Book Of The Month: Places No One Knows by Brenna Yovanoff

places no one knowsPlaces No On Knows

By Brenna Yovanoff

Rating: 8/10

Summary: 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.

Review: Sometimes there are books that you just love and sometimes there are books that you just hate. For me, Places No One Knows was definitely one of the former. I adored every inch of this book for a few reasons:

  1. It’s Magical Realism. I LOVE magical realism so hard. There’s just something about a story that is based in reality with just sprinkles of magic weaved into it. The magic in this story takes place purely between the two main characters and they don’t even really seem to question it much. And not only was it magical realism, but it was totally unique in a way that’s hard to find once you’ve read a few books in the same genre. There story here is SO interesting. I mean, she dreams herself to where ever Marshall is for gods sake!
  2. Waverly comes off as being borderline a sociopath and it’s great! She doesn’t quite understand human interaction. She’s manipulative and she doesn’t let anyone see the real person that she is underneath the facade that she puts up. Of course she has to work on this throughout the story, but if this were a fantasy story, she could have easily broken off into villain territory (a la Adelina Amouteru style). She’s dark and I really do love my females MC’s dark.
  3. Marshall on the other hand is a big freaking teddy bear chock full of emotions that he hides underneath all of his partying and substance abuse. I love stories that use such contrasting love interests like this. Waverly pretends to be perfect on the outside so that no one will realize how dark and twisty she really is. Marshall hides all of the things he feels behind a bad boy, I don’t care persona.
  4. We get to see inside both Waverly and Marshall’s head. A lot of times stories that go back and forth between the love interests heads don’t really do it for me. On top of that, there’s the fact that it’s written in 1st person. I usually enjoy 3rd person more than 1st, but for some reason, it just worked better this way in this novel.

Basically we’ve got an interesting and unique story with two great main characters who are flawed and lovable. So why wouldn’t I give this story a 10/10 rating? While I adored this story, I can’t say it was a life changing story. I save my 9/10 and 10/10 ratings for stories that are heartbreaking and life changing.

Regardless, I would recommend that everyone who enjoys reading young adult reads this novel. The writing is great. The story is great. Everything about this is great! I will definitely be looking to read more from Brenna Yovanoff in the future!

Bonus: Here’s my favorite quote from the book (as you can probably guess, it comes from Marshall)

“Waverly, you make me want to die, but it’s in the best way”

Buy It:

Barnes and NobleAmazonFountain BookstoreIndiebound




dear stranger

(Bare with me while I use some form of the word commitment 1 million times in a single blog post)

I swear that one of these days I’m gonna start something I love and stick to it.


I feel like, for a long time now I’ve had an issue with commitment.

I guess, before I continue, I should admit that the above statement isn’t entirely truthful. I’ve started and committed to plenty of things in my life. In life, I have no problem committing to my job (I worked for seven years at the job that I had before the one that I’ve currently been working at for two years). I’m currently in the process of buying a condo-all by myself-so that’s quite a commitment.

Somehow though, when it comes to the things that involve any sort of emotional commitment, I am suddenly this crazy, commitment-phobic person that I’m not at other times. These are the important things. The scary things. The things that can’t be worked out in a way that makes sense in my mind. They’re messy.

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dear strangerI’ve always been this strange combination of overly confident and paralyzingly self-doubting of myself.

I grew up extremely privileged, in more ways than I can count. I’m one of the lucky ones who’s never had to worry about where her next meal is coming from or whether I have someone who I can turn to if I need to. Not that I ever do, but I know it’s there at least.

But, of course, we as human’s are never quite happy with what we have and what we are. I’ve always doubted myself in so many ways it’s hard to count them all.

Over the past few months, I’ve been thinking a lot about intention.


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#NinjaWriters and A Novel Idea

dear strangerAs an aspiring writer, I have always longed for the sort of community that fosters my writing. A place where I can find other writers who I have something in common with to talk to and with whom I can talk to about my writing (and theirs). I want friends, like real friends, who are also writers and I have always struggled to find this.

There have been a few websites that I’ve written for that had a community of contributors where I made some friends and it was great, but as soon as I was no longer involved with the websites, I no longer spoke with those friends on any regular basis. It wasn’t anyone’s fault really, it just kind of fizzled out. I have somewhere around 350 followers on twitter and I try to engage with other writers frequently. And I do, but I’ve never really reached real friendship with any of them. Very rarely have I shared my writing with others mostly just for lack of friends who I think would even want to read it.

I desperately needed a community and I had no idea how to find one.

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I Haven’t Got Any Idea What I’m Doing


I’ve been struggling in the days since my last post as I decide what to write about next.

I haven’t quite figured out what I want to post here yet on a week to week basis. Writing advice? Stories about how the process of writing my novel is going? Book reviews? Weird artsy dribble drabble? I’ve come up with about a million things to write about, but I honestly haven’t been able to decide what I am doing here yet.

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My Existential Crisis

As you may or may not have been able to guess by my title, lately I’ve been going through a bit of an existential crisis. I think it’s been brought on by tons of different things in my life, but one of the major things is the fact that I’m really getting serious about my writing.

In my experience, writers tend to be some of the most insecure and self-doubting professionals out there. It’s not like, a coincidental character flaw or anything, I just think that it’s the process and pressure of writing that brings this out. Writing is spilling your heart and all of your guts onto the page (computer screen?). It’s giving every piece of yourself to something that takes months and maybe even years to finish, and then giving that something out to the world for people to consume and inevitably critique. It is terrifying.

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