Monday, June 27, 2016

Book Review: Places No One Knows by Brenna Yovanoff

Places No One Knows
By Brenna Yovanoff
Release Date: May 17, 2016
Source: Publisher
Waverly Camdenmar spends her nights running until she can’t even think. Then the sun comes up, life goes on, and Waverly goes back to her perfectly hateful best friend, her perfectly dull classes, and the tiny, nagging suspicion that there’s more to life than student council and GPAs.

Marshall Holt is a loser. He drinks on school nights and gets stoned in the park. He is at risk of not graduating, he does not care, he is no one. He is not even close to being in Waverly’s world.

But then one night Waverly falls asleep and dreams herself into Marshall’s bedroom—and when the sun comes up, nothing in her life can ever be the same. In Waverly’s dreams, the rules have changed. But in her days, she’ll have to decide if it’s worth losing everything for a boy who barely exists.

I hadn't even heard of this book until it showed up on my doorstep from the publisher, but the cover was definitely intriguing so I went ahead and read the summary. A book about a girl who shows up in a boy's room in her dreams? And the boy is someone who this perfect, straight A girl would NEVER talk to in real life? Sign me up! 

Waverly Camdenmar knows the game of high school and knows it well. Put on a show, play your pieces carefully, and never let anyone see you weak. On the outside, Waverly appears perfect and the absolute opposite of Marshall Holt, a guy who is on the brink of flunking out of school and spends his nights drinking and ignoring his crumbling family. One night, Waverly falls asleep and dreams herself into Marshall's bedroom, where the two share a connection they never thought they could have. But when the sun comes up and they're at school, Waverly is too scared to show her true self and Marshall knows Waverly is too good for him. The more dreams they spend together, though, Waverly must decide if living a lie is really worth keeping up her perfect facade. 

Reading reviews for this book, many people have said that Brenna Yovanoff has a really unique writing style and I wholeheartedly agree. This is definitely not your typical fluffy YA romance. This comments on what it means to be "popular" in high school and you follow a main character who is very flawed and hiding her true feelings and flaws from everyone, even her supposed "best friend". I really hated Waverly's friends, but I think that we were supposed to. Instead, I loved Autumn's character and how all-in Autumn was in playing the game that Waverly's been playing. Autumn was a breath of fresh air and I loved the part she played in Waverly and Marshall's relationship. 

In the beginning, I also hated Marshall's character. How could I not? He never tried in school, he was an alcoholic, and he was a druggie. Who would like that? But as we got to know Marshall, there was a lot of depth to his character and he was really going through some crap with his family that even I would want a way to forget. I really liked how vulnerable Waverly became when she spent more time with Marshall and how much they really needed each other at that point in their lives. 

Overall, I was pleasantly surprised by this book. This was a unique look at high school with a pair of main characters that you don't really like, but end up liking anyways. The romance is a slow build that is really confusing and not socially accepted, but ends up changing the lives of the characters. For an unconventional YA romance with a little bit of magical realism, you should pick up Places No One Knows.

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