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Places No One Knows

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For fans of Lauren Oliver and E. Lockhart, here is a dreamy love story set in the dark halls of contemporary high school, from New York Times bestselling author Brenna Yovanoff.

Waverly Camdenmar spends her nights running until she can’t even think. Then the sun comes up, life goes on, and Waverly goes back to her perfectly hateful best friend, her perfectly dull classes, and the tiny, nagging suspicion that there’s more to life than student council and GPAs.

Marshall Holt is a loser. He drinks on school nights and gets stoned in the park. He is at risk of not graduating, he does not care, he is no one. He is not even close to being in Waverly’s world.

But then one night Waverly falls asleep and dreams herself into Marshall’s bedroom—and when the sun comes up, nothing in her life can ever be the same. In Waverly’s dreams, the rules have changed. But in her days, she’ll have to decide if it’s worth losing everything for a boy who barely exists.

373 pages, Hardcover

First published May 17, 2016

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Brenna Yovanoff

14 books2,331 followers

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5 stars
921 (25%)
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 641 reviews
Profile Image for Maggie Stiefvater.
Author 65 books167k followers
July 9, 2016
I can't tell if this novel is a dream wrapped in razor wire or razor wire wrapped in dream. It doesn't really matter which it is — either way, I woke up satisfied.

This is a novel for lizard-hearted girls looking for other lizard-hearted girls in fiction. If you enjoyed Isabel Culpeper, this novel is for you.
Profile Image for Elle (ellexamines).
1,083 reviews17.3k followers
August 15, 2020
✨While I only rated this four stars, I want to note that this book has stuck with me for several years at this point and I loved it so much.

This is a book you have to stick with. I don't want to pretend Places No One Knows is fast-paced, and I don't want to pretend you'll fall in love immediately. You might. Or, like me, you might not. But even if you despise the first half of this book, I genuinely think you should read the second half. Because holy shit, I ended up adoring this. It's one of the most creative and character-driven books I've ever read.

Places No One Knows is about masks. It's about the masks we keep, and the attempts we make to remove them, to adjust them, to tape them down. Most of all, it's about the attempts our faces make to push our masks off.


If you can't tolerate a lack of explanation, this book is not for you. Point blank. Barely any of the weird things happening in this book are explained. Does it detract from the book at all? Nope. Places No One Knows isn't about why these characters are switching bedrooms. It's about the characters. The weird backdrop to the story gives this book its power, framing the entire book in a veneer of suspicion and atmosphere so you barely notice how much you love the characters until they're already in your hearts.

The writing style is around 75% of the build. Yovanoff is a brilliant wordsmith, and her writing flows very well, with some gorgeous quotable moments. There's this weird-but-intriguing tone to it. I don't even know how to describe it!! The whole thing feels somewhat surreal, yet also hyper-realistic at the same time. I don't even know how to describe it - all I know is that it was fucking awesome.


It's really rare to write truly compelling characters. I don't mean likable characters, interesting characters; I mean characters that defy every trope and leave us awake far into the night. This book is one of the only contemporary standalones I've ever read that even comes close.

This book is a dual pov, following main characters Waverly and Marshall. And uh, I've dedicated my life to both of them?? HERE ARE THE RANTS.

Marshall is one of the only genuinely well-written "bad boy is secretly soft" tropes ever. He's goes from a bad boy to a good guy, and it turns out he was never much of a bad boy in the first place. And a host of side characters (Autumn, Ollie, Maribeth, etc) are all very fleshed out.

Waverly is... holy shit, I can't put Waverly into words. She's described by a few characters as being an unfeeling sociopath, and while they're not entirely wrong, they're not right either. Waverly has shut herself down. She has made herself into this cold, removed, perfect girl, yet she's screaming inside. And oh my god, I adore her character arc.

Now let's talk about well-written romance. I honestly could not care less about the tinge of instalove at the beginning; these two characters and their relationship are so compelling. Having a bad boy x good girl relationship that defies all the normal tropes and ends in them both developing into different people was brilliant. I really felt invested in them staying together by the end, in a way I just do not feel during some romance novels.

