Contemporary-ish Young Adult
Source: Finished copy from publisher for review
THE STORY (from Goodreads)
Waverly Camdenmar spends her nights running until she can’t even think. Then the sun comes up, life goes on, and Waverly goes back to her perfectly hateful best friend, her perfectly dull classes, and the tiny, nagging suspicion that there’s more to life than student council and GPAs.
Marshall Holt is a loser. He drinks on school nights and gets stoned in the park. He is at risk of not graduating, he does not care, he is no one. He is not even close to being in Waverly’s world.
But then one night Waverly falls asleep and dreams herself into Marshall’s bedroom—and when the sun comes up, nothing in her life can ever be the same. In Waverly’s dreams, the rules have changed. But in her days, she’ll have to decide if it’s worth losing everything for a boy who barely exists.
Places No One Knows is one of those reads that feels effortless, one about everything and nothing at the same time that flows from one page to the next with such ease that we have little choice but to lose ourselves in the quick slice of life detailed for us in black and white.
Waverly is a puppet. Perfectly maintained and beautifully flawless, dancing on her strings to a tune set by her best friend and the expectations of her peers. She's not empty-headed or oblivious, instead she's aware of her strings and wears her perfection like a suit of armor, fully capable of wielding a pair of scissors and setting herself free, but so used to having them wrapped around her that her hands have forgotten how to make a cutting motion. There's something completely absorbing about watching as a quiet but impactful earthquake named Marshall and a frenzied delight of a hurricane named Autumn rattle her foundations, introducing a little change into the monotony of her high school existence.
Marshall is wrapped up every bit as tight as Waverly, but where her strings are pristine and unbroken, his are frayed and doused in alcohol. He gets through his days by drinking himself into feeling better, his home life an absolute mess and the main reason he seeks escape at the bottom of a bottle or the end of a lit cigarette. When Waverly starts showing up inexplicably in his room late at night however, he's forced to see his world through eyes that may or may not have trouble discerning what's real from what's not, and in doing so finds a direction he would never have found otherwise. His relationship with Waverly is fragile, existing in stolen nighttime moments and then disappearing with the rise of the sun, but not without leaving a few small remnants of the two of them behind.
Overall Places No One Knows is a beautiful story, defining and then redefining relationships and friendships as they ebb and flow, and leaving us with a smile on our faces as Waverly and Marshall find a way to bring the truths shared only at night into the light of day.
This book was sent to me by the publisher free of charge for the purpose of a review.
I received no other compensation and the above is my honest opinion.