Review: Nobody

Author: Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Publication Date: January 22, 2012
Publisher: EgmontUSA
Reading Level: Young Adult
Pages: 389 (ARC)
Source: Won

There are people in this world who are Nobody. No one sees them. No one notices them. They live their lives under the radar, forgotten as soon as you turn away.

That’s why they make the perfect assassins.

The Institute finds these people when they’re young and takes them away for training. But an untrained Nobody is a threat to their organization. And threats must be eliminated.

Sixteen-year-old Claire has been invisible her whole life, missed by the Institute’s monitoring. But now they’ve ID’ed her and send seventeen-year-old Nix to remove her. Yet the moment he lays eyes on her, he can’t make the hit. It’s as if Claire and Nix are the only people in the world for each other. And they are—because no one else ever notices them.

~*~Lili's Reflections~*~

NOBODY was not exactly what I expected. While Barnes delivered yet another good story that required an advanced imagination, the character development really ruined the book for me.

NOBODY proved to be an incredible world full of science. Everything was described with the use of energy. In this world, there are four types of people. First, there are the Normals. Normals have the ability to mark others and be marked. They have normal energy exchanged when interacting with each other, have the ability to fall in love, and no extra powers because they are simply normal. Secondly there are Sensors. Sensors have enhanced senses. Most have only one of the five senses that is incredibly advanced, but there are the rare few that have all five enhanced senses. This allows them to find the Nobodies of the world. Obviously, third, there are Nobodies. Nobodies are incredibly rare and hard to find. People look past them and don't notice them. They have so little energy that they even have the ability to leave this plane and walk into another world where Sensors can't detect them because they fully relinquish that small bit of energy that they have. Lastly, there are Nulls. Nulls have so much energy that they control everyone around them and make them adore them. They mark everyone with their energy, but can't be marked. While everyone cares for them, they care for nobody but themselves and often turn into evil beings because they are so self-centered. This aspect of the book was incredibly fascinating to me and kept me reading. The plot was so imaginative that I'm literally left speechless.

Both Claire and Nix are Nobodies. Such a thing is a threatening to The Society because two Nobodies can cause a lot of trouble. If a Nobody is not found and controlled by age five, it must be terminated by another Nobody assassin because a team of Sensors cannot easily harm them. Nix was originally sent to kill Claire, but things quickly got out of hand when his bosses at The Society got involved and two enemies suddenly found themselves on the run together. Along the way they discovered secrets that led them to investigate The Society and its purposes all while exploring their newfound abilities and potential romance.

...And that's where the book lost me. All in all, this book took place the course of a week or so, so the characters suffer from a serious case of insta-love. And this isn't any old case of insta-love, it's one that takes place between two incredibly illogical characters. For example... logic says that if a guy is trying to kill you, you don't kiss him within 24 hours of the attempted killing after he walked away from you several times and maybe even considered taking your life again within those 24 hours. Both Claire and Nix had the tendency to be illogical and bi-polar. This is one of those cases when their head was telling them one thing and their heart another, so their emotions would literally snap back and forth with no warning. Instead of dealing with two elder teenagers, I felt as if I was dealing with two little kids most of the time. They acted on impulse and seemed to regret it later. Granted, their actions were because they were never noticed or respected by anyone else in the world, but even with this motivation behind it, I just couldn't agree with how easily they forgot something and went along with something else. If I just got clipped by a car, I wouldn't forget the pain like it was nothing simply because it was convenient, but Claire was easily able to do that. I felt as if I not only lacked a connection with Nix and Claire, but an overall ability to sympathize for them. I only found my heart breaking when I realized Nix would sometimes harm himself in an attempt to feel emotion because he was normally so inconsequential. I wanted so badly to connect with these two, but I just couldn't.

 After the first half of the book, the lack of logic begins to recede slightly and is instead replaced by a huge investigation to learn more about The Society. Again, I was intrigued by this part and wish it was written more smoothly with less emotional antics. The last quarter of the book was full of so much action and the ending was truly perfect. I wouldn't have changed anything about the epilogue and that won me back and made me glad I read the book.

 All in all, this truly is an imaginative read, but the sheer creativity and thought that was required to create such a world is overruled by overemotional and illogical characters. While I didn't connect with them, I do encourage others to give this book a try. This is a good book for those of you who like a fast paced story with lots of unexpected plot twists.

And it's also a book that makes any reader realize how awesome it would be to have a boy build us a bookshelf.  

 2.5 stars



  1. I know we briefly talked on twitter about the characters but I am still bumming on this one. And insta-love too? :( I'll still check it out because I think the premise is intriguing though. Thank you for your honest review! :)

    ~Sara @ Forever 17 Books

  2. O_O A bookshelf. Build by a boy. I want one.

    Both a new bookshelf, and a boy who's willing to build me one. *laughs* Awesome review. <3


  3. I was lucky enough to win a copy of this book, and I am looking forward to reading it. Really, I am. But I am also hesitant because of how J.L.B ended the Raised by Wolves series. It really and truly pissed me off. Probably more so than any other book has. I will definitely check it out soon, though. I mean, it is J.L.B after all! Oh, and I would love it even more if a boy (preferably my sweet hubby) told me how much he loved the bookshelf that I built for myself! :)