Nevermore (Nevermore #1)
Isobel is officially the worst decision maker I have ever encountered in any book. But, it made for great reading :) and Varen... Oh Varen...
If you like gothic stories featuring goth characters, then READ THIS BOOK.
The characters are all great. I do think a few fell just a little into the "I'm just here for plot reasons", but only a few. Most of the side characters were actually very flushed out in my opinion. Our main character Isobel is very well rounded and I loved her. I also like that it showed that not all cheerleaders are bitchy. One of my best friends was a cheerleader and she was so sweet and awesome (most of her friends were your typical cheerleader type but she wasn't.) I like that Isobel wasn't scared to stand up for herself. She did what she thought was right, even if it meant losing her friends. I love people like that.
Varen... I have a soft spot for any alternative person. I usually fall for them in any book they are in. Varen was no different. I fell for him right along with Isobel. He's so perfectly dark and such a lonely soul. I can see why he did the things he did and I can't fault him. I understand him.
The plot is top notch, it does take a while to get started but I'm glad for that, it gives you time to get the characters set up and the feelings between the two to start. I can't wait to dive into the next one which I recently got.
While the promise of Edgar Allan Poe initially piqued my interest, it was the characters that caused me to fall in love with this book in the way that I did. Isobel is so much more than your typical blond cheerleader – she is smart, strong, passionate and close with her family, who play an important role in the book. Varen is wonderfully sarcastic, intelligent, and a bit of a mystery. I’ll admit that I added him to my list of book boyfriends as soon as he referred to Poe as a “literary god” and my love for him continued to grow as the book progressed and his vulnerable side was brought to light. Their relationship was believable, sweet, complicated – and it wasn’t the main focus of the book, which made me like it even more.
Kelly Creagh’s writing style is beautiful. The descriptions are so detailed that you can visualize everything perfectly. You can certainly tell that Creagh did her homework – the portions involving Poe’s life are meticulously researched and interesting, and will inspire you to pick up a copy of The Complete Works of Edgar Allan Poe. As some mysteries are solved, many other questions will arise, resulting in a fast paced read that seems much shorter than its ~543 pages and will leaving you wanting to read Enshadowed straight away.
Boy, was I wrong.
Sure, without the paranormal aspect, Nevermore is almost exactly like Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles. (And as I’m sitting here now, I can’t decide who I like better. Varen or Alex. It’s a tie.)
But it is the writing that flies off the pages of Nevermore and haunts my dreams. I seriously dreamt about this book. At night, asleep in my bed, I dreamed of running through the colorful rooms of Varen’s mind. And also, while I was driving a time or two, I daydreamed about getting home and finishing this book! That’s a very dangerous thing to do! I blame the intensity of this book. (The awesomely, sexy intensity that is Varen Nethers and his insane notebook.)
It is beautifully written and exquisitely thought through. Like seriously, this story is awesome. POE! Oh, Edgar. You’re one twistedly awesome dude. Your name being anywhere near this book is the one reason I eventually picked it up.
And uh, did I mention Varen?
They absolutely make this book 100% worth reading. Gwen had me laughing out loud half of the time, and Varen had me swooning the other half.
So, I am now kicking myself for not picking this up sooner. And also, praying that Enshadowed goes on clearance soon so I can get it! (Cause I'm cheap.)
I never really had want to read Nevermore since I shy away from paranormal and I’d heard some mixed reviews, but now I just kind of want to be like “be gone, naysayers!” The beginning 100ish pages were a little wordy for me with descriptions galore, but it seemed to die down after that and focus more on the story itself. Honestly, that’s my only complaint. I know with a book so large (540some pages) you may worry that it’s going to have a slow start or lag in the middle, but that’s really not the case with Nevermore. Creagh does a fantastic job of keeping you entertained and giving you just enough information at a time that you don’t get annoyed, and instead, stay interested.
Let’s talk about Isobel. When the story started, I thought I was going to end up hating her the entire time. She’s a cheerleader who is a little stuck-up and more than a little rude at times. But then she actually grows and changes throughout the course of the story becoming someone who can stand up for herself as well as others. Heck, by the end, she was making choices and doing stuff I’m not positive I’d do in her situation.