OKAY, I mentioned defying tropes, so I'm going to spend some time on that!! Waverly and Marshall's relationship is so obviously based off normal high school romance tropes, and yet it subverts every single one of your expectations. One of my initial issues, which was Heather's constant slutshaming, was even taken down. It's just... so not what you expect in terms of content or in terms of character work. IT'S GREAT. Read this if you like to defy tropes.


And now, for the issues. There is no plot aside from the romance. And that leads to a lot of boredom before the characters can really draw you in. I even considered DNFing this at some parts from boredom, although I don't think it was ever very serious. But this book starts out slow and plotless enough that I took off a star, despite my love for these characters.

VERDICT: I have to highly recommend this book to fans of character driven books and well-written romance.
Profile Image for Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin.
3,406 reviews9,541 followers
August 23, 2016

I was hoping to love this book since it's gotten so many rave reviews but I just thought it was okay. I'm not even really sure why. I loved Waverly. She had problems following the crowd, mainly her best friend (that she hated) Maribeth. The fact that Waverly finally grew up in the book was great. But, I still don't know why I didn't love it to death.


Waverly has insomnia and she barely sleeps if at all. She runs on the team at school, she runs at night, she does everything but nothing really helps. I mean the running does help a little by keeping her somewhat sane. She does great in school. She decides to befriend a girl named Autumn that goes out for the cross country team as well. She's what I was thinking as punk rock from the description but Waverly changed all of that around for her and got her in with their little group. But, Autumn doesn't put up with good ole Maribeth and helps to slowly talk Waverly into being her own person and speaking up for herself. I really loved Autumn's character.

Then you have Marshall who is a really smart guy but because of bad stuff at home and a brother that really does seem to be a loser, he is seen as a loser himself. I mean he drinks all of the time and he is failing school. But he doesn't have to do this, he's really smart and he likes Waverly who he thinks is way out of his league.

One night Waverly lights a candle, goes into relax mode and ends up in Marshall's room. Well, she may not have been in his room the first night but she turns up where ever he is and it's strange because it's never explained how she does this. Unless it went right over my head and who cares anyway, it was a good idea. They became friends and then a little more. In real life they started to act like they knew each other and they helped one another. And of course they fell in love!

Then End =)

MY BLOG: Melissa Martin's Reading List
Profile Image for Alienor ✘ French Frowner ✘.
832 reviews3,725 followers
February 15, 2021
I've been staring at my bedroom's ceiling for an hour now, trying to make sense of all the feelings bottled up inside, feelings that I can't reasonably let go adrift because I have to wake up in 4 hours and my insomnia really doesn't need that kind of fuel to sustain.

I've been staring at my bedroom's ceiling for an hour now, trying to reach some kind of objective reasoning to explain why this book made me feel so raw and vulnerable that I really couldn't care less if, sometimes, it looked like it was begging me to hate on it.

I've been staring at my bedroom's ceiling for an hour now, teared up and smiling in such an awkward way, I've been asking myself who the fuck was this person because it sure couldn't be me?

I just.... Good job creating the exact kind of novel that would appeal to me in that disquieting, heartbreaking way, I guess? The kind of novel that uses tropes and twists them in such a subtle way that I'm sure many readers would be annoyed with it and I can't say I don't get why? The kind of novel that most of my friends wouldn't like but that has Anna-favorites smeared all over it? Jesus.


For more of my reviews, please visit:
Profile Image for Wendy Darling.
1,543 reviews33.9k followers
Shelved as 'dnf'
April 21, 2016
I don't usually DNF something as early as 15 pages, but the writing is so self-conscious and mannered that I don't have the patience to sit through hundreds more pages of unnatural prose and dialogue. Plus some of it doesn't even make sense! "Her hair is the kind of blond that makes you picture halos made out of kittens," really? What does that even mean?

If you're interested in the synopsis, I'd strongly recommend checking out an online preview, because you can tell pretty quickly if you'll like the writing style. My two cents: the book tries too hard to be subversive and cool and clever, and to me, it's just not.

