Monday, August 30, 2010

Nevermore by Kelly Creagh [Book Inspection] [YA]

Plot Sketch:  Isobel Lanley has it all.  She's got the BMOC football-player boyrfriend, Brad.  She's the top flyer on the Trenton cheerleading team that is in serious contention for Nationals.  All she has to do is pass her English class.  Mr. Swanson always gives Juniors a project. In fact, it's infamous.  But this year, he's decided to do things a little differently... he's assigning partners instead of letting his students choose.  They've got a ten-page paper to write and an oral presentation to give on an author/poet from their book.  Isobel eagerly awaits her name to be called, only when it is, she's speechless.  She is paired with Varen Nethers, that goth guy who sits in the back corner.  She quickly informs him that she's not doing all of the work.  He informs her of the same back.  They agree to meet and work on a project.  Isobel has a jealous boyfriend.  Varen has a jealous pseudo-girlfriend. What begins as a partnership blossoms into a friendship, and possibly more as they navigate the murky realities of their chosen poet's life, Edgar Allan Poe, and find themselves standing up for things, and people, they would never have dreamed of standing up for before.

Verdict:  Page Turner.  Suspenseful.  Horrific.  Freaktastic.  NEVERMORE will take you on a journey unlike you've ever experienced in a YA novel before.  It's an emotional roller coaster taking you from happy to anticipatory, frightened to encouraged, sad to hopeful.  Creagh takes her time developing the plot, giving the characters good motives for their actions and allowing you to feel like these are people whose actions and psychology you can comprehend.  She does a great job of describing a brand-new, scary, chilling dimension, so much so that I actually saw a Noc in a nightmare shortly after finishing this novel.  She adeptly weaves well-researched facts into edgy, dark fiction that made me look at some of Poe's darkest work from new perspectives.  This book is a YA horror, but don't let that YA part throw you because it takes YA horror to a whole new level of eerie, and it has elements of romance, mystery, suspense, and action, so you're sure to find at least one element to love. It's paced wonderfully, especially for a YA, and for a memeber of a series, it's quite long.  The ARC is just under 550 pages.  This is the first book in a planned trilogy.  I will purchase a copy of this for my shelf, and would recommend that you do too.

Location: I think they live in a town called Trenton.  I think Trenton is in Kentucky.
Main Character: Isobel Lanley.  I admire her.  I think she has a strong character, and has a talent to love easily, which is admirable.
Favorite Character: Varen Nethers.  I never thought I'd read about a goth boy that'd make me swoon.  Bravo, Kelly for writing a character so deep and complex and unique as Varen.  Though he might make the list of guys I wouldn't let my daughter date, I think I could argue him a place on the guys I'd want my daughter to date list as well.
Would Change: There were a few passages in the dreamworld sequences that confused me a little.  And at times I felt a little lost, not completely lost, but there were about four times in that sequence (which probably exists over 250 pages) that I had to backup and reread 3-4 paragraphs to figure out what was going on.  If it weren't for those instances, I would have NO complaints about the book.
Favorite Line: "He stared forward, unblinking, as a knife of blue lightning slashed the sky.  'No,'  he said." p. 543, ARC  This line made me go , "Oh I hope, I hope, I hope, I hope!"
Good for Monster? He could get into it.  Seriously.  He could.  But your guy who likes Poe?  He'll adore it.
People Who Will Like This:  Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Veronica Mars, lovers of mystery, The Poe Toaster, fans of the dark, people who like cats, people who love All Hallow's Eve
People Who Won't Like This: Torrance Shipman,  little kids, those who scare easily, annoying idiotic neighbors
Chapters: 50.  They are great lengths, make sense, and have titles.
Author's Website
Acquire It:  Amazon       Book Depository       Changing Hands

Hardcover: 560 pages
Publisher: Atheneum
Publish Date: August 31, 2010 (tomorrow!)
ISBN-10: 1442402008

Note:  After you've read NEVERMORE, head over to Kelly's website and download your free copy of Emily Not Gone by Cemetery Sighs which appears in the book.  So very cool, Kelly, thanks!


April (BooksandWine) said...

Trenton is in New Jersey.

I loved this book!!!

Dazzling Mage said...

Wow, thanks for breaking it down. I really want to read this!

Eleni @ La Femme Readers said...

I loved this book too!!

I Heart Monster said...

I don't think the Trenton in the book is in New Jersey... I could be wrong. I do know that Trenton is the capital of New Jersey though ;o)

Enbrethiliel said...


It definitely sounds interesting--especially the fact that it's actually Horror and not Romance. And dark, "American Gothic" poetry thrown into the bargain? How could it not be made of WIN??? =D Thanks for the review. =)

Faye said...

So glad u liked it! *Has to hurry up and start it*

Alexa said...

I just went out to get a copy of this book today since I won one of the beautiful signed bookmarks to go with it!

Thank you for the review and the contest!