Sunday, March 6, 2011

Book Review: Nevermore by Kelly Creagh

Title:  Nevermore
Author:  Kelly Creagh
Publisher:  Atheneum
Genre: YA/paranormal
Hardcover: 543 pages
ISBN: 1442402008
Goodreads Summary: 
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.

  • Overall rating: 8/10
To buy this book: IndieBound | The Book Depository | Powell's | Amazon
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Kelly Creagh's Nevermore is a YA romance with a deliciously dark supernatural edge.  When popular cheerleader Isobel is unwillingly paired with gothic loner Varen for a school project, she is surprised to find herself increasingly charmed by his quiet intensity.  As they each learn to see beyond their preconceived notions about one another, their unlikely friendship takes a turn toward romance.  But behind Varen's guarded exterior lurks a dark secret that could prove very dangerous for them both.  Will Isobel unravel the mystery in time to save him or will she need saving herself?

What I Liked:
-     Isobel and Varen's relationship evolves enjoyably slowly, and it never feels like a recycled, opposites-attract story.  Both characters are easy to like, and their relationship feels builds naturally and never feels contrived.
-     I liked seeing Isobel take a stand against her 'friends' as their true colors began to show.
-     Isobel's parents and little brother figure prominently in the story.  I love seeing parents and siblings play a realistic role in paranormal YA novels!  
-     I was pleased to find that Nevermore is much more of a 'Gentleman in Distress' than a 'Damsel in Distress' kind of story.
-     Reynolds is cleverly imagined and infuriatingly mysterious.  I hope to see much more of him.
-     I was glad that Isobel proved to be so thoroughly likable because it made me question my own tendency to make snap judgments about popular, pink-loving cheerleaders.
-     The nightmarish, Poe-inspired dreamworld imagery is beautifully dark and creepy.
-     Varen is intelligent and thoughtful, and so refreshingly different from Brad (Isobel's football player boyfriend at the start of the novel).  Varen's rooftop visit is particularly sweet, and I loved his interaction with Isobel's mom and little brother.
-     This book made me want to read more about Edgar Allan Poe's life (and death).

Not exactly a complaint, but...
-     Be warned that this is the first book in a trilogy, so don't expect the story to be thoroughly resolved by the 543rd page.  In fact, the ending feels a bit more like an intermission than a conclusion.  

Nevermore is an excellent debut novel that will make readers want to check out Edgar Allan Poe's work.  I would recommend this book to fans of YA romances with spooky paranormal atmospheres, like Julie Kagawa's Iron Fey series.  If you would like to learn more about Nevermore or Kelly Creagh's upcoming projects, please visit her website, blog, or twitter.


Liz said...

The ending of this one was kind of agonizing. I need to know what happens next!

Violet said...

Liz - I definitely agree. Spring of 2012 seems awfully far away, doesn't it? The wait is going to be pretty torturous. :(

Candace said...

I agree that the wait is very hard! I LOVED LOVED LOVED this book! One of the best books I read last year for sure!

Alyssa Udall said...

I loved this book so much! It was so refreshing to read a YA paranormal that wasn't 100% sappy romance. I was also surprised that I could like a pink-loving, cheer-leading protagonist as well :) Ms. Creagh must be very, VERY talented!
- Alyssa of Redhead Heroines
Book Review of "Nevermore" by Kelly Creagh

Adeeva Afsheen said...

Banned complain !! Complaining only causes life and mind become more severe. Enjoy the rhythm of the problems faced. No matter ga life, not a problem not learn, so enjoy it :)

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