Sunday, October 10, 2010

Review: Evermore by Alyson Noël

Author: Alyson Noël
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Series: The Immortals #1
Pages: 356
Genre: Paranormal
Release Date: February 3, 2009
How Received: Library 
SummarySince a horrible accident claimed the lives of her family, sixteen-year-old Ever can see auras, hear people's thoughts, and know a person's life story by touch. Going out of her way to shield herself from human contact to suppress her abilities has branded her as a freak at her new high school--but everything changes when she meets Damen Auguste.

Ever sees Damen and feels an instant recognition. He is gorgeous, exotic and wealthy, and he holds many secrets. Damen is able to make things appear and disappear, he always seems to know what she's thinking--and he's the only one who can silence the noise and the random energy in her head. She doesn't know who he really is--or what he is. Damen equal parts light and darkness, and he belongs to an enchanted new world where no one ever dies. 

My Thoughts:
I debated about reviewing this one for a while. I’m still not even sure if I should. As many of you know, I was born and raised in Southern California. Where was the story set? Southern California. Now, I’ve never read a book set in So. Cal, so I got all excited and was pretty much fan-girling at the beginning. Then... I thought it might be better if I don’t read a book set in an area around me. Why? I review it more harshly and critically than intended. And it usually ends up ruining the book for me.

So before I even begin, I’m going to say I teeter on a like/dislike slate with this novel.

Let me start off with there were almost no descriptions whatsoever. At all. We’d get descriptions on clothes, and fleeting descriptions about their surroundings, but that’s it. If I wasn’t such a Laguna Beach junkie, I wouldn’t have been able to envision this area at all. We don’t even get a description about her school, or her house. This is where my So. Cali’an offense comes in. She never mentioned the mountains looming in the background, or the winding streets, or the ocean, or the beautiful Californian sunsets at the beach, or the crisp, salty scent of the ocean air. I’ve been to Laguna: it’s a crime to have the only thing you mention about it be about the MTV shows.

The second offense is one that hits close to home: the trip they took to Disneyland. There was just no description! She mentions Main Street, but never about what it looks like, the crowd, or the castle at the end. She mentions my two favorite rides, but nothing about what’s inside, or the Rivers of America, which is basically just outside the two rides. And mostly, she never mentions the atmosphere – that everyone is so happy and friendly, even if they really aren’t. Also, it’s just so weird imagining a paranormal occurrence happening at the happiest place on earth. Should I stake out the front gates in hopes of snagging a paranormal romance? :P

Like Need (which I’ve recently reviewed), Evermore is so reminiscent of Twilight, but with the roles reversed. Ever is the one who can read thoughts, not Damen. On page 81, Ever makes the observation that Damen talks funny, as if he’s not from this era. Sound familiar? Wuthering Heights, a central novel in Twilight, makes an appearance in Evermore, too. There were too many coincidental connections that I couldn’t help but compare it. Also, why does Ever never ask how Damen gets her number or her entire schedule? She sure never gave it to him (even off-screen, I’m pretty sure), so why does she never question why he suddenly has all of her personal information?

And while I’m on the topic of Ever, she annoyed the living daylights out of me. I get that she’s hurting, but ohmygod. I could have sworn Ever was bipolar half the time. She’s jealous, petty, paranoid, suspicious, and has no trust whatsoever. She’s so freaking... stupid. Constantly, she’s finding things about Damen that are strange but she never pauses once to consider it, to think about it, or to even ask him. Not very realistic. She says she won’t do something one moment, and the next she’s doing it again. I’m not sure, but I think I didn’t like her so much because she reminds me of me (less PMS-y though). Oh, and I forgot to mention... What in the WORLD is up with her unreasonable hatred towards Ava? The lady only wants to help you shield and send your sister to a better place, and Ever throws glares and witch-fits toward her as if Ava’s trying to kill her or something. Her anger towards Ava is totally unwarranted.   

The one character I could stand was Damen. I felt sorry for him for having to put up with Ever – she NEVER listened to him or let him explain anything. Ever heard benefit of the doubt? (haha, see what I did there? :D) I also loved Ever’s best friend, Miles. He’s gay, and totally awesome – his sense of humor totally lightened up all the drama with Ever and Haven and he always put a smile on my face whenever he was talking. I won’t even mention Haven because I have nothing good to say about her.