I also didn't love the one other Yovanoff book I read (The Replacement), and one of my pet peeves is prominent here, too--names that sound too similar/start with the same letter as you're trying to remember who everyone is, in this case love interest Marshall and BFF Maribeth. As I was complaining on a Twitter chat recently, there are 26 letters in the alphabet, so whhhhyyyy.

(Unsolicited) review copy from the publisher. I guess she's just not the author for me.
Profile Image for Nastassja.
423 reviews977 followers
June 13, 2016

The first letter of each word is printed in oversized capitals that align vertically to spell out FINE.

If you ask me what was this book about I wouldn't be able to fully answer that question. About a sociopath girl? About space travel? About two different people falling in love? About family? About broken friendships and new ones? All of the things above? This book doesn't have a plot as a solid matter you can dive into and extract a thread that intertwines itself throughout the whole story. I don't know whether it's a good thing or not. When you read a book you can't say you liked neither disliked; when you try to differ by feel what it made you feel and still there's no solid answer.

Waverly Camdenmar is an achiever in everything she touches or starts; she is one from the popular crowd, and from the first sight has everything she wants, but deep down she is a lonely person who only shows a mask to people, playing her social role perfectly, when in reality she is unfeeling and cold. Her hobby is to collect posters with famous sociopaths on her room's wall and to run until her feet bleed. Oh, and she is a grammar nerd, which is a good thing, but also shows how obsessed she is with order in everything. She can't understand how a person can be attached to anything or anyone, how can a person share their true feelings with others. You can say that Waverly Camdenmar is a bright girl on the outside and a robot on the inside. So yes, my question whether she is a sociopath is valid, but also things are more complicated than that.

Our other character Marshall Holt is a person who feels too much and can't hide emotions from others; he suffers a lot because of it and his family is a mess which adds more anguish to his person. He tries to find salvation in random hook ups with a girl he doesn't even like, but okay with knowing that she likes him: he just wants to be loved; he drinks himself into oblivion and takes drugs to numb those raging feelings inside. It works for a time and then it starts all over again.

And so one night Waverly appears in one of the parties where Marshall tries once again to numb the world around. It would've been a random meeting if not for a fact that only Marshall can see Waverly; for other people she is invincible. And so their story begins. She starts to appear more often in his room at night where they share their secrets and pains with each other. And that is where my problems began. It appears Marshall was in love with Waverly for a long time and she is suddenly in lust with him. There wasn't anything like new adult style with lust and itching nether body parts, but how quickly characters started to make out was a little bit off for me, though I still liked them as a couple. The second "worry" moment was this ability of Waverly's to dream herself into Marshall's room. It wasn't explained anyhow and characters didn't even mull about it a lot: just five minutes or so, You can't explain how you appeared in my room? Heck, who cares, let's share teary stories and make out. The problem is, apart from space travel (?), the story has no oddities, and why did author decided to use this one thing as a tether to connect characters, and then when they did, she easily disposed of it. I felt tricked in the end and left without explanation.

As I mentioned before, this book is also about friendship and this topic was one of the important ones. We observe Waverly's friendship with her best friend and see how unhealthy it is, how unfeeling these both girls are and it was a comfortable veil for them - this friendship - but only until Waverly learned that there's more to any relationship than being perfect for your friend.

All in all, it was a good, but strange book and I don't know whether to recommend it to someone or not. If you read other Brenna's books, you approximately know what to expect from this one, if not, well, try Places No One Knows and figure out whether it's to your liking or not. I can only add that there wasn't any poetic writing but feelings and emotions were well developed and made me sympathize with the characters: the main ones and the secondary ones, which were also well-rounded and weren't just hanging in the background but played an important role in the story.

