Review: Places No One Knows by Brenna Yovanoff

places Waverly is perfect except so can’t sleep so she spends her nights running.  Marshall is loser burn out, who spends his nights drinking and smoking pot.  They have nothing in common and since they don’t run in the same social circles they have no reason to interact, until Waverly decides to try an experiment to help her sleep and ends up in Marshall’s room.  I’m wrong they do have one thing in common.  They both have terrible coping habits.  Waverly has created this kind of ice princess persona. She is the perfect student, the perfect social butterfly, the perfect daughter and the perfect citizen.  Since junior high, she has planned her and her best friend’s ascent up the social hierarchy.  Now that she is there, she is trapped in this persona she has created and doesn’t know what to do with herself.  Her own fears of people seeing through her carefully crafted facade keeps her up all night.  She runs, she does homework, she watches horror movies late at night.  Marshall is the opposite, he’s almost too open.  He cares too much.  His home life is a mess.  He’s parents were going to get divorce but then his dad gets sick so they decide to stay together even though it makes them unhappy and everyone else unhappy.  To deal with it he does everything to know the pain.  He drinks until he gets sick.  He smokes until his stoned. He makes out with a girl that he knows he doesn’t like but that she likes him.  He rarely goes to class because what’s the point? He’s not going to college. Things start to change when Waverly magically appears in Marshall’s room.  It’s weird and uncomfortable and awkward as neither of them know what’s going on and Marshall is the only one who can see her.  To Waverly it’ a dream that helps her sleep but when she wakes up their remnants of the dream remain.  She has leaves on her feet from walking outside or a gigantic hickey from last night’s make out session.  At night they can be open and honest with each other but in the bright of day they can barely acknowledge each other existence.   Marshall wouldn’t fit in Waverly’s world.  However, they are just want each other needs.  Waverly shows Marshall that he matters, that he could be so much more then what he is right now.  And Marshall shows Waverly that she doesn’t have to be perfect all the time.  I was really drawn into these characters and I wanted them to find a way to each other.  It was satisfying when they both stood finally stood up for themselves to their various bullies.  For them to both realize what was truly making them feel unhappy and finally doing something about it.  At times I found myself identifying with both Waverly and Marshall.  There are times in my life that I felt I had a certain ways to fit in with my friends, especially in high school.  You say and do things that you know the other person wants to hear and do because it’s just easier to go along. I also know the feeling of just trying to numb the pain instead of dealing with it.  I like to think that I have good coping mechanisms but not always.  This book is just a reminder that sometimes the biggest obstacles to being happy is ourselves.  Literature is great like that. It’s entertaining and full of life lessons.