Author: Kelly Creagh
Series: Nevermore (#1)
Publisher: Atheneum (2010)
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
“Cheerleader Isobel Lanley is horrified when she is paired with Varen Nethers for an English project, which is due—so unfair—on the day of the rival game. Cold and aloof, sardonic and sharp-tongued, Varen makes it clear he’d rather not have anything to do with her either. But when Isobel discovers strange writing in his journal, she can’t help but give this enigmatic boy with the piercing eyes another look.
Soon, Isobel finds herself making excuses to be with Varen. Steadily pulled away from her friends and her possessive boyfriend, Isobel ventures deeper and deeper into the dream world Varen has created through the pages of his notebook, a realm where the terrifying stories of Edgar Allan Poe come to life.
As her world begins to unravel around her, Isobel discovers that dreams, like words, hold more power than she ever imagined, and that the most frightening realities are those of the mind. Now she must find a way to reach Varen before he is consumed by the shadows of his own nightmares.His life depends on it.“ GoodReads’ blurb
From time to time, I stumble upon something that not only is good material, but which also happens to touch upon my favorite subjects, or to present characters I identify particularly well with. That’s the case with Nevermore: it’s one of those reads I’d take on for work as well as for pleasure.
This book had it all:
Isobel, for example, was the perfect lead character. Everything a snobbish, blond cheerleader should be according to all the movie clichés and then some, she still managed to make me smile with her instead of sneer at her. The merit in that sole action is beyond measurable, trust me!
Varen, on the other hand, could have crawled right out of my own fantasies. His sarcasm and wit, his coolness – or should I say aloofness – made me sigh. Not swoon, but... I probably would have if he had been real and not just in a book. The fact that on top of hot he’s smart, and a poet at heart? Yeah, I’m hooked all right, even before he starts acting seriously cute (which he does!) or byronic-hero-like angsty (which he does as well! Not at the same time, though).
Even though they both came from different places in life, from places you’d not have guessed, they do belong together. And I don’t need weird paranormal explanations to believe that. I don’t need the all-conquering ace of “fate” or “soulmate” to believe in them. I just need to read them, and watch how they change and evolve and just... fit. That’s probably the greatest compliment any romance can get, so there.
Storyline-wise, I loved how Poe fit in –or rather, didn’t. The connection is there, but you shouldn’t expect to have a book about Poe ghosts or reincarnations or obsessions... It’s a book, I think, about loneliness, about fitting in. And about the power of words, of writing. Surely you’ve heard those theories where a writer doesn’t create stories, but is just a conduit for them? Well, there’s a bit of that here: about a writer creating stories indeed, and about him being a conduit. Won’t spoil it anymore. It’s beautiful, though, the strength of the written word, of the imagination, of belief.
Anyway. When I said it was about loneliness, though, I didn’t mean to say that the book was deep and slow. It can be deep if you want it to be, but there’s plenty of action packed: from mundane action, like escaping parental detention to finish a school project, all the way to a creepy race against time to save the love of you life, you’ll find it here. The racing reminded me a little of Alice in Wonderland: the rules of the game were unclear, Isobel didn’t even know what she was doing, but she kept running anyway because there was no other way other than forward...
Yep: I did say Isobel. Again, her character does come through! I admired her resolve and determination – even while I could not comprehend it when applied to her ex-boyfriend, I guess she’s just too nice a girl to abandon him to his blasted luck. I kind of wish she had, though.
If she hadn’t tried to help, there might not be a book two to Nevermore... and that’s something I definitely couldn’t take!
If my insane rambling hasn’t won you over yet, I don’t know what will: seriously, you want to check this one out.
And now, as a grand finale, I’ll tell you a little secret: I read Nevermore as soon as I bought it (a few In My Mailboxes ago), but I’ve been holding back the review because of Halloween and the Spooktacular Giveaway hop, which runs from the 24th to the 31st... Tempting? Stay tuned!