I seriously thought I'd posted my review for this book before. I just adored it, and it is so deliciously creepy I want to slap my forehead with regret that I didn't post about it for Halloween. I Loved it so much I entered a contest on the author's website to create artwork inspired by the characters. Since I can't draw, I did an eye makeup look because there are two things I CAN do: read obsessively and create do kick-butt makeup. Anyway, I have a personalized signed copy from the author and she even drew a picture of the main character, Isobel, in the front. And Kelly Creagh can draw, just in case you were wondering.Why am I rambling so? I have no idea.
Be warned: the sequel doesn't come out now until August 2012, which makes me sad. I have no idea why they moved it from the original January release date but let me just say it has kinda ruined my plans for dealing with the traditional post-Christmas slump....
Also, you need to ignore the cover if it strikes you as overly dramatic and emo. I very nearly didn't read it because I thought I'd hate it. WRONG!
Without further ado...my review of Nevermore by Kelly Creagh:
I read a lot of YA novels, and this (along with Matched by Ally Condie) is one of my favorites of 2011. Kelly Creagh's story of cheerleader Isobel Lanley falling for and learning the dark secrets of goth guy Varen Nethers sounded cliche when I heard the synopsis, and I really didn't think I'd enjoy it. I'm so glad I gave it a try anyway, because this book had everything I love in a good YA novel: excellent pacing, character development, backstory so we can see how the people we're reading about became who they are, mystery, and...sigh....a brooding bad boy. He has an actual reason to brood, though, instead of just general angstiness. And it's a really creepy reason!
Varen is the most interesting male lead I've run across in a long time. Taciturn, remote, and sardonic, he's hard to warm up to at first but once you get to know him, he's a great character. Isobel is a typical popular high school girl, whose world has revolved around her jock boyfriend, her friends, and cheerleading. She's never had any of that challenged or been forced to look outside her own little circle until she's paired with Varen for an English assignment. The slow unraveling of Isobel's social standing and eventually her entire "normal" life is written deftly by Creagh. I also loved the supporting characters, people with actual personalities who weren't just placeholders like a lot of secondary characters in books I've read lately. And another rarity in YA: Isobel has parents who are actually a part of the plot and not totally oblivious to what's going on.
And you can't forget Poe. The writings of Edgar Allan Poe play an integral part in the plot. I went into this book not knowing much about it, and just letting the story carry me along without knowing at all where it was going was wonderful. I won't spoil it, I'll only say that if you've ever read any of Poe's works, Nevermore will be even more enjoyable. If you were, let's say, a strange bookish kid who read his entire works at 13 (hypothethically speaking, of course!), you may very well fall in love with this book. I can't wait for the sequel, Enshadowed, to debut Jan. 2012.
*Five stars: I'm not doing cupcakes anymore. Cupcake was my dog and she got killed last week during one of the suckiest weeks of my life and I can't really write about it because if you write and cry simultaneously you can't see what you're typing...so...just five stars.