Joan is stubborn, angry, self-deprecating and funny. Humor is a strength of the novel, and Joan’s first-person narration allows for lots of introspection, although it sometimes comes at the expense of the story and the development of the novel’s other characters. Joan’s co-workers fall in line with her investigative plan quickly, none of them giving more than a slight pushback, even though they stand to lose jobs and health insurance ... As I read The Nobodies, I thought of the HBO show Silicon Valley, for its funny, bumbling characters, and then Younger, whose main character connects with her 20-something publishing co-workers, and finally, The Inventor: Out for Blood, the documentary about the fraudulent tech startup Theranos. Combining elements from all of these narratives, The Nobodies is a fast-paced, contemporary novel with a main character who’s determined to get the real story and maybe find herself along the way.
Palmer takes the Gen X vs. millennials story to another level in this fun novel ... While some suspension of disbelief is needed, the point comes across that following your passion, regardless of the risks involved, isn’t always easy, but worth it in the end. A solid read for the new adult crowd, among others.
... endearing ... clever, fun-to-follow sleuthing that has the reader rooting for the merry band of outliers. A surprise denouement opens the door to a sequel while providing a satisfying explanation for all the shenanigans ... what gives The Nobodies depth is that over the course of the story, Joan and Thornton grow as individuals and come to terms with what they need to do to change their respective, and maybe joint, narratives ... Though Joan is the main protagonist, several characters are equally well-developed, including Thornton, Joan’s supportive family, and her quirky co-workers and friends. Palmer has managed to create a real world where the neurotic heroine is surrounded by a loving and lovable cast with whom readers will enjoy hanging out.
The premise of Palmer’s latest is intriguing if the execution is a bit scattered. It’s hard to get a handle on Joan, and even harder to understand why everyone around her wants her to let her dream die. There are fun, cinematic moments and the pace rollicks, but those new to Palmer might want to start with one of her earlier works.
Palmer delivers a feel-good story about second chances in her funny and clever latest ... Joan’s at times fumbling attempts to move forward with her life amidst crushing self-doubt will resonate, and her tentative romance with Thornton and relationships with friends and family showcase Palmer’s talent for finding magic in small moments. This is a real crowd-pleaser.