Can we just talk about Varen for a minute? He’s basically High School Jasmine’s perfect guy. He’s got the bad boy/goth look going for him, he likes to read (mostly Poe, it seems, but still :P), he writes poetry, has a lip ring (!), and is, you know, swoon-worthy ;] Yeah, it’s safe to say Varen is one of my favorite YA guys.
Shall we talk about the paranormal aspect? Instead of being all BAM paranormaly stuff is going down, the supernatural elements slowly weave their way into the story. I really liked that. It seems a lot of times you’re just moseying along and then Hey, the main character’s an angel and they spend the rest of the book being attacked by Bad Forces, making bad decisions, and learning all about angel stuff. Probably a good 3/4s of Nevermore the paranormal aspects are only sprinkled in instead of thrust upon you. Furthermore, the paranormal elements are unlike anything I’ve ever read before which kept me wanting to know more.
The Nutshell: Despite the size, Nevermore is likely to keep you enthralled the entire time. The paranormal aspect can’t be pigeonholed into the typical paranormal stuff like angels or ghosts. Creagh’s created a paranormal world that’s like nothing else I’ve read. On top of the great paranormal world, the characters are great. Isobel turns out to be more than your typical cheerleader and Varen isn’t just some mopey goth guy. Even if paranormal isn’t your thing, you should still try giving Nevermore a chance. What could a chance hurt, anyway? ;]
You get bits and pieces of the realm of Poe and what’s really plaguing Varen here and there, parts that are supposed to spook you or have you on edge, I suppose. But for the most part, you’re reading about how Isobel slowly falls for Varen, how her boyfriend definitely doesn’t like that, and how her high school life slowly crumbles before her eyes. Varen is a kind of a mystery throughout the book and I was upset I didn’t see enough of him. By the end, you’re still kind of left wondering what’s going on with him and Kelly doesn’t really elaborate on much details. The whole “world of Poe” and “creepy dreams” didn’t really do anything for me and added little to the story, in my opinion. I was often left wondering where exactly Kelly was trying to go with this. The characters are pretty interesting and played key parts in the unraveling of Isobel’s life. I especially loved Gwen, Isobel’s newfound friend and she definitely added lightness and humor to the story.
I don’t know if I’ll be in any kind of rush to read the next books in the series, especially because they’re SO long, but I’m sure I’ll get to it eventually.
Generally with fiction, when an author writes about a character studying, reading, liking etc. a writer's works, they tend to stick to stuff like Shakespeare, Brontë, and other classics writers who wouldn't write so morbidly, but Kelly Creagh used instead Edgar Allen Poe, whose works I love, and incorporated it into the story-line in a really neat and cool way.
Isobel is a very cute character. Although she's supposed to be a stuck-up cheerleader, she's a genuinely good person (hint: ice cream shop scene), and not without her own baggage. She begins to defy the status quo after meeting Varen and becomes more independent somehow.
On the other hand, Varen is a quiet Goth guy in the back of Isobel's English class. (Oh, why is it always English, science, socials etc. class? Why not . . . PE class? They could save each other from basketballs or something.) Right now, you might think, hey, he's probably some outcast badboy, but nuh-uh, he's not. Varen is very, very real in the sense that he isn't like Daemon from Obsidian or Noah from The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer. (Although I have to give it to them; they're smoking HAWT.) The preppy kids don't whisper behind Varen's back about how they secretly think he's cute despite his social standing. They genuinely despise him and have him completely alienated, for no apparent reason other than he doesn't fit in. But despite his somewhat intimidating image, he's actually a sweet guy who isn't all that freakish.
Lastly, I must applaud Kelly Creagh's deathly terrifying imagination. Edgar Allen Poe's world was written in exquisite detail and seemed absolutely perfect. I can't wait for Enshadowed to be released!
I was really drawn to the premise of this story and while I liked the characters, the plot just was not for me. That said, I couldn't put it down even in the parts that seemed to drag a bit. In the more complex parts, I think it was all me because I think I just didn't get it. Probably because I've never quite understood Poe and I skipped over the discussions about the work, and it correlated with the plot.
While I think that Varen was awesome, and I appreciate that Isobel defies the popular status and genuinely wants to be a nice person, Gwen was really my favorite. I love her eagerness, bluntness and wish that she could have held a more critical part in the plot.
I was pretty lost at the end, and was kinda let down that there wasn't a complete happy ever after, but I suppose since its a first book, that is understandable.