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Nevermore Paperback – August 30, 2011
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From School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up–Cheerleader Isobel (another Bella?) becomes the reluctant partner of Goth Varen Nethers for an English assignment on Poe. Predictably, she falls hard for him, and he may not be a lost soul trapped between the real world and the dream world; psychologically abused by his father; or just a strange kid. There are so many dropped threads in the story that are just begging to be picked up in sequels that readers aren't really sure what has happened and what hasn't. The characters and story are interesting enough, however, to justify anticipation of further installments.–Corinne Henning-Sachs, Walker Memorial Library, Westbrook, ME. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Cheerleader Isobel has been partnered with goth Varen for a report on Edgar Allan Poe. Unfortunately, this does not sit well with her jock boyfriend Brad, who makes sure to let Varen know who’s boss. Realizing that Brad might not be all she thought he was, Isobel dumps him. Rumors immediately begin circulating that she is in love with Varen, and things heat up while the two are researching their project and Isobel peeks into Varen’s private journal. Suddenly, Isobel is haunted by the ghouls, ghosts, and creepy creatures that inhabit Varen’s dreamworld. Now that she has become a part of this world, Isobel must find a way out, and a way to save Varen. The first (and only) kiss between Isobel and Varen doesn’t happen until 400 pages in, and teens might not buy the romance. They might also balk at the length; the story feels as if it needed only half the pages. Still, there are some memorable characters from the slightly-creepy dreamworld, and many Poe references throughout. Grades 9-12. --Shauna Yusko --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Rec age: 13+
Fave quote: "My beautiful, my Isobel. My Love. You ask me to wait. And so I wait.
For all of this, I know, is but a dream.
And when, in sleep, at last we wake,
I will see you again."
There is still hope for YA Paranormal/Urban Fantasy!
A genre of which I had sworn off, having felt long past the vampire and werewolf revolution.
But I just happened upon Nevermore at my library recently. Intrigued first by the title as a Poe fan. And then by the haunting looking boy on the cover (as I've always had a thing for dark & disturbed young blokes--piercings, chains, dressed in black and even a smudge of guyliner and I'm a puddle at his feet, ya know? I know ya feel me.)
Anyway this was beautiful. This was haunting. This was romantic. GOTHIC. And held my rapt attention throughout.
Told in 3rd person, which isn't my favourite as I like being taken into the emotional depths of a character's thoughts and connecting more intimately as with a 1st person story, this still gripped me.
As I'm reading this now as a woman a decade past her Highschool years that says a lot. I keep thinking, I would've been all over this as a teen! But wait, I'm all over it now!
See, I like to vicariously relive my tragic teen years through books. That's why I prefer YA. That's why this is a feel good book for me. I can relate well to it. It appeals to me (said goth boy, and come on, its inspired by Poe! Poe people! Like I want a freaking Raven tattoo really bad now!!).
This is brilliant. The whole Poe dreamscape thing is brilliant! This Pinfeathers villain bloke is creepy hot (I know. I'm weird like that. Voldemort is hot--wait, what? I didn't say that.)
The plot is great, the suspense is fun, the romance is sweet. The main characters are layered and sincere. And Varen in my precious baby and no one can touch him!
Do yourself a favour and give this series a go. Especially on a crisp cool, autumn night in the month of October, before Halloween.
Lie on a blanket in the grass in your back garden or perhaps even the park whilst cute boys toss a ball around in the field you purposely positioned yourself by.
And let the feels enrapture you along with the chill of a fall breeze and the rustle of fallen leaves pass you by and the startle of a murder of Crows takes flight into the sunset.
Just let yourself be entertained. Simply.
Author: Kelly Creagh
Age Group: Teen/Young Adult
Series: Nevermore, book one
Star Rating: 4 Out of 5 Stars
I bought a copy of this book and reviewed it.
It's no secret that even from the time I was a child, Edgar Allen Poe fascinated me. I read The Raven for the first time at twelve years old, and I thought to myself, "This is supposed to a be a poem? But it's huge!" Putting my protests aside, I began to read. Once I was finished, all the way to the end, I immediately sought out a volume of his tales, and The Raven is but one of my personal favorites.
And so began my love affair (*cough cough* obsession, more like) with Poe. Ever since, I've always been a huge fan of Poe, and people who use his work as inspiration. I bought Nevermore a few years ago, flushed with the two-day shipping that Amazon Prime offers, and tore through it in a good three or four days.
Where do I start with this? This book started out fairly typical. You guys know the trope. Boy and girl meet, girl thinks that boy is a freak until *gasp* she sees the light and they fall in love and it's all happily ever after, right?
When Isobel and Varen are teamed up for an English project, cheerleader Isobel is obviously less than thrilled. (I kept picturing Quinn Fabray in my head, thanks to Glee, but.) For his part, Varen isn't too happy himself. I mean, who would actually want to be paired in English class with Cheerleader Barbie? Forced into a partnership, the two grudgingly begin to talk, and as Isobel gets to know Varen, she realizes that there is so much more under his steely, dark facade, and as his obsession with Poe goes deeper, and he falls more and more under the spell of his own desires, things begin to get out of control, and maybe even their new love may not be enough to overcome the dark forces in their midst.
I'd first like to say that this book, and the author, get some serious points for creativity as well as originality. I've never had a book take me this deep into Poe's work before, and to use it as a platform for a world full of dark, horrible, half-formed beings, well. Let's just say I was sold.
And I love the way Creagh liberally sprinkled Poe's own prose into the novel to help propel the story. The pacing was breakneck, and even though the whole "I fell in love with my high school English partner" thing seemed a bit cliched, I really enjoyed it. And then there's the contrast between Isobel, blonde and angelic and popular, and Varen, the obvious outcast, the boy with his head stuck in a ratty old sketchbook, adorned with silver rings, piercings, and oddly enough, purple handwriting..
I also enjoyed the way that the characters were interspersed throughout the narrative. I don't want to give too much away, as this book is one of those that is best going into for the most part blind. But the gothic feel of this novel, combined with Poe's dark, often morbid, prose, only builds as the book goes on. Initially, I didn't really like Isobel. At first, she seems like the typical high school cheerleader, popular, above it all, and not afraid to turn away when uncomfortable things, but her character development was really worth reading.
And don't even get me started on the twists and riddles. Holy crap. I couldn't even deal with it. If there wasn't a new, often mysterious, character being thrown into the mix, there was a twist about Varen, or Isobel. And then there's Reynolds, the man that claims to be Varen's friend, when in reality he seems to have a lot to hide..
And that ending! That. Ending. Though. It was amazing, and if I didn't have Enshadowed waiting for me on my nightstand right now, teetering on top of my book pile, I would be livid. There's no way I could wait that long! More, dang it, more! I demand it! The bottom line: A highly original and frightening horror debut, Nevermore captured my imagination, and I'm so excited to see what the rest of the series has to offer me! Next on deck: Enshadowed by Kelly Creagh!
So of course, it was without hesitation that I picked this up. I admit, I was curious. I wanted to know what spin the author could put on Poe in the modern day. What horrors she would uncover, what madness she would unveil.
And this book was everything I hoped it would be and maybe even some I would rather it not have been.
It was something Poe would have been proud of I think. Something strange and delusional at best and hysteria and bizarre-ness at the very least and of course, I loved it.
I loved the craziness. The unusual and yes, the extreme hint of madness that was Poe that someone leaked onto the pages in this story even though it wasn't truly about Poe at all.
The tale hypnotized me. It made me turn the pages and keep going until the very end.
It fascinated me. It intrigued me and it left me thankful I had the next book to read.