Assassins seem to be a popular trend in YA these days. Kristen White recently released Mind Games (a book about sister assassins) and now there’s Jennifer Lynn Barnes’s Nobody. The book itself has a very interesting summary-ignored individuals becoming assassins. However, what it fails to tell you is you might need your anti-depression meds while you read it.
General Summary: Claire is invisible (well, not literally), but people often forget about her. Except for Nix who’s sent to kill her. Of course, they fall in insta love bliss. Because they find each other to be pretty. Shallowness ensures.
Oh, dearie me.
This book hit a lot of personal buttons for me. I wasn’t exactly the most popular kid in high school and I often felt like an NEP (non-existant person). I know a lot of people have shared this experience and it’s not a pleasant one. I was hoping this book would’ve sort of had an uplifting message for people who are going through this, but nope. Totally the opposite. It triggered some really bad memories for me. And on top of some horrible cliches and insta love, I had to mark it DNF. And I bought the damn thing, I hate it when that happens.
So, the story itself, it’s an interesting premises. It could’ve worked really well, but unfortunately the book suffered from a lot of stupid YA cliches and mistakes. And I think one of the biggest issues was writing it in third person. The tone of the novel was almost clinical. I felt no emotion whatsoever towards these characters. I take that back, I really couldn’t stand Nix. He was a sociopath. And as for Claire, blah. But it wasn’t the lack of character attachment that got to me in the book, it was the fact that the third person point of view rammed it into our heads that these kids were worthless because they weren’t noticeable.
It could make a person have a lot of dark thoughts. I know it did to me.
And I understand the from the premises that this was going to be about NEP’s, but I was at least hoping the tone would be a bit more hopeful. That they wouldn’t act like not being noticed was a birth defect. If that’s the case then I have the cure (Just strip naked on camera and post the video onto Youtube or whatever that should take care of your NEP syndrome. After all, it worked for Kim Kardashian ). Seriously though, it would’ve helped the book immensely had the tone not be so severe.
Another problem with the book was that it relied heavily on cliche, in particular insta love. How many times do I have to state that I hate insta love before authors learn, I ask? And yes, that question was rhetorical. I understand for the purpose of the story that something had to prevent Nix from killing Claire, but there were other ways to do this. Having him think she was purdy and her think the same about him (Seriously, she refers to him as that beautiful boy. A phrase that should be Barnes’s signature since she uses it in like every book-Raised by Wolves anyone?) made the main character’s IQ lower tremendously. Seriously, would you want to go out with the guy that tried to kill you? There could’ve at least been trust issues between the two of them, but no. Just no.
So, a book that makes me feel bad about myself, has cruddy characters, insta love, and an abusive hero. Do you really think I’m going to finish it?
Best Feature: Well written/interesting concept. That’s two things but considering both of them are so small, I decided to combine them together. The summary makes this book look exciting, but it’s cliche drivel. However, event though it’s cliche it’s decently written. The purple prose that often accompanies cliche books doesn’t make an appearance here so that is a definite plus.
Worst Feature: Depressing shit. This book is depressing ya’ll. I can only imagine how reading it would be for someone currently going through these feelings. Yes, I peaked at the ending and it does seem a bit hopeful. But really, really, tell someone just because they aren’t noticeable/they don’t belong that there’s a genetic defect. That you should be eliminated. And I don’t think the use of third person helped here either.
Appropriateness: Um, no. No. No. No. This is going to be a regurgitation of what I said in the worst section part of the review, but I’m twenty-five years old have been out of high school for years and this book instantly sent me back to those feelings of not belonging. The book goes on and on about how nobody’s (people who are ignored) are defective, that there’s something wrong with them and they should be eliminated. Tell me, how is someone who feels like their a non-existant person in school is going to feel after reading this book? You know what’s really ironic, Barnes is a psychology professor. This book though did nothing for my mental health.
Blockbuster Worthy: Um, I didn’t finish it. Didn’t really like it. So no, no movie for you. But since Hollywood likes to option books I can’t stand here’s who’d I cast:
Claire: Kelley Missal. She looks the part and she can halfway act. So, there you go.
Nix: Jimmy Deshelr: He plays this annoying kid who’s dad happens to be a vampire on General Hospital. He looks the part and God knows he’s annoying enough to play Nix.
Overall Rating: Three out of ten. While well written, I could not tolerate this one for several reasons. Which is a shame because I actually forked out money for it. Barnes is a talented young author, I saw that in Every Other Day but now she’s on definite probation (library) status when it comes to me reading her books.