Nobody But Us by Laure Van Rensburg

Nobody But Us by Laure Van Rensburg

Number of Pages: 374

Overall Rating: 5 out of 5

Graduate student Ellie and Professor Steven are celebrating their six month anniversary in a remote house on the Maryland coast. Their romantic getaway turns deadly as their past comes to light and it becomes clear that only one of them will be returning to New York once the weekend is over. This suspenseful story gives us revenge, raw emotions, twisted moral compasses, deceit, and bloody confessions. Whose will to survive is stronger: the person with a vendetta or the person who will do anything to keep their reputation clean?

The Good

I loved this book and hope with my whole being that there are more like this on the way. After I finished reading, I scrolled through the reviews on Goodreads and found that I was in the minority when it comes to my view on this story. While the subject matter is very heavy (serial pedophilia, suicide and self harm), I feel as though it was written in a way that explains everything with no sugar coating and no explaining away the very gross thoughts that are being discussed. I have learned a lot about pedophilia over the past few years in my exploration of true crime and think that it is very important to highlight the wide range of offenses that are carried out by pedophiles. Laure Van Rensburg does a great job at showing the twisted rationale that these offenders use to justify their crimes and make themselves feel better. While the sections where this topic is covered are uncomfortable, they aren’t too detailed and graphic to make it unreadable. Van Rensburg also captured a strong and angry female character impeccably in Nobody But Us. I understood Ellie and felt her hurt all throughout the book. I actually started tearing up at one point when we were shown Ellie’s motivation for her actions.

While I normally don’t like it when it takes a third of the book to get to the main “meat” of the story, Van Rensburg’s pacing was great. We are given journal entries throughout the plot build up that made up for all of the set up we are given. I also never could predict what the outcome was going to be and who the victor would be. This is one of the few books that I didn’t want to put down because I needed to know what the next chapter was going to say no matter what.

The Bad

The only thing I wished we had in the book was more of a heads up about the subject matter. I knew the characters of this book weren’t going to be perfect. However, I didn’t know that one was a pedophile. A quick statement at the beginning of the book would have helped a lot and I feel as though the reviews would have been better for this book because people wouldn’t stop reading when they were caught off guard.

The Favorite (Quotes)

“This is what animals do to each other - and in the bowels of the forest, not in some fancy house. What’s happened here stains the carpet and the walls with red and reeks.”

“Maybe houses are not haunted regardless of how old they are, maybe we just bring our own ghosts and sometimes we leave them behind after we’re gone.”

“It’s the deadliest kind of danger, hidden under the deceit of its beauty.”

“Vanity knows no bounds, not even those of duct tape.”

“You think you’re some cliched knight in shining armor ready to protect the fair maiden from the monsters when really you’re the fucking dragon.”

“Some monsters do not change in the dark.”

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