Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Paranormal Young Adult
Received from Media Masters Publicity for review
THE STORY (from Goodreads)
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.
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 is a bit of a strange read, almost as though the story itself takes on the qualities of the Nobodies themselves, becoming something our minds can’t quite wrap themselves around and hovering in a sort of intangible state where we’re never clearly able to determine how we feel about it. A Nobody is someone who goes essentially unnoticed, taking up space but never truly filling it as not a single person around them recognizes they’re there; not truly invisible but for all intents and purposes, transparent just the same. Much the same way, we read Claire and Nix’s story with a kind of detachment, finding ourselves intrigued and fascinated by what’s unfolding chapter to chapter, but for some reason the events and characters themselves don’t quite brand themselves in our memories, and we’re able to move on to the next book without thoughts of Claire and Nix lingering.
Claire is someone we can’t help but like instantaneously, her inner monologue as she humorously despairs of her social invisibility both at home and school bringing a big smile to our faces. Once she meets Nix some of that humor slips away as the seriousness of her Nobody status is brought to her attention, but she remains a young woman who keeps a level head and approaches revelation after revelation with an admirable positivity and maturity. Though her attraction to Nix can be described as instant and powerful, the fact that she’s gone virtually unseen throughout her entire fifteen years in existence provides a believable explanation as to why finding someone whose eyes don’t simply focus somewhere over her shoulder is such a heady thing for her.
Nix is a bit harder to connect to, his brutal life as an assassin and pawn of a powerful society rendering him a shell of a human being, a strong and unbreakable carapace protecting a heart that by design and nurture is empty of love, compassion and feeling in general. He is simply his job until he meets Claire, and as his world is turned upside down, we have the pleasure of watching as Claire finds a tiny crack in that hard outer shell and begins to fill the empty spaces with all the affection and understanding they’ve both been denied for so long.
Overall, Nobody is an entertaining read, though those who like clear explanations for any paranormal abilities may find themselves a touch frustrated with the lack of information regarding Nobodies and Nulls. The romance, after the initial instant attraction, settles into something a bit more subtle, both Claire and Nix trying to navigate the heavily potholed road of young love, a road made all the more difficult given their deeply rooted loneliness and sense of unworthiness. The ending is neither wide open nor perfectly wrapped up, leaving us in the same kind of odd limbo we’ve been in throughout, everything about Nix, Claire and this world having a slightly blurry edge to it where no matter how long and hard we stare, nothing ever becomes perfectly clear.