Title: Nobody by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Published: January 22nd, 2013 by Egmont
Source: Provided for review (Thanks to Egmont USA!)
Format: ARC paperback
Grade rate: B-
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. The 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 was a fast and intense read for me and my first experience with author Jennifer Lynn Barnes. Don’t get fooled by the B- rating because Nobody was difficult for me to put down J
I think that I didn’t felt comfortable with the idea of the ‘nobody’. It is a very original concept (at least it’s new to me) and I truly understand it, but it made me extremely sad. I cannot imagine the loneliness, the isolation and total sense of unworthiness that not being able to be seen and heard and remembered might bring. As I said, it is heartbreaking and this clearly depicted throughout the book. Besides the concept of the ‘nobody’, there is another supernatural being called a ‘null’ which are essentially psychopaths that have the ability of charming people to do anything. Behind it all is a secret institute and experiments with both like they were lab rats, which is despicable (kind of reminded me of the Maximum Steel series).
There are two main characters and the story is told in third person with alternating points of view, which I always enjoy. Claire is a ‘nobody’, but doesn’t know it, she (obviously) things that something is wrong, but just tries her best to be a better person in the hopes that it might change one day. Nix is a very complex character because he was raised by the Institute to be a mindless assassin. He is so broken that it is difficult to imagine anyone going through a childhood like that and coming out whole.
I normally dislike instant-love, but in this case it’s completely justifiable. Nix is send to kill Claire and their eyes lock with each other. I imagine this moment to be like breathing for the first time, like coming out for air and finding a life saver waiting for you. The magic of the two of them together and the intensity of their fillings is so strong and beautiful. For all the seriousness of the topic and the heart- brakiness of the book, I love Nix and Clair together, they innate way that they understood each other.
Nobody is full of action and discovery as Nix and Claire try to find a way to bring down the Institute. The book is part paranormal, part thriller and part romance. The writing is really beautiful, so full of feeling and, at parts, almost lyrical. The ending of the book is appropriate and I was extremely happy that Clair, Nix and the other ‘nobodies’ could form a family together. Although I’m still thinking about Natalie…
Quotes for you (please be aware that these are from the ARC and might have changed):
“Nix. Nix. Nothing but Nix. For Claire, there was nothing else, nothing else but the warmth of his hand through the thin fabric of her worn yellow sundress. Nothing but the feel of his breath on her face… No one touches me. No over touches me.” - Claire
“I live in an eight by eight room with no windows and a door that’s padlocked for show” [Nix]
“You don’t live there anymore.” The quite vehemence in Claire’s voice knocked the breath from Nix’s chest. “ And out here in the real world, when you need answers, we have this wonderful thing called Google”- Claire and Nix
Her heart was beating. She was scared. Not of The Society. Not of tonight. Of this moment. Of now.
“You tamed me.”
Something gave inside of her chest, and it almost fell her. And just when she thought she might have imagined the words, he repeated them.
“You tamed me, Claire. I love you, just so you know.” - Nix to Claire
About the cover: It is stunning. Presumably this is Nix’s eye and he is looking at Claire to kill her.
About the Author
Jennifer Lynn Barnes (who mostly goes by Jen) was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma. She has been, in turn, a competitive cheerleader, a volleyball player, a dancer, a debutante, a primate cognition researcher, a teen model, a comic book geek, and a lemur aficionado. She's been writing for as long as she can remember, finished her first full book (which she now refers to as a "practice book" and which none of you will ever see) when she was still in high school, and then wrote Golden the summer after her freshman year in college, when she was nineteen.
Jen graduated high school in 2002, and from Yale University with a degree in cognitive science (the study of the brain and thought) in May of 2006. She was awarded a Fulbright to do post-graduate work at Cambridge, and then returned to the states, where she is hard at work on her PhD.
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*Disclosure of Material Connection: This book was provided to me for free and no payment was received by me in exchange for this review. There was no obligation to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are entirely my own and may not necessarily agree with those of the author, publisher, publicist, or readers of this review. This disclosure is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commision’s 16 CFR, Part 255, Guides Concerning Use of Endorcements and Testimonials in Advertising*