Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Book Review: Nobody by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Nobody by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Reading Level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 400 pages
Publisher: EgmontUSA (January 22, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1606843214
ISBN-13: 978-1606843215
Series: No
Source: ARC provided by publisher
Cover: I think the cover is okay. If I saw it on the shelf, I would definitely pick it up and it really works having read the book. I think the blue eye is gorgeous and I like the smoke on the bottom right hand side. So not amazing but definitely not the worst cover I've seen.
First Sentence: Nine letters. Two words.

Mini-Review: This novel maybe about forgettable characters but you won't be likely to forget them!

There are people in this world who are Nobody. No one sees them. No one notices them. They live their lives under the radar, forgotten as soon as you turn away.

That’s why they make the perfect assassins. 
The Institute finds these people when they’re young and takes them away for training. But an untrained Nobody is a threat to their organization. And threats must be eliminated. 
Sixteen-year-old Claire has been invisible her whole life, missed by the Institute’s monitoring. But now they’ve ID’ed her and send seventeen-year-old Nix to remove her. Yet the moment he lays eyes on her, he can’t make the hit. It’s as if Claire and Nix are the only people in the world for each other. And they are—because no one else ever notices them.

Nobody combines a very interesting premise, awesome characters, high stakes and an intense plot that suffers from some pacing problems. I'm always going to love a book that makes me want to talk to people about it and in this regard, Nobody is truly a success. I keep thinking about this concept even several weeks later but I realize that this book isn't without its faults.

I really enjoyed Claire and Nix. I know some people have felt Claire was weird just for the sake of being weird but I thought she was a very fleshed out character. See, Claire's a Nobody, as in she's genetically forgettable. People can't help but overlook her. But she has no idea about this and tries to figure out ways to get noticed. I love that she made up situations in her mind because we all do this to some extent. We always think what would happen if... and Claire just takes the fantasies further, allows herself to dwell in them. I know that when I'm feeling down, I often do the same thing. The entire first half of the novel was tricky from her point of view. There was a delicate balance that had to be struck between Claire trying to be strong by not falling for her assassin (thus doing something dumb) and having feelings for him anyway because he notices her. I'm not sure how much this worked, especially in the cabin scene, but for the most part I thought it was handled well.

Nix was something all on his own. I'm not sure I've ever read another character like him but I think that's what made me look forward to his point of view more. At first, I wasn't impressed because he was a cutter and so dramatic about everything. But as I continued on with him, I found it interesting how he related everything outside from himself. His narration of his own life, even when things were happening to him, made sense and made for a really great angle. Scenes follow him were my favorite.

At first, their romance didn't really work for me because it happens fast and because they go from assassin/target to lovers in a snap. But as the story wore on and considering their circumstances, I definitely started to get their attraction to each other. I did wonder though if falling in love with the only other person in the world that can see you is romantic or kind of just convenient. However, I did love them together and I felt their bond deepen more as the book wore on. I just wish it had deepened slowly instead of starting too quick and then trying to back off.

My favorite thing about the novel was all the science that went behind Nobodies and Null because I believed it. Energy pushing energy has a direct reaction but if someone is lacking energy then a reaction would lack as well. This is the explanation for the nobody and it really worked for me. I loved learning about how these characters had their magic and how they could use it. I also really admired the simplicity of the writing. Nix's voice especially, was so unique and felt truly special while still very plain.

The first 100 pages blending together and I rushed past them in a blur. I couldn't stop reading. But I found that the middle felt a bit heavy. I think my biggest problem with pacing was that I couldn't figure out the scale of the novel. How far did the Society reach? The way it was portrayed made it seem small even though it was supposed to be big and Nix and Claire trying to find out did seem to lag just a little. However, as soon as I saw the end game, as soon as the stakes were set up again, I found that I couldn't put the book down. The ending is exciting and while it is fulfilling, I liked that it was also a little unsettling. I wasn't sure if I should be happy or uneasy which has made the novel have a lasting impression on me.

As you can see from the review, there were some things about Nobody that really worked for me and others that were lacking. While I go back and forth on a few things, I can honestly say that I haven't been able to stop thinking about this novel since I finished it. The science behind nobodies and Claire and Nix's sweet romance definitely made this an enjoyable read.


Favorite Lines:
Claire Ryan was a ghost, a nothing, a nobody. Invisible would have been an upgrade.
-Pg. 5 of an ARC of "Nobody" by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Even as children, Nulls' hugs were empty. They were unmoved when Mommy accidentally sliced open her finger. Instead of reaching for the Band-Aids, they leaned forward to get a better look.
-Pg. 36 of an ARC of "Nobody" by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
The resurrection of a dream was almost as hard as watching it die.
-Pg. 107 of an ARC of "Nobody" by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Nix shook his head. The movement hypnotized Claire, and it took her a moment to decode its meaning as something other than his dance to her song.
-Pg. 173 of an ARC of "Nobody" by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
If she closed her her eyes, he might disappear. Not because he chose to--he'd said he wouldn't leave, and she believed him--but because Happily Ever After didn't happen to girls like Claire.
-Pg. 250 of an ARC of "Nobody" by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Emotions? Useless in a fight. The biochemical jolt that came with them? Gold.
-Pg. 276 of an ARC of "Nobody" by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

1 comment:

  1. The pacing was definitely an issue for me too. The science was my favorite aspect as well! It was just SO COOL and I loved finishing the book and thinking "Oh my gosh, what if this were real and I don't even know." Of course it's fiction but I love being able to question reality after reading a really good story. :)


Thinking of writing something below? Well, that's why you are awesome! I always love feedback!

This blog is an award free zone. With the demand of a full time job, blogging time is becoming much more precious and I just don't have the time to meet the demands of awards. Thanks so much for thinking of me anyway!

Related Posts with Thumbnails
Blog Design by Use Your Imagination Designs all images form the Impossible Things kit by Studio Tangie and Rebecca McMeen