Okay, so this is mostly looking like a negative review, which isn’t what I thought overall. So I’ll go back to some positives. The storyline threw me for a loop for a while there, because I did think I was getting into a vampire story. I knew nothing of this series, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. It was definitely not a vampire story, let me tell you. There weren’t any plot twists (or if there were, I didn’t count them as plot twists) so nothing was too surprising. But when the storyline finally revealed what was going on, I figured that hey, maybe this is a bit unique. But since we didn’t get an elaboration of what happened yet, I’ll have to read the second book to confirm that.

Cover Musings: Nothing wow-tastic. I love the purple hue and the red tulip (and what it represents), but it wouldn’t make me want to pick it up in a bookstore.

Memorable Quotes:
[as much as the book lacked in description, it lacked in quotes, too.]
“I guess I never wonder: Why me?
Mostly I think: Why them and not me?” (pg. 19)

‘I was, but then—well, I kind of got cramps, and—”
‘Stop right there,’ Miles says. ‘Seriously, say no more.’
‘Did I miss anything?’ I ask, closing my eyes against the thoughts in his head , the words scrolling before me like a late-breaking news ribbon on CNN: Ew! Disgusting! Why do they insist on talking about that stuff?” (pg. 265)

Overall Thoughts/Comments: Even though this sounds like a mostly negative review, I really did actually like the book. After getting past Ever’s annoyingness and Haven’s stupid dramatic antics, I was able to enjoy the book overall – I wanted to see what in the world was going to happen. The plot and storyline aren’t quite original, but it’s heading that way. It was a quick read, and easily made me want to read the next book!

Rating: 3/5


Alissa said...

I agree about the bipolar thing; she was pretty annoying. I never did get into this book. Thanks for the review!

La Coccinelle said...

I hated this book (I thought it was pretty much a Twilight rip-off), but I do agree with some of the points in your review. The lack of descriptions of southern California were (now that I think about it) kind of disappointing. I think the author took for granted that we'd be familiar with the area. (I lived in the Laguna area for 2 years as a kid, so when she mentioned the beach or the canyon or driving to Disneyland, I automatically pictured those places in my mind. But someone with no experience of the area? Yeah, I can see how that would be a problem.)

Be forewarned: the books get worse from here on out. Just look at the star ratings on and you'll get the idea. I gave up after the second book. The whole series was just getting bad.

Kristina Barnes♥ said...

@Alissa: I took me a while to get into the book. But I swear, I rolled my eyes so much while reading.

@La Coccinelle: I thought the same thing too, actually (about it being a Twilight rip-off)! Glad I'm not the only one! I agree with you as well; I think since Alyson lives in Laguna, she just didn't seem it was necessary to describe things she saw every day.

Oh, ouch, do they? I haven't checked out other reviews on the later novels (except I keep hearing over and over that the fourth one sucked and a lot of old lovers of the series quit it after that book). I think I'll keep going, since I've never given up on a series, but this one might be my first if I was so harsh with the first book.

Literature for Lunch said...

Brilliant review. I will tell you, though, I am definitely sad that I bought this book. I am not planning on reading it based on your review and the subsequent comments. I had such high hopes for it, too. Boo.

I do, however, think that you should stand in front of Disneyland and await a paranormal romance. That was priceless.

I just cannot take an annoying protagonist. Thank you for your honest, well-written review! :)

Ashlie Swainston said...

I'm kinda sad this book didn't get a better rating, I wanted to start some Noel books but haven't yet. Have you read another one of her books that is better than this one? P.s. I'm getting your gift card off today!

<3, Ashlie

Kristina Barnes♥ said...

@Jennifer: Thank you! :) I try to be as honest as I can and I always give a fair chance to all the books I review. :) I had really high hopes for it -- I marked it down as "GET THIS NAO!" which is why I chose to read it. I just... It just disappointed. There were times when I wanted to stab Ever. :/

Haha, I totally agree with you about staking out my paranormal romance though! :D I'll be on the lookout for tall, dark, and handsome next Disney trip!

@Ashlie: Well, it wasn't that bad. But it wasn't that good, either. I haven't had a chance to pick up copies of the series (library has 'em checked out constantly), but when I get my hands on them, I'll let you know! :)

Anonymous said...

I felt the same way to, but I found Haven to be way more annoying than Ever.

Kristina Barnes♥ said...

SAME HERE UGH. I didn't even mention Haven because she pissed me off so much. I'm normally not a violent person, but I wanted to stab Haven.

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