Author: Kelly Creagh
Series: Nevermore #1
Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Date: August 2010
Genres: Paranormal, Urban Fantasy
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Cheerleader Isobel Lanley is horrified when she is paired with Varen Nethers for an English project. Cold and aloof, sardonic and sharp-tongued, Varen makes it clear that he'd rather not have anything to do with her, either. But soon Isobel finds herself making excuses to be with Varen. Steadily pulled away from her freinds and 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 shories 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 imagned and that the most frightening realities are those of the mind. Can she save Varen from the madness taking hold of him? Or will they both be consumed by the shadows of his nightmares?
This is one of those books where after only a couple of lines, I’m immediately hooked. I fell in love straight away with the storyline, the characters, the setting, the mystery – everything. Why? Why did I wait this long to read Nevermore!
This is certainly one of the best YA books I’ve read in a long time. I simply loved every minute of it, every detail and everything about it. I’ve never felt such a compelling need to keep reading.
Everything about it was a breath of fresh air. From the original story line, to the Edgar Allen Poe references, to the gothic dream world that the characters are thrown into. I’m just completely speechless as to how this book escaped my notice for so long!
Our protagonist, Isobel, is in her senior year in high school. She’s head cheerleader, and her boyfriend is captain of the football team. However, when she gets paired up with Varen, morbid quiet goth boy, to do a project on Edgar Allen Poe, everything changes. I loved that Isobel already had a boyfriend to begin with. That doesn’t happen often with YA books and I’m glad the author decided to take a different approach to this. I also like that it took so long for Isobel to decide she likes Varen. No insta-love here. It was built up and built up bit by bit and felt very believable.
As you can imagine, as this is set in high school, there are lots of troubles and incidents along the way for Isobel and Varen as neither his goth friends nor her football/cheerleader friends are too happy about their sudden interest in each other. This made for some interesting chapters of high school politics, which is something I love to read about. Any book with an American high school interests me and this one is probably the best I’ve ever read.
The paranormal aspect was woven in nicely with the Poe stories. Upon reading more Poe writings for the project Isobel starts to have strange dreams and becomes able to see and interact with beings that no one else can. These dreams and beings bring her closer to Varen, who she soon comes to realise has a lot more to do with it than he is letting on. I’ve never read any Edgar Allen Poe works so I wasn’t sure what sort of bearing it was going to have on the story. Turns out, a very gothic, eerie one! I adored it.
The last few chapters were very dark, dramatic and extremely creepy (and in the best way possible!) I found myself holding my breath and getting a knotted up feeling inside over what was happening and whether it was all going to be alright in the end! A lot of questions are answered that I had been wondering about and so this was good. But we are also left with just the right amount of unanswered questions to carry us through to the sequel, which I am now impatiently waiting for!
If you’ve been putting this one off for a while like me, then I urge you to please, please, give it a shot. It really is well worth it!