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 can really see them.
©2013 Jennifer Lynn Barnes (P)2013 Audible, Inc.
What a disappointment. A fascinating premise, one worth exploration and fleshing out... and all the author can think to do with her story is have her sheltered-and-neglected Mary Sue angst over (and over and over and over) her damaged, heart-of-gold-past-of-pain Gary Stu. Long, long sections of the book are pretty much verbatim, all "I can't stay, I'll damage her," "I can't live without her," "I can't live without him," "he makes me feel normal," "poor, poor so-and-so, what a hard life they've led, let me make it better." Over and over and over. Halfway through the book - five and a half hours into a nine hour book, to be exact, finally, FINALLY some action looks to be taking place: they're thinking about (and always with the 'thinking' and the 'talking' - it's like no one ever told the author the old adage about 'show, don't tell') doing a raid on the institute...and they segue off into a date. A DATE. While they're being hunted and should be freaking out, and over more than just each other. Maybe it was a mistake to abandon the book when I did, but, honestly, my suspension of disbelief was shattered. If all you wanted to write was a teenage angst romance, leave the cool premises to someone else.
I read and review Young Adult lit!
Nobody was a tough book to get through. The novel concept had potential but it ran way too long with a flabby, padded out middle that lacked action and impact.
The problem was exacerbated by rapid head-hoping back and forth between the two protagonists’ POVs. It was a jarring style that made the chapters of circular “I love him/her but I can’t love him/her but I do love him/her” drama drag even more.
The premise was interesting and should have been the focus of the story. The relationship between the leads was intrinsically powerful - two people completely isolated from the world because of a metaphysical condition the makes them all but invisible to normal people meet and connect with another person for the first time. This touching notion could have been deftly illustrated with a light touch.
Instead we get chapters of back-and-forth, to-and-fro overly emo-emotion that added nothing to what there was of a plot. The reasonably enjoyable action of the third act felt disjointed and tacked on by the time we finally reached it.
I’m hesitant to recommend Nobody to anyone. Michael Vey by Richard Paul Evans, another high concept piece also skewered to the younger YA audience, was similarly difficult to get through but was ultimately saved by a significantly more rewarding climax and better characterisation though out.
I did love some of the ‘Nobody’ lore/mythology but that only seems to make the lacklustre narrative more disappointing. I would not even be willing to give a second book a try if Nobody was to become a series.
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