Tag Archives: Kristin Halbrook

Nobody But Us – Kristin Halbrook

Nobody But Us – Kristin HalbrookTitle: Nobody But Us by Kristin Halbrook
Publishing Info: January 29, 2013 by HarperCollins
Source: Won
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: January 14, 2013

    Will
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.
    Zoe
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.
  

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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.”

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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.

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Skip it.

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.

book_recommendations1BOOKS LIKE NOBODY BUT US

           

The Selective Collective Group Discussion: NOBODY BUT US

The Selective Collective reads NOBODY BUT US by KRISTIN HALBROOK

The Selective Collective features NOBODY BUT US by KRISTIN HALBROOK, sent to us by Harper Teen for review and book club discussion. For my part in this Selective Collective post, I’m hosting all the ladies from The Selective Collective for an informal Q&A to talk about our feelings for NOBODY BUT US! It was definitely a raw and emotional story, so we were excited to get the group together and chat!

Before we jump in, here’s a little info on the book:

Nobody But UsPublishing Info: January 29th 2013 by HarperTeen
Source: ARC copy provided by Harper Teen for review and use for the Selective Collective promotions

Book Synopsis: 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. — From Goodreads.com

The Selective Collective: Talking about NOBODY BUT US

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Will and Zoe embark on a road trip after running away from home, leaving their old lives behind. Do you think it’s possible to run from your past? Do you think there was a better way to improve their lives other than running away?

[Kristina – Gone Pecan] I think there is always a better way then running but being a kid you tend to lean towards denial most of the time and deal only with surface issues. Several times when reading I even found myself thinking that they were just in denial. Perfect example being when Zoe didn’t want to talk to Will about her period and thought paying for feminine hygeine products was too much so stealing seemed like her only logical option. To protect her Will hits the clerk and after they run Zoe has basically moved on like no one would question these actions? Kids are just that, kids. Extremely naive in all ways of life regardless of how they might have been treated. I know being hurt in various ways has made them gun shy about adults and authority figures but all it takes is one adult to see that they need help. Violence and crime shouldn’t be the solution for anyone or anything.

Will suffers from constant paranoia throughout the entire length of the road trip. Do you think his paranoia was justified? Would things have gone smoother if he kept a more level head?

[Brittany – The Book Addict’s Guide] I really do believe that Will’s paranoia put him and Zoe in a lot of tight spots. Ever since the second he picked Zoe up, he was afraid that he was being followed be either her father or the cops. Will jumped into a few situations due to fear instead of taking the time to think rationally. His quick decisions really hurt instead of helped and it put Zoe in a place of fear as well.

Do you think Zoe’s and Will’s ages had a big impact on the course of the story? Do you think their journey would have been much different if they were both a few years older? If so, how?

[Tee – YA Crush] I think, or at least I hope, things would have been slightly different had Will and Zoe been older. First, maturity and the opportunity to escape the living situations each were currently under would have helped tremendously. They wouldn’t have had an initial reason to run if Zoe were safe and free from her father. Even if Zoe, for some strange reason, were older but still in the same situation with her dad, I’d hope that at least one of these two would have the mind to go to the authorities. Will seems to be the type of guy who, at any age, would go off the handle, even if he felt he did it in protection of Zoe, much like he did in front of her house that first day, so I’m not sure that aspect of the story would really change. What I’d hope is that, as much as Zoe believes she loves Will, she could see further down the road and realize that as sweet, and romantic as it all seems to run away with your boyfriend, and as much as you want to believe he’ll do anything to take care of you, in the end, he’s only human, He’s just a guy. One with problems that could affect both of you. And while it sounds like a little piece of heaven to be hidden away with him and making a fresh start together, one day, if he doesn’t get his problems in check, those things that sound so great now–like paying rent and setting up house–they’ll get old fast and you’ll be left with a new set of problems and a troubled guy by your side. So, yes and no. Things could be a little different if they were older, but if Zoe remained with Will instead of finding a path of her own I think her life was bound to be difficult.

Zoe and Will both had very difficult home lives. How do you think this affected their relationship with each other?

[Diana & Sandie – Teen Lit Rocks] Will was abandoned by his mother when he was a baby and then raised in the foster home system. He had little happiness in his life and grew into a young man unable to handle his rage and temper. He also had to cope with the guilt that came as a result of hurting others due to poor choices in his life. Zoe had to cope with living with an abusive father. She dreamed of escaping his abuse, but saw little means for escape. She was also dealing with guilt that haunted her as a result of much trauma in her life.
When Will and Zoe first meet, he notices the bruise on her face and is immediately drawn to her. She can’t believe that anyone noticed her when she has spent most of her life trying hard not to be noticed. Both of their lives are intense and that same intensity carries over into their relationship. They fill a need in each other’s lives that wouldn’t have existed without the baggage of their dysfunctional, abusive lives.

 

And please don’t forget to check out the features from the other ladies in The Selective Collective! We each have a post to feature a different side of NOBODY BUT US so please go visit their take on the book as well!

Tee @ YA Crush  Casting Call: Nobody But Us
Candice @ The Grown-Up YA  Author Profile & Giveaway!
Diana & Sandie @ Teen Lit Rocks  Review: Nobody But Us
Daphne & Kristina @ Gone Pecan  Road Trip-themed Books