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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

MICHELLE'S REVIEW: Nobody by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Title: Nobody
Author: Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Format Acquired: Hardcover
Publication Date: January 22, 2013
Publishing House: EgmontUSA
ISBN: 9781606843215
Source of Copy: Purchased from Fully Booked


The most dangerous people in the world... are the one you don't even see.

Some people are Nobodies: ignored, unloved, practically invisible in every way. No one notices them. No one cares about them. They exist under the radar, forgotten as soon as you turn away. No one sees them coming. No one sees them leave.

That's why Nobodies make the perfect assassins.

Seventeen-year-old Nix is very good at his job. So when the organization he works for sends him after a teenage girl named Claire, he doesn't ask questions. He's a killer. She needs to die.

For sixteen years, Claire has led a normal live being overlooked. Her parents are absent. She doesn't have any friends. She has no idea what she is, or why anyone would want her dead. But she's about to find out, because from the moment Nix attempts to carry out his mission, the two are caught up in a conspiracy of murder, cover-ups, and betrayal.

Nix is a killer. Claire is his target. But when he sets eyes on her, everything changes, because only the two of them can truly see each other - and two Nobodies are more dangerous than one.

(Image and information courtesy of Goodreads; Summary lifted from actual book)


I got all excited over this one when I was browsing through other people's Waiting on Wednesday posts. The way the summary was written intrigued me a lot, and it was right up there on my list of books to run to the bookstore for.

Not sooner have I cracked open the book to find out that Nobody wasn't for me. 

Claire is a nobody. She's the nobody of nobodies, if you want to get more specific on just how bad her situation is. Her parents are never home, and she has no friends to speak of.   Seems like easy prey to Nix. He's a Nobody. But more importantly, he's a Nobody that has to kill Claire because she's actually an undetected Nobody - a minor blip on their radar that the Institute is determined to 'fix'. Nix can be pretty creative with his killings, why should it be any different with Claire? As it turns out, she's very different. She's the only one who truly sees him, and Nix is the only person who acknowledges her. Of course they're going to fall madly in love with each other. The only thing is, the Institute isn't too happy with the changes in the plan. Together, Nix and Claire are unstoppable, and they will stop at nothing the bring the Institute down - especially when there's more at stake than the Institute initially lets on.

What ticked me off right from the bat was the over-dramatization of events. I get it, Claire. You're a.) invisible to everyone, and b.) Nix is the most beautiful boy you've ever seen. Time and time again, my attention was called to these two points, but I guess I couldn't fault the author in bringing a touch of just how bad things are for Claire and Nix. I was also annoyed with the way that Claire and Nix instantly connected and how they claimed to already be in love with each other, given the short amount of time they knew each other. I get that everybody sees past you guys and nobody - and I really do mean nobody at all - will ever acknowledge your presence and treat you the respect you deserve as a human. What could be worse than a nobody being an actual Nobody? Getting the silent treatment is possibly one of the worst possibly punishment anyone can ever get, because it makes the message that you are temporarily nonexistent to the other person loud and clear. No, my gripe is not with that. The reason I badly wanted to tear out my hair is because they had to fall in love in a snap of a finger. The only thing I can think of as to why they fell in love, aside from the fact that they are both gorgeous, is because they didn't want to be end up alone. If Nix hadn't found her, Claire would have grown separate from other people forever. If Claire hadn't seen him aiming a gun at her, Nix probably would have shot her, even at the expense of his guilty conscience.

Another thing I found cumbersome was the pace of the plot. The start was leisure-like, and the reader is not spared the bombardment of suffocating emotions and feelings. The plot began picking up pace by the second half. Just when there were only about a few chapters left, a new turn of events developed, and the ending was tied up with a big red bow. I somehow felt cheated by it, as I felt that I could have done without all the cheesy emotions and feelings Claire was developing just by looking at Nix.

Strictly speaking, this book had a hard time capturing my attention. I caught myself glazing over a lot of the parts of the story simply because it was pulling my attention into different directions. However, Nobody is not entirely without its good parts. All the talk about nobodies and Nobodies had me thinking about the very social need in us to be acknowledged. Everyone seems to crave validation, proof that you are affecting them in the same way that they affect you. I understood Claire and Nix's craving to be accepted, and I really did quite feel bad for them. 

While this book had some interesting things to ponder over, the over-dramatization and  weird pacing of the book pretty much made me sure that I will not revisit Nobody any time soon.



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