Publishing Info: January 29, 2013 by HarperCollins
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // Goodreads
Date Completed: January 14, 2013
Maybe I'm too late. Maybe Zoe's dad stole all her fifteen years and taught her to be scared. I'll undo it. Help her learn to be strong again, and brave. Not that I'm any kind of example, but we can learn together.
When the whole world is after you, sometimes it seems like you can't run fast enough.
Maybe it'll take Will years to come to terms with being abandoned. Maybe it'll take forever. I'll stay with him no matter how long it takes to prove that people don't always leave, don't always give up on you.
Okay. So before I review, I knew that there were several people who had been anticipating this book and ended up pretty disappointed. I went into it hoping I wasn’t going to have the same issues … But I did.
NOBODY BUT US is described as a combination between Bonnie & Clyde and IF I STAY by Gayle Forman, and I think those are HUGE shoes to fill. Gayle is one of my all-time favorite authors and very, very few people can compare to her quality, emotional writing. The only connection I really see to Bonnie & Clyde is simply the fact that they’re in love and on the run from the law. As far as the Bonnie & Clyde aspect goes, I was expecting a few more capers and heists which really just boils down to two teenagers making rash and questionable decisions out of fear. As far as the comparision to IF I STAY… I don’t see it at all.
Part of the reason I didn’t really connect with the story is that sometimes when I read YA, it’s so relatable regardless of the fact that we’re reading about teenagers. With NOBODY BUT US, I felt like Zoe was extremely naive, which is totally reasonable considering she’s only fifteen, but it really prevented me from liking her character because sometimes it was just painful and awkward to witness her thought process and decisions. Will has a bit of a hot temper, which didn’t bother me so much as the fact that he was pain-stakingly portrayed to sound “uneducated”. As a grammar stickler, all of the “ain’t”s and the “don’t got”s really started to get under my skin and along with the fact that he was basically calling himself unintelligent, I just had a hard time liking Will. Don’t get me wrong — I’m not saying that the fact that school wasn’t his thing was what turned me off. I just found him almost entirely acting on impulses and using very little logic to get him out of sticky situations. It was just really hard to connect with that thought process since I think I’m a pretty logical person. Each impulsive decision got our two main characters deeper into trouble and although that makes for a more exciting story, it irritated me a little bit.
I really just felt myself racing through the book more to finish it than anything else. I actually didn’t enjoy it that much and felt a little let down. The romance wasn’t even enough to salvage it because I never really felt that spark or connection with the characters. I could tell that Will really cared about Zoe, but more in a protective sense than really deep love and Zoe was fifteen and just seemed like, “I really like this boy so I think I’m in love with him.”
Zoe: Zoe was just too immature and naive for me to really connect with her as a character. While it’s perfectly natural for a fifteen-year-old to be that way (I know I certainly was), it really held me back from really liking her and adding depth to her character.
Will: Will was hard for me to get along with too. Where Zoe was logical (as much as she could be at fifteen), he was impulsive and even though he was trying to help, I felt like all of this impulsive decisions just took both of our MCs down more difficult paths instead of making their lives easier.
Eh. It wasn’t so great. And with a majority of the community agreeing, I don’t think it’s worth picking up to possible struggle through.