Profile Image for L A i N E Y (will be back).
394 reviews675 followers
February 4, 2020
You know sometimes I would forget how reading is quite a fascinating experience: you never know what you’re getting yourself into. You might have assumptions from the short synopsis but largely you’re just in the dark. And some book might be hard to get into that you think to yourself: “A dozen more pages of these and I’mma say goodbye to your lot for good!” Then suddenly it starts to get into rhythm and twenty more pages in, you find your attention so glued, you find it hard to look away. Just like that - no warning, no preambles, no nothing - you’re IN. It’s fascinating how that turns out sometimes, isn’t it?

Well, that paragraph describes my relationship with Places No one knows to a t.

I’d love if it wrapped up earlier, the book dragged in the second half.
Profile Image for Jess.
443 reviews595 followers
Shelved as 'how-come-i-mark-2016-reads'
August 28, 2016
I don't know if I desperately want to read this or if my head just hurts from that horribly confusing and, quite frankly, long as hell premise.
Profile Image for K..
3,595 reviews1,001 followers
March 16, 2017
I would never have picked up this book of my own accord. I only picked it up because it was what we were reading for my book club this month. And...it kinda sorta sucked.

- The plot made basically no sense.
- There's a magic candle that never gets explained.
- The main characters were both indescribably boring. Like, I don't give a shit if you live or die kind of boring. They were just blank sheets of paper wandering through the story.
- The character names were RIDICKITY.
- Every time Maribeth was on the page, I read her name as "Macbeth". This seems kind of appropriate given how bizarrely Machiavellian she was.
- For the most part, horrible teenagers are not even remotely Machiavellian. They have no end game. They are not particularly smart. They're just doing random shit because they're bored.
- Autumn was one of the more interesting characters in the story, but she was still a total manic pixie dreamgirl. Also, a "sexy Clockwork Orange" costume should not be a thing.
- Honestly, the magical realism elements of this book were just fucking stupid. Like, they didn't add anything at all to the story. There was literally no reason that Waverly couldn't have pulled Marshall aside after class and been like "Hey. I think you're cute. We should make out. Preferably in secret because my best friend is a judgey bitch".
- Why the fuck was the Trunchbull called the Trunchbull?? It was clearly a reference to Matilda, except that it made NO FUCKING SENSE because she seemed like a perfectly lovely woman who was just trying to help kids get their shit sorted out???
- The ending made me think of The Breakfast Club and now I'm mad because The Breakfast Club has been forever tainted by me having read this book.
- That cover is hideous and makes me think of Pepto-Bismol every time I see it.
- Seriously, everything about this book was forgettable.
- At Book Club, we came up with at least 20 different ways that this could have been a far more interesting story than it was in the space of an hour.
- There were a shit ton of side plots and none of them were developed at ALL.
- Did I mention the magic candle? It made no fucking sense.

So yeah. I hated the characters. I wasn't a fan of the writing. Most of the plot made no sense. But I would probably read an entire book about Ollie or Autumn, so I guess that's something? Plus, like, I finished it.
Profile Image for Maja (The Nocturnal Library).
1,013 reviews1,881 followers
May 22, 2016

4.5 stars
Brenna Yovanoff is the author of my heart and soul. She earned that place with The Space Between (which remains one of my all-time favorites), confirmed it with The Replacement, and pretty much cemented it with Paper Valentine and Fiendish. With her magical writing, she makes me discover parts of myself or relive emotions long forgotten, which is something very few authors can do these days.

Places No One Knows is a bit unusual when compared to Brenna’s usual thematic, but no less beautiful or effective. This time she takes us back to high school to follow an unconventional romance, with just a touch of paranormal as her signature. Even without the oddities and outright magic we’ve come to expect from Yovanoff’s stories, Places No One Knows is a very powerful book, maybe even more so, albeit in a very different way.

Waverly is perfection personified, both on the outside and the inside. Outside, she projects an air of cool confidence and her every move is calculated. She knows just what to say and just what to do to keep her place in the pecking order and she does it effortlessly. In truth, Waverly is much smarter than the people around her and she knows it, but she also knows how to hide it. she comes across as more than a little manipulative, but one can’t blame her for it because the people she actually manipulates more than deserve it.

