Kelly's Reviews > Nobody But Us

Nobody But Us by Kristin Halbrook
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's review
Mar 07, 2012

liked it
bookshelves: ya-fiction, read-in-2012
Read from October 11 to 12, 2012

Solid 3.5.

Will takes Zoe away from her home and on the road to Vegas. She's escaping an abusive and destructive father and he's escaping the stigma and history he has as a kid lost in the system. Together, they're bound and determined to start a new life, a happier life, and a life of loving and caring for one another in only the way two people with such a broken past can.

Except, of course, that can't happen. Both Zoe and Will can't simply shed their past. It's part of who they are, and it impacts their decisions and reactions to one another's decisions. And this is where the story becomes really strong: one character will continue to see the past as their defining present and the other will choose to not let their past define them and instead, use it as guidance to make the hardest choice they've had to make.

This book reminded me so much of Heidi Ayarbe's Wanted -- the setting, the troubled and painful pasts of the characters, and the escape from home are all similar. Halbrook's writing is gorgeous; the moments of tenderness are as searing and brutal as those moments of insecurity and vulnerability. Not to mention the moments that are panic-inducing for both the characters and the reader.

Both Zoe and Will are fully-fleshed and interesting characters. While both come from troubled backgrounds, it's not an angst-ridden story. These characters are determined to grow and to change; however, only one really and truly is able to do so. That doesn't mean the other doesn't have a full arc, though. It's just different. (view spoiler)

I don't know if I see this as a great read alike to If I Stay, which is one of the titles it's pitched like. This is a very character-driven novel, and while there is romance, it's not in the same manner that Forman's book portrays. I'd say it's going to appeal to fans of Ayarbe and Kody Keplinger (particularly A Midsummer's Nightmare). I also see fans of Nina LaCour digging this one, especially if they liked The Disenchantments and how the road trip line worked in that book. This is a solid and strong debut from Halbrook.

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Reading Progress

10/12/2012 page 55
10/12/2012 page 165
60.0% "Really digging the dual voices here. They actually sound like two distinct characters."

Comments (showing 1-1 of 1) (1 new)

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message 1: by [deleted user] (new)

I always value your reviews, Kelly. Thanks for this one. I'm intrigued (I love B&C) and I loved If I I guess I will have to pick it up for myself and see. :)

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