Monday, July 20, 2015

Book Review: Evermore, by Alyson Noel


Evermore
(The Immortals, Book 1)
Alyson Noel
Trade Paperback, First Edition 301 pages
St. Martin's Griffin
February 3rd, 2009
Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy, YA
Source: Amazon


Book Synopsis:   After a horrible accident claims the lives of her family, sixteen-year-old Ever Bloom can see people's auras, hear their thoughts, and know someone's entire life story by touching them. Going out of her way to avoid human contact to suppress her abilities, she has been branded a freak at her new high school — but everything changes when she meets Damen Auguste.

Damen is gorgeous, exotic and wealthy. He's the only one who can silence the noise and random energy in her head -- wielding a magic so intense, it's as though he can peer straight into her soul. As Ever is drawn deeper into his enticing world of secrets and mystery, she's left with more questions than answers. And she has no idea just who he really -- or what he is. The only thing she knows to be true is that she's falling deeply and helplessly in love with him. 



https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/3975774-evermore?ac=1





I've been hooked on YA paranormal romance for a long time now, so when I first saw this novel, sitting on a Barnes & Noble display table, I was immediately interested. That was back in 2009, when it was first published. I began reading it right away, but stopped because I noticed too many similarities with The Twilight Saga. The female protagonist, Ever, doesn't have high self-esteem -- just like Bella Swan, in the Twilight books. Also, the strange boy she meets in her high school is mysterious, totally gorgeous, and very, very wealthy. He also doesn't eat, has magical powers, and is incredibly fast....

Well, just recently I decided to give the book another go. This time, I read it all the way through, and found out what the deal was with Damen, the mysterious wonder boy in the novel. The similarities to the Twilight books, although apparently superficial, did continue to bother me, and I ended up with very mixed feelings about this novel.

Although Ever has a more compelling reason to feel insecure than Bella Swan ever did, I still didn't like being reminded of a book I had already read. That shows a lack of originality on the part of this author. 

Ever is considered a freak by her schoolmates because she's perpetually hiding behind hoodies, and listening to music on her iPod. But she only does this in order to protect herself from being overwhelmed by the thoughts and feelings of everyone around her. Of course, nobody at school knows this, so they have labeled her a freak.

Even without her psychic skills -- which she wishes she didn't have -- Ever is a very sensitive person. She's still suffering with misplaced guilt because of the deaths of her parents and sister. As I began to read, I was so touched by her poignant relationship with her dead little sister, whom no one else can see. She also worries about her aunt, with whom she now lives, and whether she (her aunt) will meet a man truly worthy of her.

Ever is a very likable character in many respects; she has a very strict code of ethics she tries to abide by, and  has also befriended two other outcasts at school -- Haven, the Goth girl with emotional issues, and Miles, the gay kid who can't seem to have a relationship without drama. 

Damen wasn't as easy for me to like, at first. It seemed, in  the very beginning, that he was just playing around with Ever. However, the fact that he kept pulling tulips out of thin air, pretty much whenever he was around her, made me like him more, but only to a point. Yes, I did like the fact that he made sure Ever knew exactly what a red tulip represents -- undying love. Still, the tulips' appearance did begin to get a bit repetitive and even annoying as the story went on. 

As I got further into the book, I also began to notice that at times Damen seemed to be acting a bit too much like Edward Cullen, from the Twilight books. He is supposed to be as swoon-worthy and perfect at everything as Edward, and that struck me as being another Twilight cliche.

One character I totally love is Miles. He's so funny! Also, he remains a staunch friend to Ever throughout the whole book, while Haven's friendship with Ever has several ups and downs. Well, I guess it's because of Haven's issues, but still.....I just think her behavior toward Ever is not always justified. 

There were quite a few unexpected twists and turns, especially toward the end of the novel, which is when we get "The Big Reveal" (although, paradoxically, not everything is revealed), and the story speeds up to a pulse-pounding climax. I was sitting on the edge of my seat as all the events took place, one after the other. The villain was someone whose actions were always rather suspect and sinister from the time of their entrance into the story. The confrontation was another cliche. I've read similar scenes before, and even seen them on TV shows. Besides, the villain was rather stereotypical and pretty stupid. Furthermore, the resolution to this climax was somewhat of a letdown; I thought the villain was defeated much too easily.

I did like the way Noel narrated the story; there was such a sense of immediacy to it, and Ever came across as a very believable teen, as did the other teen characters. The girl bullies, however, were a bit over the top. Damen was, of course, not that believable at first; the reader suspects from the start that he just really isn't what he seems to be -- a normal, average, teenage boy.

The whole paranormal angle was extremely fascinating! Besides Ever's little sister, we have telepathy, other psychic powers, and a centuries-old battle which includes reincarnation. There's a mood of mystery throughout the novel, along with a feeling of oppression that's entirely due to the villain's overarching, evil influence. Thankfully, this mood is finally broken  toward the end of the story.

The romance between Damen and Ever is very sweet, and totally adorable, although at the beginning, Damen's behavior toward Ever, as I stated above, is puzzling, not only to her, but to the reader, as well. There's some sexual tension as their feelings for each other deepen, but I like that Damen never pushes Ever into anything she's not ready for. In fact, he tells her that he 'knows how to wait'. (This, too, I must admit, is a cliche.) Meanwhile, they get to know each other very well, and, by the end, have no secrets (pretty much) from each other.

Even though the reader knows, by the end of the book, what Damen really is, there are still aspects about his past that the author has to expand upon, such as why he is what he is, and how he got to be that way. I assume she will do this in the sequel, Blue Moon, as well as in the rest of the books in the series.

One thing I really enjoyed about this novel was the very interesting tidbits about Damen's interactions with certain famous historical figures, such as the artists Van Gogh and Picasso.

I did like this novel, but would have come to love it if I hadn't seen any similarities, however slight, to the Twilight books. Still, I thought it was very well-written, the plot did keep me in suspense (I managed to avoid the temptation to read ahead), and the characters were very engaging, although somewhat flat -- especially the villain.  The romance was pretty good, too, although I think it could have been even better.  

In short, this is a good, though not great, Young Adult paranormal read, mainly because of some things that have unfortunately become cliches, due to The Twilight Saga. However, I do intend to explore the second book, Blue Moon, just to see where the story leads. I might stop after this, though, if I don't see the story improving.


MY RATING:                  










2 comments:

  1. First of all the cover looks amazing, and I rarely read Paranormal YA so I actually am not interested in it. But since you mentioned that there are some similarities with Twilight Saga, it makes me really want to check it out. Lol

    Thankyou for the review

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi, Vania,

    Sorry for the late reply, but I had not seen this comment before. You were supposed to let me know, in the Blogoversary Giveaway comments section, which review you had commented on.....

    The cover does look amazing! If you like The Twilight Saga, though, you probably won't like this book. The male protagonist sometimes acts too much like Edward. This is not very original, and there are other similarities, as well.

    Thanks for the comment!! : )

    ReplyDelete

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