by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
The premise of this book is an interesting one. It starts with the idea that when humans interact, they exchange energy that leave impressions on other people. However, there are some people who do not exchange energy properly. Nobodies cannot affect other people and Nulls cannot be affected. Nix is a Nobody. He has been raised by a secret society and is sent to kill people because who can get away with it better than someone no one can notice, and if they do happen to see him, they will certainly not remember him. In general, he is sent to kill Nulls, who, because they cannot be affected by other people, are heartless sociopaths.
Claire is a girl who has gone her whole life without being noticed and she does not understand it. She seems pretty close to depression at the beginning when she allows herself her two minute annual wallowing session as she looks through her yearbook and the general, meaningless comments left to her. She is used to no one caring about her. Her parents have forgotten her so many times that they have note stuck to their car that says CLAIRE so they can check if they have her before they leave. Eventually, someone finally notices her. Unfortunately, that someone is pointing a gun at her because she is Nix's next assignment.
There is instant reaction between the two. As two Nobodies (and I don't feel as though I'm giving anything away here because it was pretty obvious what was going on), they have the ability to notice each other. Nix is unable to kill her and ends up feeling oddly protective. He has never been noticed before, even by the Society. He had been resigned to his fate, but Claire opens up an entirely new set of feelings for him.
As I said, the concept is interesting, but I found it a little inconsistent. Even if they do not exchange energy with people, they should still be noticed, and they are noticed sometimes, usually when it helps the plot a bit. People will not remember reading an article about a Nobody, but if it had been an article about someone with the same name as a Nobody, they would remember that. Also, there is this cabin in the middle of the woods, and it never explains how it got there. The plot was a bit dull, and Claire learned a new skill set way too fast, even given the excuses in the book. The end was also a bit anticlimactic, and they did not really end up accomplishing anything.
Overall, the book was a 2.4. It was like the unsalted Cape Cod potato chips. They're alright and there is nothing particularly special about them, but there is something that makes you keep eating them. There was something in the book, and I do not know what it was, that made it very compelling. It was difficult to stop reading it.