Some Quiet Place, by Kelsey Sutton

Some Quiet Place, by Kelsey Sutton

Reason for Reading: A free copy of the ARC was provided by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. 

Genre: Teen paranormal romance

Review
Elizabeth Caldwell doesn’t remember a time when she felt emotions – her whole life has been blocked by a wall of nothingness where her feelings should be. Instead, she is able to see the personifications of Emotions all around her – Anger touches her former friend Sophia. Longing touching Joshua, the boy who has a crush on her. And Fear touches her mother, who claims Elizabeth is not her child – but perhaps a changeling that has taken the place of her daughter after a tragic accident at the age of 4. With the help of Fear, who has formed an obsession with the untouchable Elizabeth, she searches for answers to the questions that haunt her dreams. How did she become this way? Who is she? Is she in danger?

In some ways, this was an amazing book. I really loved the idea. I enjoyed thinking about Emotions as external personifications – powers that influence us by their touch or mere presence. I enjoyed the allegory of hiding your emotions in an abusive relationship – whether that be the result of an abusive parent or cruel bullies at school. I felt that this was a refreshing change from the dystopias, vampires, and werewolves that are popular these days. In this way, Sutton deserves 5 stars, and she has a lot of potential as a writer. 

On the other hand, this book does have the earmark of a debut novelist. Some things could have been done with more subtlety or finesse. The ending felt a bit long and clunky, for instance. And I sat through the entire book feeling that Elizabeth was an incredibly empathetic person considering she didn’t feel emotion. Was that intentional? Maybe. In fact, I’m inclined to give Sutton the benefit of the doubt and say that it was quite intentional. This was a very difficult character to develop, and Sutton did an amazing job of writing a character that had no emotions – but with whom I could relate.

I’m sad to say, this book DID have the dreaded love triangle. *sigh* I DO feel love triangles have a place in literature – my favorite Shakespeare play, Twelfth Night, features one – but lately (ever since the Twilight series, I think) it seems to be the basic romantic cop-out. Story doesn’t have enough romantic tension? Put in a love triangle! I wish more writers would take the time to think of a different technique to create tension. Isn’t there enough tension created just by the fact that Elizabeth doesn’t acknowledge emotion?

So, yes, I have a few quips about this book…but overall I think it was really creative and unique and I certainly hope Sutton continues writing. I have no doubt her debut-novel style will quickly vanish as she develops her career as a novelist. 🙂

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