Our second Selective Collective book this month is Kristin Halbrook’s debut novel “Nobody But Us.” In this haunting tale, Halbrook depicts two teens running away from their pasts. She delves into the minds of two wounded teens by writing the book in alternating perspectives of each of the protagonists. You are quickly drawn into the tale of Will and Zoe as they run away from their “messed up” lives in the hopes of starting new lives together. Many thanks to Harper Children’s for sending us copies of the book to review.
This is a 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.
Halbrook has given us a story about two teens who have been deeply scarred by their past and who want to run away from that pain toward happiness. It seems simple enough, but Will and Zoe are not ordinary teens. Will has had to deal with the abandonment of his mother and the perils of being raised in the foster care system. He had to learn to fight to survive and this has left him filled with rage. Zoe’s happiness disappeared from her life after her mother died when she was a little girl. As a result of her mother’s death, she was left to deal with her own father’s rage. His cruel abuse left her filled with feelings of worthlessness and despair.
The fact that these two wounded people find each other and then find love is the heart of this story. While reading this book, there is always the hope that their love really will prevail. As they embark on their journey and travel toward their destination you find yourself wanting so much for them to find the happiness that has eluded them throughout their lives.
The idea that love can conquer all is prevalent in many YA novels. The fact that Halbrook chooses to depict a story where maybe love is not enough is what makes this particular novel stand out. The truth is, in real life sometimes there needs to be more than love, sometimes there needs to be a miracle.