Yovanoff, Brenna Places No One Knows, 374 Pages. Delacorte Press, 2016. $17.99. Language: R (94 swears, 62 “f”); Mature Content: R ; Violence: PG-13;
On the outside Waverly is a calculating perfectionist who has high social standing, excellent grades, and is a track star. In reality, she is a sad, unemotional, lonely insomniac who runs till her feet bleed. Marshall on the other hand, has given up and shut down due to his messed up home life. He abuses alcohol and drugs, ditches school and sleeps through classes. One night, Waverly tries to fall asleep by burning a candle while using relaxation techniques. She is magically transported to Marshall. During these late night meet ups, she and Marshall share their true selves with each other. Ultimately, Waverly will have to make a choice. Will Waverly give up her seamless appearance and her toxic relationship with Maribeth all for a nobody like Marshall?
If you enjoy a dark portrait of high school, with a callous social structure of scheming and manipulative friends, where alcohol and drugs are prevalent, then read this book. However, the mystical dream concept bothered me. It was never fully explained and I felt it was not needed for the story to be told. It was just confusing. I was also annoyed by Waverly’s clueless parents. Overall, it is a quick read about high school friendships and self discovery.
HS-OPTIONAL. J Blair