Places No One Knows by Brenna Yovanoff

Places No One Knows by Brenna Yovanoff

Release Date: May 17, 2016
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Rated: YA 14+
Format: Paperback
Source: Publisher
Buy: AmazonThe Book Depository
Goodreads Website

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.

This is such an overdue review because I read this one last year, but here it finally goes! I was pretty excited when I got Places No One Knows in the mail because I've heard tons and tons of good things about Brenna Yovanoff's books, and most of them are on my TBR. I've actually read her debut The Replacement a while back...long story short, I can't remember what happens in it, but I remember not liking it. Anyway, I'm a big believer of giving authors multiple chances, and I'm glad I did! I enjoyed this one, and while the pacing was slightly slower than what I expected (maybe to capture the dream-like atmosphere?), it was still a fascinating read.

There are two Waverleys. One is well groomed, academically unparalleled, reasonably attractive, and runs the cross-country country course at Basset in under eighteen minutes. Sixteen point five on a good day.
      The other is a secret.
      Secret Waverly is the one who never sleeps.
–p. 4, paperback

I was kind of expecting more about the whole dreamwalker aspect, but it wasn't a central part of the book. I guess Places No One Knows takes a magical realism stance, and we as readers just have to accept that this happens. Anyway, instead of focusing on the supernatural element of the story, it instead focused on the relationship between Waverly and Marshall, which I thought was an interesting approach. I personally would have liked to see more of the paranormal-side of the story explored, but I guess it makes for a pretty unique meet-cute?

A big plus point for the book, despite not delving too much into the whole "I dreamed about you and appeared in your room" aspect, was the characters. Brenna Yovanoff's prose flowed really well, and the characters that came with it were well rounded and fleshed-out. The focus on the interactions between Waverly and Marshall was, as I've mentioned, quite interesting, but I just wish there was something a bit more. I do like a slightly dark and edgy contemporary, but there was a little teeny bit missing from the plot that I would have liked there. Character exploration was amazing though, and you could see where these people were coming from. Autumn was great too, and reading about her connection with these two really solidified the plot. 

Excellently written and captivating from start to finish, Places No One Knows draws you into this surreal, dreamlike world with very real characters and issues, and hits you with a rollercoaster of emotions. I will absolutely be reading more of Brenna Yovanoff's books, because if they're anything like this one, I'm definitely in for a treat.

▪ ▪ ▪ Thank you so much to Julia at Penguin Random House for sending me a copy for review! ▪ ▪ 

If you like this, try...

  • Dreamland by Robert L. Anderson ● Goodreads

1 comment:

  1. It's great that you still remember the highlights since you read this last year! I guess it's that memorable too :)


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