ARC (Advance Reading Copy). Published January 29, 2013. Harper Teen. 291 pp.
Fifteen-year-old Zoe is beaten by her drunken father on a regular basis, but is too afraid to do anything about it. She is lonely and unloved. Seventeen-year-old Will has been bounced around from foster home to foster home, and has never had anyone love him. The two meet at school and are soon inseparable.
When Will turns 18, he has to leave State care. All he’s ever wanted is to take care of Zoe and rescue her from her father, so they decide to run away. In alternating voices the two tell their stories of how much they love and care for each other. Their worlds are wrapped up in each other’s well being, with neither willing for the other to suffer. All they want is be together in Vegas forever and start a new life together, but trouble soon comes rearing its ugly head.
Unable to escape their past, and unable to create a new future, Zoe and Will make choices and face incredible decisions that will leave life changing repercussions for both of their lives.
“Nobody but Us” had me on the edge of my seat. The blurb on the back cover described it as a type of modern day Bonnie and Clyde. It did have its similarities, but I feel that Zoe and Will’s story held deeper significance to readers as their stories of loss and betrayal by society and others, while needing each other for renewed strength, will ring true to many teens.
I will go on record as saying I hope it wins a 2013 Morris Award (given to a debut YA author for a first-time work). Readers aged 14 and up will love it.