Welcome to the first book review from our newest Teen.com columnist Rani Lee! Rani was chosen out of hundreds of entrants to not only win a 2-day trip to NYC, but her very own column on Teen.com! So, check out her first entry — a book review for Kristin Halbrook‘s Nobody But Us!
Nobody But Us
Two broken hearts. One car. Endless dreams. A road trip. And a million plaguing nightmares.
When Will turns eighteen, it’s time for him to get “kicked off the state.” No more foster parents or group homes. He finally has a chance to escape. He decides to run away, and his girlfriend is coming with him. Zoe is only fifteen, but she knows that she would rather be with Will anywhere than to stay with her abusive father. The two run away in his old Camaro, aiming for Vegas and a better life. But the road to Vegas is anything but smooth. As the novel progresses, Will and Zoe’s dreams start to wither away. The past catches up to them. The road winds down. It’s time for them to wake up.
Kristin Halbrook writes beautifully. The novel weaves smoothly from Zoe and Will’s perspectives. Perhaps what I loved best was Halbrook’s ability to capture both characters’ voices. There is never a question about which chapter belongs to which character.
Halbrook brings Will and Zoe to life. I felt like I knew all of their fears and desires, and none of their desires is greater than the desire to simply be together. The love between Will and Zoe is apparent from the very first chapter, and it sucks you in and forces you to root for them.
The characters are deeply flawed. Will has a temper problem he can’t control, and Zoe is young and naive. They both make terrible decisions. I mean TERRIBLE decisions. But I never questioned that. They’re young. They’re broken. They think their only alternative is to break the law and run away together. Obviously, they don’t have all of life’s answers. They are teenagers, and when they get scared, they react like scared teenagers. Makes sense to me.
Will beats the crap out of Zoe’s dad in the first chapter, and he spends the rest of the book beating the crap out of random strangers. It’s no wonder that Zoe spends a lot of the book afraid of him. I never fully understood why Will was so angry. I know that he was abused as a child, but there was never a connection made between the abuse and his violence.
I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a quick, emotional read. Be warned, though. The read is quick but labored. The end of this book will rip your heart into little pieces of frustrated confetti.