Friday, June 7, 2013

Book Review: Some Quiet Place

Some Quiet Place
Published By: Flux
Publication Date: July 8, 2013
Page Count: 350
Source: Kindly Provided by Publisher
Audience: Young Adult - Fantasy

I have been lusting for this book since we participated in the cover reveal months ago. There was just something about this artwork that begged me to pick this book up. As the cover suggests this novel is both dark and beautiful; I found it to be compelling and unique.

Elizabeth, the main character, isn't a typical teenager. While many in their teen years are ruled by emotions and hormones, Elizabeth is an emotional blank slate. She feels nothing - not pain, not sorrow, not love. She is a shell who goes through life forcing interactions with others to hide her deficiency. Elizabeth doesn't know how or why she is the way she is, but she suspects it has something to do with the car accident that occurred when she was little. Nobody wants to talk to her about the accident and her parents don't want anything to do with her. After the incident, her father turned to alcohol and her mother refuses to believe Elizabeth is her daughter. There are many troubling elements that arise with Elizabeth's family that may be difficult for some readers. She must endure physical and emotional abuse at the hands of her father while her mother and brother do little to intervene. Some of the abuse scenes were so traumatic that I contemplated putting this novel aside.

Elizabeth is also a difficult character to like. As a reader, I prefer novels where I can empathize with the main character. I was not able to connect with Elizabeth for about 70% of the novel. Her lack of emotions made it difficult for me. I felt a sense of empathy for her concerning her home life and the bullying at school, but I was frustrated that she didn't feel anything concerning those issues. She just suffered through them as if they didn't matter. I know that she couldn't control that, but it was still uncomfortable to witness. In addition, her lack of feeling also makes the beginning difficult. I was worried that I wasn't going to like the novel, but I kept reading because I had a desire to understand why Elizabeth acted they way she did. This compulsion kept me reading at a break neck speed; I polished this novel off largely in one sitting.

I don't want to say too much about the plot because this is one of those novels that is best if you go into it blind. Avoid reviews with spoilers! I loved the world Kelsey Sutton has created; it is an interesting and unique spin on fantasy that I haven't read before. This is the strongest element of the novel. I'll give you one hint: allegory.

Furthermore, there is a bittersweet romance. I wasn't sure I was going to be on board with the right guy, but in the end I was totally won over. 

All in all, I was really impressed with Kelsey Sutton's writing and creativity. This is a strong debut novel and bodes well for her future projects. 

One Last Gripe: I read another blogger's review that discussed the treatment of Autism in this book. While the character referenced is a minor character and this is a small portion of the book, I also was frustrated that it was viewed as something that needed to be fixed. I agree that having those thoughts in my head put me on my guard, but I still feel I would have come to this same conclusion even if I had not read another's thoughts on the matter.

My Favorite Thing About This Book: I loved all the symbolism and creativity.

First Sentence: Fear is coming.

Favorite Character: Joshua - He was the one character I liked from start to finish.

Least Favorite Character: Elizabeth - I ended up liking her in the end, but it took a lot of effort on my part. I urge you to give her a chance.

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?


  1. The book sounds so different! I'm loving the way the emotions are presented, and it just sounds so eerie. Great insight!

    - Ellie at The Selkie Reads Stories

    1. The Emotions and Elements were some of my favorite parts of the novel. I loved Sutton's world building and how she personified these concepts.

  2. Great review Andrea, after reading your review I didn't think you really liked it but you still gave it 4 stars, it's one of the next books in my TBR as it's due for release soon if it hasn't already.

    1. I ended up liking it, but it took effort. I also couldn't really discuss the major elements that I loved because it would have provided spoilers. It was one of the most unique and creative novels I've read this year. It will be out in July.

  3. Interesting sounding but good review, I think I will have to check it out. A enjoy new approaches and unique takes on fantasy :)

    Ashley @ The Quiet Concert


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