Sunday, July 7, 2013

ARC Review: Some Quiet Place by Kelsey Sutton

The blurb as seen on Goodreads:
Release date: July 8, 2013
Publisher: Flux
350 Pages

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?

Some Quiet Place surprised me. Here was a book I had never heard of from an author who I had never heard of and I was completely satisfied.

Elizabeth Caldwell isn't quite normal. She can't feel emotions. Every action or encounter she has with other people, she fakes. She is acting every moment of her life, except for those moments where she is completely by herself. Her unfeeling nature doesn't go ignored by others. Everyone knows there's something wrong with this girl, but they just can't seem to figure out what.

But even though she can't feel emotions, she can see them. Actually see the bodies of the emotions as they are summoned to the humans. Aside from seeing the emotions, she can also see the elements. And they can see her. Most ignore her - she's just the girl who can't feel - but some communicate with her and one just wants to figure out what's wrong with her.

Enter Fear (my favorite character). Fear comes to Elizabeth almost every day and overloads her with gruesome images and terrifying emotions just to try to get a reaction out of her. But nothing works. He's intrigued by her mystery and also drawn to something inside Elizabeth that he can't figure out. But whatever happens, he's always there.

Then there's Joshua, one of her classmates, who also realizes that Elizabeth is different, he just doesn't care. The author describes Josh as "...a paradox; he's simple yet complex, direct yet thoughtful, eager yet patient." And that couldn't be more right. No matter how many times Elizabeth tries to push him away, he comes back. And it's with Josh that the feelings inside of her start to stir.

This book worked for me on many levels. First, there was world building. Yes, it was set in modern life, but there was this alternate plane of existence that we, as humans, just aren't aware of. Here is where the elements and emotions live and work. Each individual description of the emotions was so precise and visual, it was as if you tried to take what made an emotion and give it a physical description.

Then there were the characters. I'm not going to lie, it was hard to relate to Elizabeth, but come on, the girl had no feelings. If she doesn't care about something, how are we, the readers, supposed to care? Who I was drawn to were the boys: Fear and Josh. Josh was intrigue and easy. He was the one who made Elizabeth start to feel. Did she use him? Yes, I believe that she did and for that, I was extremely sad. Josh really cared for.

But ultimately it was Fear who won this book over. Here was an emotion that we are all on a first name basis. Everyone feels fear. Sometimes fear is exhilarating, other times fear is so overwhelming and terrifying that you can't move or breathe. Fear was all of these...but he was also safety. And bravo to the author for taking fear and making it safe.

Excellent debut.  
I received an ARC of this novel from the publisher via Netgalley for my honest opinion and review.


  1. Wow. I can't believe this is my first time hearing about this! I've never read a YA book when emotions, like Fear, were embodied in an actual physical form. Awesome review! :D

    Daphne @ Reading Until Dawn

  2. Wow! I've never heard of this book before, but it sounds great. Thanks for the review!

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

  3. Oooh awesome! Glad you enjoyed this! I've been so curious but I've heard a lot of mixed reviews. Maybe I'll have to add it to my TBR list after all :)

  4. I was really surprised by this one, too. And Fear was also my favorite character. :) I agree that she was also using Josh, but I think she admitted as much to herself. She did good by him in the end, right? Maybe not romantically, but still. :P


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