The Selective Collective Group Discussion: NOBODY BUT US

The Selective Collective reads NOBODY BUT US by KRISTIN HALBROOK

The Selective Collective features NOBODY BUT US by KRISTIN HALBROOK, sent to us by Harper Teen for review and book club discussion. For my part in this Selective Collective post, I’m hosting all the ladies from The Selective Collective for an informal Q&A to talk about our feelings for NOBODY BUT US! It was definitely a raw and emotional story, so we were excited to get the group together and chat!

Before we jump in, here’s a little info on the book:

Nobody But UsPublishing Info: January 29th 2013 by HarperTeen
Source: ARC copy provided by Harper Teen for review and use for the Selective Collective promotions

Book Synopsis: Bonnie and Clyde meets IF I STAY in this addictively heart-wrenching story of two desperate teenagers on the run from their pasts.
They’re young. They’re in love. They’re on the run.
Zoe wants to save Will as much as Will wants to save Zoe. When Will turns eighteen, they decide to run away together. But they never expected their escape to be so fraught with danger….
When the whole world is after you, sometimes it seems like you can’t run fast enough. — From

The Selective Collective: Talking about NOBODY BUT US


Will and Zoe embark on a road trip after running away from home, leaving their old lives behind. Do you think it’s possible to run from your past? Do you think there was a better way to improve their lives other than running away?

[Kristina – Gone Pecan] I think there is always a better way then running but being a kid you tend to lean towards denial most of the time and deal only with surface issues. Several times when reading I even found myself thinking that they were just in denial. Perfect example being when Zoe didn’t want to talk to Will about her period and thought paying for feminine hygeine products was too much so stealing seemed like her only logical option. To protect her Will hits the clerk and after they run Zoe has basically moved on like no one would question these actions? Kids are just that, kids. Extremely naive in all ways of life regardless of how they might have been treated. I know being hurt in various ways has made them gun shy about adults and authority figures but all it takes is one adult to see that they need help. Violence and crime shouldn’t be the solution for anyone or anything.

Will suffers from constant paranoia throughout the entire length of the road trip. Do you think his paranoia was justified? Would things have gone smoother if he kept a more level head?

[Brittany – The Book Addict’s Guide] I really do believe that Will’s paranoia put him and Zoe in a lot of tight spots. Ever since the second he picked Zoe up, he was afraid that he was being followed be either her father or the cops. Will jumped into a few situations due to fear instead of taking the time to think rationally. His quick decisions really hurt instead of helped and it put Zoe in a place of fear as well.

Do you think Zoe’s and Will’s ages had a big impact on the course of the story? Do you think their journey would have been much different if they were both a few years older? If so, how?

[Tee – YA Crush] I think, or at least I hope, things would have been slightly different had Will and Zoe been older. First, maturity and the opportunity to escape the living situations each were currently under would have helped tremendously. They wouldn’t have had an initial reason to run if Zoe were safe and free from her father. Even if Zoe, for some strange reason, were older but still in the same situation with her dad, I’d hope that at least one of these two would have the mind to go to the authorities. Will seems to be the type of guy who, at any age, would go off the handle, even if he felt he did it in protection of Zoe, much like he did in front of her house that first day, so I’m not sure that aspect of the story would really change. What I’d hope is that, as much as Zoe believes she loves Will, she could see further down the road and realize that as sweet, and romantic as it all seems to run away with your boyfriend, and as much as you want to believe he’ll do anything to take care of you, in the end, he’s only human, He’s just a guy. One with problems that could affect both of you. And while it sounds like a little piece of heaven to be hidden away with him and making a fresh start together, one day, if he doesn’t get his problems in check, those things that sound so great now–like paying rent and setting up house–they’ll get old fast and you’ll be left with a new set of problems and a troubled guy by your side. So, yes and no. Things could be a little different if they were older, but if Zoe remained with Will instead of finding a path of her own I think her life was bound to be difficult.

Zoe and Will both had very difficult home lives. How do you think this affected their relationship with each other?

[Diana & Sandie – Teen Lit Rocks] Will was abandoned by his mother when he was a baby and then raised in the foster home system. He had little happiness in his life and grew into a young man unable to handle his rage and temper. He also had to cope with the guilt that came as a result of hurting others due to poor choices in his life. Zoe had to cope with living with an abusive father. She dreamed of escaping his abuse, but saw little means for escape. She was also dealing with guilt that haunted her as a result of much trauma in her life.
When Will and Zoe first meet, he notices the bruise on her face and is immediately drawn to her. She can’t believe that anyone noticed her when she has spent most of her life trying hard not to be noticed. Both of their lives are intense and that same intensity carries over into their relationship. They fill a need in each other’s lives that wouldn’t have existed without the baggage of their dysfunctional, abusive lives.


And please don’t forget to check out the features from the other ladies in The Selective Collective! We each have a post to feature a different side of NOBODY BUT US so please go visit their take on the book as well!

Tee @ YA Crush  Casting Call: Nobody But Us
Candice @ The Grown-Up YA  Author Profile & Giveaway!
Diana & Sandie @ Teen Lit Rocks  Review: Nobody But Us
Daphne & Kristina @ Gone Pecan  Road Trip-themed Books
Hi, I'm Brittany!
Hi, I'm Brittany!

I'm an avid reader, candle-maker, and audiobook lover! Here you'll find book reviews, fun blog posts, and my other loves of photography & craft beer!

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4 thoughts on “The Selective Collective Group Discussion: NOBODY BUT US

  1. Candice

    Sorry I didn’t answer any of these! But everyone’s answer was really good! I think this is one of those great discussion books that gives you a chance to think about how things affect our lives, what little things we do and the impact they have. Great answers ladies1


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