Monday, May 31, 2010

Review: Evermore by Alyson Noel ★★

Here's another review copy won from Goodreads First Reads giveaway... I was kind of disappointed with this book on the whole. It wasn't BAD, per se, but I just expected more. There is a ton of YA fiction out there, and even though this is a kind of paranormal fantasy, I just expected it to have more substance. Unfortunately, it kept reminding me of Twilight... to the point where I kept a list of similarities.
 -Wuthering Heights (WHAT IS IT WITH THIS BOOK?)
-Beautiful, too good to be true guy attracted to the plain jane but pretty girl -Irresistible attraction between them
-Mind reading ability
-Moody, sullen, stubborn girl
-Red haired female foe...

  On and on. So many comparisons that I kept rolling my eyes inside and hoping that it would move on to somewhere new and original. I mean, obviously, the love story has been done countless times and in countless ways before, but that's not to say that there's not something new out there, just waiting to be created.

 Anyway, the book did eventually make its way into being something different from Twilight (marginally), and actually made an attempt at having substance, even though in my opinion it fell a bit short, so that's why it got 3 stars rather than 2. Ever is a survivor of a car crash that killed her entire family, including the dog. She's got quite a lot of survivor's guilt going on, and feels as though everything that happened to them is her fault. (I was eagerly awaiting the revelation of why she thought that, and thought that the repeated mention was foreshadowing something big, but was let down a bit at the end.) Because of her guilt, and her new-found ability to read people's thoughts etc, she's cut herself off from the majority of human contact, and is very sullen and withdrawn and moody. Not completely unforgivable considering, but it was very annoying when people would try to help her and she'd pull that "You don't know anything about me or my life or anything" shtick and just shut down.

 One of Ever's friends, Miles, is gay, openly so, and this is presented in a very normal, everyday way, which is good. I liked that there was not a huge deal made of his being gay. True, he was part of the social outcasts in the school, but there was no harassment or taunting or bashing or homophobia portrayed. I actually do think that it could have used some, if only for him to rise above that mess, but it seemed that there were quite a few false starts when it came to being more than brain candy with this book. I mean, there's the whole popular group clique in the school, so they could have at least thrown some jibes his way so that he could at least ignore them and hold his head up, proud of who he is. Aside from that, Ever's other friend Haven is an ignored, attention-starved teen, who tries to get attention from 12-step groups. She is the most two-dimensional of Ever's friends, and I didn't really care for her. I felt like she was more of a plot device than anything. Noel did try to make a bit of a statement about alcohol abuse, and how it doesn't really solve any of your problems and actually makes them worse, but it fell a little bit flat when there weren't any real repercussions for Ever's actions. Her guardian just kind of swept it under the rug and wrote it off as grief and never mentioned it again.

 Finally, there was a bit of "philosophy" in the story as to what happens after death. Obviously, in the book, there is an afterlife, and a way-station called... (wait for it) "Summerland". Hmm... Someone has read their Matheson. Or at least the same books he has, because the version of the afterlife described in Evermore is remarkably similar to the one described in "What Dreams May Come" (by Richard Matheson), but minus all the darkness and dreary aspects, here it's all beauty and light and fun. The writing felt somewhat awkward to me at times. Like someone would say "Tell me," meaning "Tell me about it," in agreement, but I would continually read it as if they were asking for more information. Or she wrote "{My} kitchen skills were severely limited to boiling water and adding milk to cereal." That sentence is just weird. Either say that the skills are severely limited and leave it at that, or say that they are limited to whatever. Doing both just ruins the flow.

 Or, and this is the final and worst offender in my opinion, this sentence: "Not to mention how one minute he's talking like a normal guy, and the next he sounds like Heathcliff, or Darcy, or some other character from a Bronte sister's book." Erm, Darcy isn't a Bronte character, he's an Austen character. It seems like that sentence is supposed to make Ever look all intelligent for being able to name-drop classic book characters, but it's very poorly done. She also got extremely repetitive with mannerisms. Ever would constantly "press her lips together", and almost every single time Damen spoke to Ever, it was with his lips on her neck/ear/cheek etc. Haven apparently ate nothing but cupcake frosting, and Miles nothing but Vitamin Water. This was a quick read, but it just didn't do it for me. And considering how much of it felt like it was ripped right out of the pages of other books, some good, some not so good, I was really disappointed.

I should just really go with my gut and give it 2 stars. =\


  1. Thank you for such a detailed review! I feel like I JUST read a book with a character named Haven... but have no idea what it was... I totally agree with you on the copy-cat Edward/Bella storylines. It seems like they just keep popping up! Thanks for stopping by Book Love!! (I just became a new follower of yours :)

  2. so I just have to say...good job with the stars. I have absolutely no idea how to do that without them having some kinda background, know what I mean?

    Its okay though, I'm a rebel and am not showing ratings on my blog reviews ;)