Thursday, February 7, 2013


Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Egmont, 2013
$17.99, Hardcover

Genre: Action
Age: 12+
Description: Nix has known nothing of life except for what he’s been told at the Institute. The people running the Institute give homes to the “Nobodies” of the world—people who live their lives without drawing attention to themselves. People who the “normals” don’t see or take notice of. This special “skill” makes these Nobodies the perfect assassins. And Nix is one of the best. He’s killed many an evil person (called “nulls”—people who have absolutely no moral sense) and now has been sent after his new target—Claire—who he is shocked to learn is a seemingly innocent 16-year-old girl. The moment he lays eyes on her and has her in the sight of his gun he finds that he can’t pull the trigger. Why? Because for the first time in his life someone has actually looked directly at him and seen him. Is Claire different? If she isn’t a null why does the Institute want her dead? Can Nix believe anything he’s been raised to believe? Soon he and Claire are on the run for their lives.
Opinion: I was super excited to read this book when my group, The TABbler, received an ARC as part of our participation as a YA Galley Group with YALSA. My teens themselves were clamoring to read it too and we’ve had some lively discussion about it. I have read Barnes’s Raised by Wolves series and loved the books. They feature a young girl named Bryn who was raised by a pack of shape shifting werewolves. The great thing that I loved about that trilogy was that the focus wasn’t a human girl torn between two supernatural love interests. Instead it was a story about a strong female character that could hold her own with supernatural baddies and what little romance there was was more about mutual respect. When I read the plot description for Nobody I was hoping it would be another great story. However, while the writing is great like I’ve come to expect from Barnes, the book quickly falls into the trap of an impossible love that can never be—in this case a budding romance between Claire and her assassin Nix. While the book was a bit of a letdown in terms of comparing it to her previous works, it was still action-packed and quickly paced. There were some shocking twists and I still would highly recommend it for any teen collection.

Here’s what some of my teens had to say:

Becca, 13, says, “This book is all about the struggle of two teens trying to find themselves. It is filled with adrenaline. It was a good book overall and I enjoyed it. For a pretty long book, however, I felt it moved too fast at times and the author could have slowed the pace down a bit.

Elliot, 13, says, “I liked the eyeball on the cover because it made the book look appealing. It lied! I was sad with this book because it had such promise and ended up being another clich├ęd teen romance. So many books start with two people that fall in love and have some sort of issue that prevents their love. Barnes’s issue here was a little more unique because she added the element of younger siblings in danger to it. The random fights between Clair and Nix got boring after a while as they seemed to be about the same things. Instead of complaining they should have done something about it. I feel maybe the story would have been better if it hadn’t have been so long. I’m hoping it was long because it isn’t the fist in a new trilogy (as most ends were tied up neatly) because I really don’t want to see a sequel.”

Haley, 17, says, “Nix, a skilled assassin, is a conflicted boy when he meets the one he is supposed to kill. Claire has never been noticed until Nix entered her life. Now these two are hooked in a complicated relationship as they try to heal each other and find out why someone wants Claire dead. The plot is thick and never-ending. The most compelling aspect was the complicated relationship between Nix and Claire.”

Kayla, 13, says, “Nobody was an exhilarating, futuristic read that added a new perspective on how ‘Nobodys,’ or unnoticed people, feel in a crowd or at school. ‘Less than shadow, less than air . . .’ Honestly, that feeling isn’t new—it’s something everyone can relate to. My favorite parts were the end and the epilogue. It had me in tears. Tears of joy, sadness, and all the other feels [feelings]. However, I was actually very upset with this book more than 10 times but it wasn’t because the book was bad in any way. It was because of the random plot twists that made me go, ‘Uggghhh!’ I had to put it down about halfway through but then I told Lindsey (our advisor) that I had to pick it up and finish it because I just needed to know what was going to happen!”

Isaac, 15, says, “Would you want to be an assassin who could be invisible? Nix is and everything is fine until the day he is assigned to kill Claire. When he is ‘in the fade’ ready to point a gun at her she does the unthinkable—she can actually see him. I thought the cover was pretty cool. My favorite moment was when Nix realized he was being manipulated and being told what to do. I was not disappointed.”

*Thanks to the people of Egmont for including this ARC in the YA Galley Group.* 

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