Marshall is precisely the opposite. While Waverly tries too hard, Marshall doesn’t try at all. He isn’t just one of those bad boys that are actually mommy’s boys. Marshall is the real deal: hard(er) drugs, alcohol, random girls and despair are part of his everyday life. The real tragedy is that Marshall has potential and an above-average intelligence, but that just makes him more lost and confused.

In simplest terms, Places is a book about the two of them finding themselves and finding each other, sometimes through paranormal means. It’s not an easy journey for them, and there were things I found objectionable, but it’s honest from start to finish. Brenna doesn’t bother with anything moderate or mild. She isn’t one of those authors who pull their punches due to the age of their intended audience, but the raw honesty of her prose is something I applaud and appreciate, no matter how uncomfortable it makes me sometimes. While Places isn’t my favorite of her books, it is perhaps the most important, and at the end of the day, that’s what truly counts.

Advanced review copy provided by the publisher.
Profile Image for starryeyedjen.
1,640 reviews1,229 followers
April 4, 2016
An ARC of this title was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This review can also be found at The Starry-Eyed Revue.

Brenna Yovanoff's novels are very...different...from most YA. They border on the strange and can be utterly compelling or completely off-putting. But whereas I've always been a little hesitant to pick up her previous novels, I was clamoring to get my hands on this one.

Regardless of how I feel about her stories in general, her unique writing style never fails to impress. While Places No One Knows is a bit of a departure from her creepier fare, it does still incorporate elements of imagination and speculation in a more contemporary setting, and it's just the right amount of peculiar to know that you're still reading a book she's written.

The entire novel had a strange, dream-like quality to it, not just the parts where Waverly was projecting herself to Marshall, and I loved that magical quality, even if it never entirely made sense. It was what it was��and it was a story of figuring yourself out and accepting who you are, even if maybe that's not who others expect you to be.

This is definitely my favorite of Brenna Yovanoff's novels thus far. I connected with Waverly on a level that I probably wasn't meant to, but her weird, disinterested behavior felt alarmingly familiar. Her best friend calls her a robot to her face, and she hardly blinks at it. But as a result of the dreams and late-night wanderings that lead her to wherever he is, Marshall sees that there's a real girl hiding under the tough exterior Waverly shows the rest of the world. And she discovers that he's not the loser he's purported to be.

It's a matter of breaking down walls and leaving oneself exposed, one of the most unpleasant aspects of adolescence, but Brenna showcases it so beautifully. The romance between Waverly and Marshall was slightly warped, incongruous with either of their lives heretofore, but it worked because it wasn't perfect. Gods, the mistakes they made...so genuine and reminiscent of my own teenage existence that it was almost painful to read at times. And still I loved it.

GIF it to me straight:
Profile Image for Katrina♡••.
406 reviews68 followers
July 11, 2016
It was one of the most painful books to read in the worst possible way. I was literally squirming out of my skin like 75% into this one. I could not make to continue. It starts off OK but it felt repetitive and predictable and another lame excuse for a contemporary. We get from 2 povs ; Waverley and Marshall. She is a goody goody 2 shoes and he is a drunk pot smoking loser who does not have a very solid reason for being so. Waverley dreams her way every night to wherever Mars is whether he is drunk on pot or with someone else.
Its not explained as to how Waverley can do this and no one questions it. This books gets on my nerves. I hate it. I lot he the characters. I have no idea why the author decided to make this into a paranormal. ( maybe so that our MCs could " coddle" every freaking night and do boring mundane things like prom and dance and cliques during the day. Wow original I gotta say. 400 pages of bullshit and boring teens hormones acting up.
Profile Image for Tori Frost.
28 reviews4 followers
December 27, 2015
Even as a fan of Yovanoff's other novels and her peculiar, artistic style, I was hesitant when I read the premise of her newest novel, Places No One Knows. The idea of a girl who can move through dreams is interesting, but I'd seen a few YA novels about dreams lately, and nothing strips a romance subplot of its charm like a YA blurb. So I went into this skeptical. Worried. Ready to let myself down gently.

