Review: Some Quiet Place by Kelsey Sutton
Release date: July 8th, 2013
Source: e-ARC via Netgalley
Rating: A bittersweet and beautifully written book with an original concept and a somewhat disappointing resolution.
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?
The cover: Eye-gasm. Seriously. The bleak and empty landscape, that disintegrating dress of butterflies, her hair in the wind--they all add up to one completely stunning cover.
I got approved for Some Quiet Place on NG, and then it turned out the author was at BEA! I got to meet her and get a hard copy signed, and she was lovely and nervous about being a debut author.She was definitely one of the nicest, chattiest authors I got to meet. So I just thought I'd let you know that.
The story: I requested this book for two reasons: 1) the COVER, and 2) the concept.I just loved the idea of a girl who can see Emotions as people. They're totally anthropomorphized beings that appear just when a human needs them. Anger, Sorrow, Regret, Fear--all they have to do is touch the human, and the human will get a blast of whatever feeling they represent. Except for Elizabeth.
|It is absolutely nothing like this.|
What surprised me was how incredibly invested I was in Elizabeth. Usually, what makes me connect to a character is how well I feel her emotions. Obviously, that's not the case with Elizabeth, since she feels nothing. But it was like I felt everything in her place. I knew what she was missing, I saw how brutal and horrible her life was (and it really is horrible--there are things here that are not for the faint of heart). She's aware of her nothingness, and she always regrets it, and that regret lingers throughout the pages. There's a certain gorgeous tone to Elizabeth's narration that is pretty spellbinding.
This is a tricky book to discuss without spoiling things. I won't, obviously, but just know there are a lot of things I can't get into--namely the entire last 100 pages, which just so happened to be the parts I had problems with. The first 200 or so are gorgeous, atmospheric, and rather slow-going at times, but then the action would pick up. it's set in a tiny town in Wisconsin, and that lent a lot of richness to it. The mystery surrounding Elizabeth and the reason for her imperviousness is really intriguing. No one is more invested in this than Fear, the beautiful male Emotion who always makes a habit of trying to break Elizabeth's walls down, even though it seems fruitless. Joshua, a human boy from Elizabeth's high school, also tries to break through these walls.
|Hold on... that sounds suspiciously like a love triangle...|
Well... not really. Sort of? Again, I can't really comment on it, except to say that Joshua is adorable and sweet and Fear is sexy and dark. I'm still a little confused about the purpose of one of the boys-- Sutton made sure I got really invested in him, and then he just seemed to disappear. Actually, no. I understood his purpose, in the grand scheme of things, and liked how unapologetically bittersweet the ending was, but it also ended up feeling like much ado about nothing. Especially since I was sort of rooting for the guy who ended up being just a tool in Elizabeth's journey.
Which brings me to my one complaint: the resolution. There is a CREEPTASTIC, WONDERFUL villain, and I liked that showdown. But the big reveal... well, I didn't like it so much. I really loved the first, say, 250 pages. It was just that final development. Which, obviously, I cannot talk about, and which just may be me. Vague review is vague.
But I loved Elizabeth. She's detached, cool, and exceptionally observant, and it was a bizarre but beautiful experience being in her head and seeing the world the way she sees it. This book didn't feel like any other book I'd ever read, which was fabulous. Even if the romance didn't grab me-- and it almost did, as I came to care for both boys, even if one of them made frown disapprovingly--Elizabeth and her unique situation of being a shell of a person, a stranger in her own dysfunctional family, really moved me. For that reason, I recommend trying this evocative, strange, and haunting novel. I'm excited to see what Kelsey Sutton writes next.