Nobody But Us
Reading Age: Young Adult
Genre: Romance, Contemporary, Drama
Published January 29th 2013 by HarperTeen
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.
I hate posting reviews like this. I hate it because I am scared I will offend someone, I hate it because sometimes I feel they make me look uptight and over sensitive and I hate it because they always seem to be about books that everybody else seems to love, and make no mistake people will love Nobody But Us, but I had some serious issues with it.
Firstly I would like to say that this has nothing to do with Halbrook’s writing which I found to be rich and engaging, she knows how to tell a story and I will read more of what she writes in the future.
My big problem was the romance and the way I perceived it. I am not going to lie there were parts that enraged me. The relationship between Zoe and Will is uncomfortable and in my opinion not very romantic at all. I admire that Will wants to save Zoe but the question is who is going to save her from him? He is a violent guy, never towards her but his violent reaction to others frightens her quite a lot. He is super possessive and gets angry at her if other boys look at her, or flirt with her, or pay her any attention. His accusations and threatening nature makes her feel bad about herself and somehow she is always apologising. Will may not hit Zoe but the warning signs are all there. I just do not think relationships like this should be romanticised in any way.
Another, and less serious, issue I had was unrealistic-ness. Will and Zoe’s reaction to just about everything just didn’t ring true to me. I understand why they run away but do not understand a majority of the choices they made from that point. They seem to do everything possible to make people aware of whom they are and constantly do silly things that could get them caught, like enrolling Zoe in high school which I am pretty sure would be impossible given the circumstances.
What was the final nail in the coffin was the over-the-top drama. It reminded me of Pushing the Limits (a book I didn’t like) for its use of drama. The story lines are different but the way they are told is similar. Piling drama on top of drama is not for me.
Really, Nobody But Us does not deserve the one star rating I have given it. Kristin Halbrook is a talented author and this review is not meant personally, I truly admire what she attempted with this story. But I feel like I have to give this a one star rating because for me the dynamics of the romance were unhealthy and the romanticising of this type of relationship is wrong.
1 out of 5 stars
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