I should have trusted Yovanoff. This a beautiful, shivering dive into the dark ocean of adolescence that, like its heroine, runs through the night and leaves you exhausted and breathless by morning. It is honest, painful, and gorgeously real - the fantasy element leaves the characters exposed in unfamiliar territory, forced to face themselves as they are, not as they wish to appear. The characters are not always easy to like, but their flaws and struggles make them difficult not to love.

YA, fantasy and contemporary alike, should sit up and take notice.

Profile Image for Asghar Abbas.
Author 3 books191 followers
January 24, 2021

I think, maybe I am a little in love with Yovanoff; she is everything I look for in a writer. Her books have all that I'd want in books like these, her writing is what we all need, joyous, fun, grounded, really fun. Her characters, her girls, her female leads exhibit the kinda glow she has as a person. Yep, I am definitely in love with Brenna and all her gorgeous books.

If you haven't already done so, do check out her amazing work. Tell me this though, how can I read the name Waverly and not think of Wynonna Earp.

Now of this book, regarding it, I am not exactly sure what happened here. But all of it is just so beautiful, a white dress and beautiful, beautiful words. I had stumbled across Yovanoff way back in '15 when I absolutely loved her Paper Valentine. I am still not sure what to make of her world. Her writing is so gorgeous, brittle, bereft of all things nice, it's good, a good thing. And of strange beauty. Her writing has always been a bit strange. But it's the kinda strangeness I love. A dearth of words maybe, a kind of Death I enjoy.
Profile Image for Sarah (thegirltheycalljones).
412 reviews285 followers
February 2, 2017
This was wonderful. So unexpected and wonderful.
I'm not sure I'll be able to explain why I enjoyed this book that much, or what makes this book so special, but special it is.
The writing is amazing. Some might find it too wordy - and they might be right - but it didn't make me like it less. It's honest, very honest and sad, and striking, and spot on, and so fun at times it made me snort out loud.
The pace is slow. Not a lot is happening. I usually HATE that in a book. Here I was literally breathing for Waverly and Marshall and crossing my fingers hard for a happy ending.
Because it's a love story.
It's also about teenagers, high school, how fucked up and brutal this period can be. How stupid and cruel and clever teenagers are. How it is to grow up and be scared about it.

No need to say, you better be in the mood to read this book. It's a kind-of-dark and acerbic Sloppy Firsts with a dash of supernatural. No, forget that, it's not Someone-Else's-Book-But-More-Like-This. It's insulting.
It's Places No One Knows and it's peculiar, but if you're in the mood for it... Just read it.
The idea is nothing new (supernatural thingy excepted) but the way of writing it is, and it's good.

It was my first book by Brenna Yovanoff and it will certainly not be my last.
Thanks you so much for writing this. It was overwhelming. In a good way.
Profile Image for Zemira Warner.
1,569 reviews1,037 followers
May 24, 2016
Relationship between the leads in Places No One Knows reminds me of the relationship between Nastya and Josh in The Sea of Tranquility which is one of my all-time favorite books. It's no way as epic as Nastya x Josh but it does have some similarities.

Books about magical realism have been something of a new discovery for me this past year. You know you like something when you create a whole new shelf for it.

Even though there is a paranormal element in this book I still think it's leaning more on the contemporary side just because it was romance heavy. It wasn't sappy and annoying but realistic. Teens didn't make a lot of stupid decisions like they usually do in these type of books which is a huge plus if you ask me. It's possible to create conflict without creating unnecessary drama. It's nice to know there are still authors willing to write about smart characters.
Profile Image for Hari ~Brekker-Maresh~.
295 reviews263 followers
July 6, 2017
4.5 Stars!!!

I loved practically everything about this book. *cue happy tears*

Everything was like on spot, you know? Amazing characters to fall in love with, almost flawlessly executed plot and memorable story, with just the right amount of senses and impossibility.

