title: Some Quiet Place
author: Kelsey Sutton
buy it: Amazon Goodreads B&N
rating: 4/5 [in the genre] or 6/10 [all books I’ve ever read].
recommended for: Fans of paranormal romance and fantasy who are looking for something different. Lovers of Insomnia by J.R. Johansson, Everneath by Brodi Ashton, The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter, and Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor--good, exciting, original fantasy.
My Ratings Explained
Elizabeth and Fear both sense that the key to her past is hidden in the dream paintings she hides in the family barn. But a shadowy menace has begun to stalk her, and try as she might, Elizabeth can barely avoid the brutality of her life long enough to uncover the truth about herself. When it matters most, will she be able to rely on Fear to save her?
the basicsThis book delighted and surprised me. It's paranormal in a way that has nothing to do with vampires or witches. Instead, we get an utterly original world where emotions and elements are people, affecting humans behind the scenes. Except Elizabeth. She's the only one who can see them, and the only one who can't feel them. It's a fantastic premise. A girl without emotions--truly without, not just some angsty "I can't feel" thing. She does have the barest traces of them, enough to feel attached to certain people, but she can't feel. And the "why" is a huge mystery. Something terrible happened to shut off Elizabeth's emotions, and that something made everything fall apart--turned her into something that terrifies her mother and drives her father to rage. Something that stalks her in the dark.
I was tense every page, wondering what had happened, what darkness was trying to find her, why sexy Fear was so enamored with her. Some Quiet Place is a rich portrayal of self-discovery as well as a thrilling suspense story with elements of betrayal, tragic romance, and murder. The only part that ripped me out of the story was the ending twist--and for that, I have to knock it down a few points. The ending completely disconnected me from Elizabeth. But that aside, it was a compelling young adult story literally like no other.
plot . 4/5The plot is exciting and unexpected. I'm usually a good guesser when it comes to twists and turns, and I could never get a handle on these. I felt constantly in a land of illusions and memories. What was real? What was flashback? What was the illusion wrought by invisible powers? It was compelling watching Elizabeth navigate her world. She has friends, kind of, but can't connect with others. Her father is a drunk batterer. Her mother looks upon her like a demon stranger. The only one who hangs by is Fear, and he spends much of the story obsessed with her, struggling to breach her walls and make her feel his effects. And then there's something stalking her. Something dangerous. This "something" drives Elizabeth to dig into her past.
What she finds is that someone wiped the clues clean. It was so exciting, watching Elizabeth struggle with the mystery of her past. Every time she got a clue, there was another unanswered question. Questions that were putting not only her but those around her in danger. It kept me flipping pages like crazy until the end. The final confrontation was explosive and beautifully written. What I just couldn't stomach was the ending. I won't spoil, but let's say it made Elizabeth feel different enough that I couldn't connect with her anymore. So her outcome wasn't satisfying to me. It made for a disappointing end to what was otherwise a sensationally exciting, original book.
concept . 5/5So cool! That's my utterly un-pretty way of saying that I found the concept of this book to be breathtakingly original. I've never read anything like it before. It's sort of like some myths, where elements were people. Only now we have emotions too. Fear, Water, Anger, Passion, Moss, Rock. All these become characters that only Elizabeth can see. Only she can't connect with them any more than she can connect with others. She has a dying best friend whom she only loves academically, a one-sided crush, and an obsessed emotion hanger-on who haunts her steps, struggling to make her feel. The lack of emotions pushes the story in very different directions than you would expect, because Elizabeth doesn't think the way you'd expect. It makes everything fresh and unguessable.
characters . 5/5I thought the characters were well done. Elizabeth herself is somehow wildly relatable despite the fact that she has no emotions--which you think would be a problem. But it's not. Because Sutton so clearly describes Elizabeth's struggles to be normal that I could still relate, even if I couldn't feel it (ha ha) myself. She's also singular among young adult heroines. She's not melodramatic or angsty. She can't feel those things. Instead, she's coldly logical but somehow still has traces of concern for other people. She's fascinating. Then there's Fear, the sexy Oscar Wildean bad boy who genuinely seems to care for Elizabeth, but also creepily views her as a specimen, a challenge. Their relationship--the emotion and the emotionless--was so weird and compelling. Other hottie Joshua is adorable in a more boy-next-door way. He brings out the humanity in Elizabeth, and acts as a kind of peg in a bizarre sort of love triangle. (Don't worry, it's not what you'd expect!)
style . 5/5Elizabeth can wear a mask all she wants, but she can't feel. It makes for a unique voice, because "I feel" is a nonissue. Instead we get descriptions of events, physical sensations, assessments of the world without feeling--and despite it, a likeable character. Her voice is beautiful and very focused in the concrete, which I like. You don't get weird abstracts. You get minute details, observations that you wouldn't think to make. Reading it is like taking on a new way of thinking.
mechanics . 3/5I'm still not sure if the ending was the way to go. I know some people loved the twist, but for me, it cheapened everything I had just read. I just couldn't get on board after that, and I don't think I could read the sequel because I don't know if I'll recognize the girl there.
take home messageA young adult paranormal that takes you into a world where emotions are people, darkness is at hand, and one peculiar, but admirable girl is at the center of it all--if only she can solve the mystery of her existence.
Note: I received this copy in exchange for a review. The price of the book and its origin in no way affected my stated opinions.