Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Review: Some Quiet Place by Kelsey Sutton

Some Quiet Place (Some Quiet Place, #1)
Goodreads Summary: I can’t weep. I can’t fear. I’ve grown talented at pretending.
Elizabeth Caldwell doesn’t feel emotions . . . she sees them. Longing, Shame, and Courage materialize around her classmates. Fury and Resentment appear in her dysfunctional home. They’ve all given up on Elizabeth because she doesn’t succumb to their touch. All, that is, save one—Fear. He’s intrigued by her, as desperate to understand the accident that changed Elizabeth’s life as she is herself.
Elizabeth and Fear both sense that the key to her past is hidden in the dream paintings she hides in the family barn. But a shadowy menace has begun to stalk her, and try as she might, Elizabeth can barely avoid the brutality of her life long enough to uncover the truth about herself. When it matters most, will she be able to rely on Fear to save her?
Goodreads / Barnes and Noble

Genre: Young Adult
Pages: 331
Publisher: Flux
Source: Library

First Line: "Fear is coming."

Favorite Quote: "People are so complex. They want to hear the truth, but they want you to lie to them."


Some Quiet Place is definitely an intriguing novel. The summary felt very original and exciting to me, so of course I was eager to pick it up. I have mixed feelings about the cover - yes, it's beautiful and it does portray  the mood of the story well, but . . . it's creepy. I think I would like it a lot more if the model had arms. I remember picking this up a long time ago in the bookstore and reading the first chapter, thinking it was good, and then putting it on hold at the library. It took me a little longer to finally read than I normally would have, but I have this thing where I put off starting a novel if I've already read the beginning, because it's annoying to have to go over the same thing again even though it's necessary because I don't quite remember the exact details, and I wouldn't want to miss something important.

I was a tiny bit skeptical at first about the protagonist lacking the capacity to experience any type of emotion I mean, how could you possibly live life like that? It would be so bleak, boring and terribly uninteresting. Feeling things - the good and the bad - are part of what makes us human. Sure, we have to endure things like guilt, regret and fear. Be we also get happiness, love and humor - things that make life worth living more. I wasn't sure how the author would go about writing a character like that, and even if she did, how on earth was I supposed to form any kind of connection with Elizabeth when she felt nothing? For the most part, I thought Sutton did a great job in making her exactly what the summary promised she would be - instead of feeling, she was extremely logical about everything. She said and did things that she knew other people would expect of her, like go to school and interact with other people, but nothing bothered her. This was particularly difficult to swallow especially when Elizabeth's friend, Maggie, is in the hospital about to die because of cancer. Elizabeth goes to see her, yet she's fairly indifferent towards the whole situation. So I was partially right in thinking she would be very difficult to like.  It's not too hard to shift your attention away from the detachment of the narrator, though, mostly because the writing is so lovely. The descriptions and characters were all beautiful - it was definitely one of those novels that had me wishing I could write in such a fashion.

Once I got used to Elizabeth, I did start to care about her somewhere towards the end of the novel somehow. Watching her internal struggles was engrossing - she's constantly haunted by a dream that concerns a girl holding a dying boy in the forest. She has no idea how these people relate to her or why she keeps seeing them. She knows that it somehow ties into the car accident that happened when she was four years old and miraculously survived, but she has no idea how. I loved how everything was answered in the end - if there's one thing that really annoys me, it's a mystery novel that leaves a bunch of questions dangling. It's fun to guess who the villain of story is, and the concept was great overall. Elizabeth sees emotions just like people; they all look a certain way, and they're named for their feeling - Courage, Denial, Joy and a bunch of others make many appearances, simply touching the human that's experiencing them and then fading away.

Of course, the one Emotion that continuously pops up in Some Quiet Place is Fear. For some reason, he's completely obsessed with finding out why Elizabeth is the way she is. He was a shady guy from the start and I was never completely sure what his motives were; but I love characters that keep me on my toes. You wouldn't think that Fear would be the best love interest for the main character - I mean, who wants to be frightened all the time? Somehow, though, it works. I ended up really liking him by the end of the book. There's a bit of a love triangle with Elizabeth, Fear and a human boy named Joshua. As usual, I was a bit annoyed by this. But since there was no real feeling going on for either of them for quite some time, the drama that usually exists in that type of situation was absent, so really there was nothing to be upset about. Thankfully, it's settled by the time the book ends. For the most part, I was pleased with the resolution, though I wished Elizabeth gave given the loser of the triangle a more graceful goodbye like he deserved. It's hard not to feel bad for him because he was really only a pawn when you look at the big picture. Some Quiet Place could have easily been a standalone, but there's a sequel coming out next year. I'm curious about what else in this story needs to be said, so I'll be reading it then.

4 stars 

Books in this series:
1. Some Quiet Place
2. Where Silence Gathers

Other Opinions: 

All Things Urban Fantasy
Auntie Spinelli Reads
Lili's Reflections

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