Nobody But Us by Kristin Halbrook
Publication: January 29, 2013 (HarperTeen)
Source: E-galley from the publisher
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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.
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. Described as “beautiful, heartbreaking, and exhilarating” by Kody Keplinger, author of The DUFF, Nobody But Us will prove irresistible to fans of Nina Lacour, Jenny Han, and Sara Zarr.
It scares me. These things that I thought were real a week ago - feelings that felt so big, so overwhelming - now seem like they were a fairy tale, a little girl's imaging of her Prince Charming. But these moments, every second more I spend with Will, show me how flat, how untrue, the fairy tale is. how much better - and worse - real life is.
Nobody But Us was billed as a "modern day" Bonnie and Clyde, but as I began reading, I was more drawn to the intense emotions between Zoe and Will. Kristin Halbrook painted a very realistic and heart-wrenching vision of a two young, broken teenagers both in need of escaping their tragic lives. I enjoyed the dual perspective, and the writing style, as well as the heart of the story, but the ending left me more broken-hearted than I expected to be.
Both Will and Zoe came across as totally believable, and their characterizations were spot-on. Halbrook did a great job of getting two teenage "voices" right. I could FEEL Zoe's desperation to escape her abusive, alcoholic dad, and Will's fervent need to help her, and prove that he was worth something. Both characters were just so tragic in their own way - beaten down by their circumstances, and looking for self-love/worth in each other. As an adult, it's easy to see how wrong that is, but when you're a teenager and in love, you don't always know this. Zoe and Will each learned a lot while on the road - about life, and about themselves. As their relationship fissured and cracked, I felt like my heart was breaking for them.
Watching Nobody But Us play out was a tense experience, especially because the pacing was just about perfect. I had an inkling of what might happen, especially the ending, but I was still caught off guard. So much changed, from the beginning to the end - some for the better, some for the worse. As the climax of Halbrook's story neared, the dual point of view only heightened the experience, and made me more nervous, which meant I felt like I was right there with Zoe and Will, two characters I'd grown to care about.
Ultimately a good read, I didn't have the "all the feels" response to Nobody But Us I was hoping I would have. However, it's still a solid read, and I for one am really looking forward to reading more of Kristin Halbrook's work!