Nobody But Us by Kristin Halbrook

Nobody But Us by Kristin Halbrook
Publication Date: January 29th, 2013
Harper Teen
Format: Paperback, 288 pages
Genre: Young Adult
Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

Bonnie and Clyde meets IF I STAY in this addictively heart-wrenching story of two desperate teenagers on the run from their pasts.
They’re young. They’re in love. They’re on the run.
Zoe wants to save Will as much as Will wants to save Zoe. When Will turns eighteen, they decide to run away together. But they never expected their escape to be so fraught with danger….
When the whole world is after you, sometimes it seems like you can’t run fast enough.
Nobody But Us, told in alternating perspectives from Will and Zoe, is an unflinching novel, in turns heartbreaking and hopeful, about survival, choices, and love…and how having love doesn’t always mean that you get a happy ending. Described as “beautiful, heartbreaking, and exhilarating” by Kody Keplinger, author of The DUFF, Nobody But Us will prove irresistible to fans of Nina Lacour, Jenny Han, and Sara Zarr.

Do two broken people make a whole?
Like two shattered pieces of one ceramic bowl?
Two hearts that beat out of fear
running faster, in sync – their paths unclear.

Young love so fierce that it seemed timeless
from the beginning, so wrong – regardless.
One was running from perpetual purple
the other was running like a crazed criminal.

Bruises that showed from inside and out
cuts so deep, they bleed like a spout.
Together they want to save what’s left of the other
before light disappears and day changes colour.

Bonnie and Clyde didn’t really pan out
Adam and Mia almost didn’t figure things out
So how could this story have a happy ending?
Seems like I’m bound for more tears
with my heart not mending.

Tell me, do I really want to read this story?
Do I really want to see another love that’s not meant to be?
Do I really want to cry a bucket of tears?
Over a book as sweet as it appears?

But hey, life is not all about rainbows
more often it’s trouble that we borrow.
It’s all about taking that leap of faith
even though sometimes we plunge to our ends
at doom’s gate.

Stories like these give you lessons
adding another layer of light to life’s prism.
It’s that brilliance of hope at the end of a tunnel
running forward and onward even if we stumble.

Warning: Spoilers ahead. 

I wrote this poem after about a chapter into the book. Is that a good sign or a bad sign? I’m not sure.  Was I jumping the gun with the story? As if I was able to predict what was going to happen? I don’t think I had any inkling as to how disturbed and broken these characters were. But I kind of had a feeling. It’s been receiving some lackluster reviews so far and I get it. I understand why people didn’t really react positively to the way it ended or even how the story unfolded. Trust me when I say, I’m one of those people who’d rather see a novel tied in a nice  happily-ever-after bow. We’ve heard it so many times, it’s not the destination that matters; it’s the journey. In Zoe’s and Will’s cases, I agree – wholeheartedly.

Sure I feel horrible for the way it ended. I wanted to lash out and forget I ever started reading it to begin with. But I am a forgiving enough reader to realize when I’ve been beat. In the end, Will has done what he’s been wanting for Zoe. In the end, Zoe woke up with a resolve that she never had before Will. What could you possibly expect from a couple of teens who’d only ever wanted to get away from their problems? They’re powered by an intense desire to have better lives – never living in fear. So yeah, the road trip was a road trip from hell. And it sucks because right from the beginning you want them to finally be free and be together forever regardless of how young they are. I mean, Zoe was fifteen to Will’s eighteen. Your heart blooms with hope and you’ll wish for their own happy ending. But, like I mentioned previously, it just wasn’t meant to be.

They’re just…too young, forced to experienced the ugliness of life at such a young age.  Will was as volatile as Zoe’s dad and each and every time his temper bubbled over, you can sense the violence. Man, it hurt to read their story.

If you have this book in your pile, consider putting on a thicker skin and maybe opening up to the possibility that happily ever afters come in different shape or form before reading it. Because it really was hard.  But I realize something after reading this book: Sometimes, one has to sacrifice his happy ending for the sake of another’s.