Author: Brenna Yovanoff
Released: May 18th 2016
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Length: 384 pages
Source: Publisher for review
For fans of Lauren Oliver and E. Lockhart, here is a dreamy love story set in the dark halls of contemporary high school, from New York Times bestselling author Brenna Yovanoff.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.
Brenna Yovanoff is the author of my heart and soul. She earned that place with The Space Between (which remains one of my all-time favorites), confirmed it with The Replacement, and pretty much cemented it with Paper Valentine and Fiendish. With her magical writing, she makes me discover parts of myself or relive emotions long forgotten, which is something very few authors can do these days.
Places No One Knows is a bit unusual when compared to Brenna’s usual thematic, but no less beautiful or effective. This time she takes us back to high school to follow an unconventional romance, with just a touch of paranormal as her signature. Even without the oddities and outright magic we’ve come to expect from Yovanoff’s stories, Places No One Knows is a very powerful book, maybe even more so, albeit in a very different way.
Waverly is perfection personified, both on the outside and the inside. Outside, she projects an air of cool confidence and her every move is calculated. She knows just what to say and just what to do to keep her place in the pecking order and she does it effortlessly. In truth, Waverly is much smarter than the people around her and she knows it, but she also knows how to hide it. she comes across as more than a little manipulative, but one can’t blame her for it because the people she actually manipulates more than deserve it.
Marshall is precisely the opposite. While Waverly tries too hard, Marshall doesn’t try at all. He isn’t just one of those bad boys that are actually mommy’s boys. Marshall is the real deal: hard(er) drugs, alcohol, random girls and despair are part of his everyday life. The real tragedy is that Marshall has potential and an above-average intelligence, but that just makes him more lost and confused.
In simplest terms, Places is a book about the two of them finding themselves and finding each other, sometimes through paranormal means. It’s not an easy journey for them, and there were things I found objectionable, but it’s honest from start to finish. Brenna doesn’t bother with anything moderate or mild. She isn’t one of those authors who pull their punches due to the age of their intended audience, but the raw honesty of her prose is something I applaud and appreciate, no matter how uncomfortable it makes me sometimes. While Places isn’t my favorite of her books, it is perhaps the most important, and at the end of the day, that’s what truly counts.
A copy of this book was kindly provided by the publisher for review purposes. No considerations, monetary or otherwise, have influenced the opinions expressed in this review.