the whole time, but it wasn’t that bad. Great review though, I agree with not really connecting with the characters and everything just felt a bit off.

    Vivian
    Confessions of a Vi3tBabe
    Deity Island

  8. Christina Kit.

    If you don’t feel a connection, then it’s really hard to like and root for somewhat unlikable or difficult characters.

    I would’ve like a Bonnie and Clyde with a happy ending!

    Lovely review :)

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