Definitely one to read, cherish, and recommend. You'll love it :)

So yeah GO READ IT!! Now. Please. It's amazing.
Profile Image for mith.
740 reviews256 followers
May 31, 2016
4.5 Actually, I lied. 3.5 raised to a 4!!
What a precious boy. I love him dearly.
AND honestly, after watching two season of Criminal Minds, Waverly just might make a decent serial killer.
That isn't normal, by any means, but neither is she.
Anyhow, Brenna's novels are usually a hit or miss for me. This was a hit and it was really nice.
ETA: I forgot how some things went unexplained! I love books with magical realism and I completely get that the magical concept of the books don't necessarily have to be explained... but I mean. This was a contemporary. With high school students. You don't let something like a real, breathing, touchable person in your dreams just slide. That shit's creepy, no matter how in like/love you are with someone.
i've only read, like, two of her books, but out of ALL of the written ones,
this is the least dark/creepy looking cover...
January 24, 2019
Not what I expected from this author. Maybe she was trying a new approach. I've loved her other work but this one fell short. It lacked passion, and I felt like the concept could have been explored much further.
Profile Image for Trisha.
4,615 reviews160 followers
June 22, 2016
"The poets are wrong.
The opposite of ice isn't fire.
It's water."

The fact that I'm typing this review at 3 am is probably proof enough of how much I loved this one. I hung on every word and honestly, didn't want to put the book down. For the last 100 pages, my heart burned and my eyes stung. I was so connected to the pain and loss of these two.

Meet Waverly - beta to her alpha queen bee of the school Maribeth - she's cold and calculating, seamlessly working in the background until Maribeth needs her to laugh or sneer or add any other support. It's not the perfect friendship or fun to struggle to stay at the top but it's all Waverly knows. And, Waverly is struggling. She has insomnia.

Anyone who has suffered from insomnia, even for a short time, will know Waverly's struggle - that near dream-like state and inability to concentrate (or hyper-focus at times) and the daily deja vu and wonder at how days are passing that you are barely counting. That feeling that time is sand running through your fingers. How much lack of sleep can rule your whole day.

So Waverly decides she needs to try some calming techniques - because running until she almost drops isn't even close to working anymore. But her sleep is when things take an interesting turn and the story gets going.

I think my favorite part of the journey was just how real and broken Waverly and Marshall felt. Their tears and struggles felt so true and raw. Marshall's downward spiral and his need for someone to see more. Waverly's need for status quo to stay put. All of their struggles were heartbreaking. As I turned those last few pages, I honestly wasn't sure how this story would end. Wonderful, lyrical writing, a story so easy to slide into I didn't want to put it down. I loved this one.
Profile Image for katayoun Masoodi.
590 reviews114 followers
July 18, 2017
not sure what to talk about or how i felt about the book, it was certainly mesmerizing, at times it was like a very strange dream and i did enjoy reading it very much and yet all the time at the very farthest corner (very, very, very far!) of my mind there was this nagging that everything is a bit contrived and if you were to remove the strange dreamlike quality of the narrative you'd be left with no story or not much of a story, not much of a feeling and maybe skeleton like people.
still this nagging didn't affect any enjoyment i felt when reading the book (even if it was not real, who cares i enjoyed it!! :)) and i would definitely be reading more yovanoff
Profile Image for Catherine⁷.
340 reviews719 followers
February 3, 2022
I had a difficult time connecting to the majority of this book. The beginning held some intriguing promise. I was excited to see what direction the themes were going to take, especially if existential insomnia is one of those elements. Unfortunately, I found myself detached from a lot of the high school drama and just didn't click with the characters the way I thought I would.
Profile Image for alex.
173 reviews
August 7, 2016
I first saw this book on Maggie Stiefvater's tumblr. The author is Steifvater's critique partner, so I was desperate to try this book because if Maggie likes it, I should definitely pay attention to it. I devoured it in a couple of hours on a car ride and was left emotionally drained by the end of it.

I was intrigued from the get go with the premise. A girl dreams herself into a boys room? Yeah, I can definitely get on board with that. I loved the descriptive prose and the "dream" chapters. This book always kept me on my feet and just when I thought I knew what would happen, the plot swerved in a different direction. It was infuriating, but great storytelling. 

