Author: Alyson Noël
Alright, I’m not one to judge a book by it’s cover (eh) or even by the reviews I’ve read about it. I always try to make my own opinion of a novel before I declare it a miss. So, I boldly went ahead and picked up Evermore because it looks like the kind of book past-me would have enjoyed about five or six years ago. And hey, why not indulge in a little nostalgia. I should’ve seen the warning inherent in that.
It’s a book for teenage girls.
Before you jump down my throat saying that “YA fiction transcends age-groups”, let me digress. I love YA. I think it’s fantastic that there is now a genre for that strange, particular age-group and even as a (supposed) adult, I enjoy reading about teenage girls/boys off saving the world, falling in love and just living their lives. It works, especially if the writing is good, the characters fleshed-out and there is a strong voice.
When it reads like a teenage girl’s diary, and that teenage girl has a flair for the dramatic and supernatural, then I find it harder to engage. The basics. Okay. (Deep-breath.)
Meet Ever Bloom (yes, that is her real name), psychic, anti-social and recovering from the death of her entire family. Cool. Her friends, Haven (a goth) and Miles (a very stereotyped gay male) make up the typical high-school trio. Think Janis and Damien from Mean Girls, if you saw that movie like ten years ago, because these two are carbon copies. But, fine, I understand this is a tested formula that’s worked in the past.
Then, oh jeez, then Damen Auguste arrives. He’s perfect, talented, charming and mysterious. Oh, and everyone can’t help but think about how “totally smoking hot” he is. We get a front row seat to every quivering female teenage thought about him because, you got it, Ever is giving us a complete narrative of them, and as soon as she pulls her head out of her arse and realises that she does in fact like him, she natters on about his “sexiness” nearly every page where he’s present. At least she can’t read his mind -yeah, that’s a thing in this book- so we don’t have to hear his simpering thoughts about her golden hair.
Oh, and there’s his BIG SECRET.
Yup, he’s got one of those too. Jeez. Sounding familiar? I got massive Twilight Saga vibes through most of the book, especially when Ever went on and on about how perfect and superior Damen is to every other guy, how he’s practically superhuman with all his talents and the fact he can apparently pull flowers out of his asshole. (Not literally or this would be a very different novel.) The cover should be a giveaway, since she’s making goo-goo eyes at a red tulip.
I’m going to try and not give spoilers, but the assumption I made that Damen is a vampire is wrong, despite the fact that Noël seems to be leading us up to just that point. Well, no, he’s not, but he might as well be. He’s lived for-fucking-ever and drinks some red goop all the time instead of eating. For 70% of the novel, that’s the impression you get and I could see similarities with every other vampire book I’ve had the misfortune to read.
And speaking of plot…what plot? I tried really hard to find the beginning, middle and end of this book and I just couldn’t. Instead I found a rambling deluge of teenage thoughts, angst, a brief dramatic dip into alcoholism that lasts little more than twenty pages and a whole load of stuff about how hot Damen is. There were many threads left untied, despite the scrambling at the end to get everything explained in a ten-page splurge. I guess this was always supposed to be a series. Can I make myself read the rest? If I get snowed in with only those books, sure.
My last rant is about the name: EVER? EVER BLOOM? Is that a pun about immortality and flowers? Or was it chosen so the author could make jokes like “Don’t follow me, Ever.” Erk, I don’t even want to mention names like Haven, Honor and the others. Where are these girls living? California or mid-16th Century Europe? Or in someone’s fantasy where everyone has poetic names?
I feel bad writing a poor review for this book, but it just wasn’t…good. It’s full of clichés, the plot wavers and wanders and the plot culminates in an info-dump. I’m not gonna pass judgement on Noël’s other books, but this one didn’t meet even my lowest standards for teenage fiction. I suppose anyone thirsting for another Twilight would enjoy it, but I don’t want another Twilight. I wanted something new and exciting and this just wasn’t it.
I’d say, unless you’re a 14-year-old girl, give this a miss.