This kind of premised relied heavily on the characters, and man, were they amazing. Waverly isn't a typical protagonist--she's what most would call an unlikable female character--BUT LUCKY FOR HER, I AM THE HEAD OF THE DEFENDERS OF UNLIKABLE FEMALE CHARACTERS! She was flawed, but I still loved her. I have never met another YA character quite like her. And Marshall was just as unique and flawed as she was. Both of them had distinct voices that meshed together well and created this dark, romantic atmosphere that I absolutely loved. They're going down in history as some of my favorite fictional leads.

Holy shit, I was so invested in their romance. It was one of the worst slow burns I've ever read (in the best way, of course). It's up there with The Winner's Crime sort of angst and slow burn, and if you've read that book, you'll have an idea of how painful this book is. But when they did get together--whoa, I loved it. I was rooting for them the entire time, constantly going through highs and lows with the characters. When I closed the book, I felt emotionally drained because the book took so much out of me.

Honestly, I don't know how much more I can rave about this book. It was glorious and I loved it more than words can explain.

Overall, I loved Places No One Knows. The writing was gorgeous, the characters were unique and flawed, and the romance was one of the best I've ever read. I'm so glad I took a chance on this book because it has found a place on my favorite books of all time shelf. Basically, this review boils down to four words: READ THIS DAMN BOOK.

Profile Image for irene.
1,149 reviews31 followers
January 11, 2019
¿Por qué estás tan decidido a destruirte?

Aunque hiciera una lista de todas las cosas que están mal en este libro (y son muchas), no evitaría que siga considerándolo uno de mis libros favoritos de todo el mundo. Y tengo una sola razón para eso: Marshall♥. Es un chico completamente roto, disfuncional y me encanta por eso (y sí, sé que estoy mal de la cabeza).

Ésta es la tercera relectura que hago, primera en español y debo decir que, al contrario de otros libros que he leído primero en inglés y luego al leer la traducción no me convencen, la historia me ha gustado tanto como las veces anteriores. Los únicos dos problemas que tengo son:
a) No me gusta el título que le han puesto.
b) Me habría gustado una versión latinoamericana, he tenido que buscar algunas frases porque no entiendo (ni me gusta mucho) el español de España.

Off-topic completamente, esta frase me recuerda demasiado a alguien y por eso me rompe el corazón:
Nos saltamos todo lo que las personas normales comparten. No hablamos sobre las series que vemos, ni sobre las canciones que nos gustan o las que no soportamos. Ni tampoco sobre nuestros colores favoritos, números o comidas, ni sobre un centenar de datos básicos que la gente intercambia para empezar a conocerse. Pero, a cambio, las cosas que sé de él son verdaderas de un modo que no puedo explicar. Implican un tipo de cercanía que jamás pensé que tendría con nadie.
Profile Image for Colleen Oakes.
Author 17 books1,368 followers
January 18, 2019
Brenna Yovanoff is one of my favorite authors. She has way of understanding humans that rivals the bestselling adult fiction writers. Marshall Holt in this book is one of the best drawn male YA characters that I have ever read. He's complex, he's flawed, he's emotional at just the right times to make him utterly believeable. If I bumped into him on the street, I wouldn't be surprised. What dials up in a paranormal pretense actually dispenses in a sweet love story of two very flawed human beings who rise above our planet; both in their own heads in Yovanoff's lyrical, dark and gorgeous prose. I highly recommend this for someone looking for a heady, romantic dive into the lives of gifted teens.
Profile Image for Allison.
489 reviews186 followers
February 5, 2016
Brenna Yovanoff could write a book about paint drying on a basement wall and I'm pretty sure I'd read it because her writing is so beautiful. Places No One Knows is thankfully not about paint drying so it checks the boxes for writing AND storytelling. This certainly isn't the creepiest/darkest of her novels, but I think it's my favorite so far.

I'm loving the current influx of contemporary teen novels that have a speculative edge. Even the litany of off-kilter names lent this some extra magic.

I'm glad the ending was ~tidy~ or else I would have cried.
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