blo Teens Read and Write: Evernight

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


by Claudia Gray
352 pages

Bianca wants to escape.
She's been uprooted from her small hometown and enrolled at Evernight Academy, an eerie Gothic boarding school where the students are somehow too perfect: smart, sleek, and almost predatory. Bianca knows she doesn't fit in.

Then she meets Lucas. He's not the "Evernight type" either, and he likes it that way. Lucas ignores the rules, stands up to the snobs, and warns Bianca to be careful - even when it comes to caring about him. But the connection between Bianca and Lucas can't be denied. Bianca will risk anything to be with Lucas, but dark secrets are fated to tear them apart...and to make Bianca question everything she's ever believed."

Paranormal/urban fantasy is my favorite genre. I've been in love with vampires in particular for five or six years - before Twilight, thank you very much. So whenever I see something about vampires, I snap it up.

Now, the prologue reads very exciting, "The burning arrow thudded into the wall." We get this page of actiony (is that a word?) drama and it ends beautifully with "Outside the vampires waited." Boom. I bought it.

But, oh dear, I'd have to recommend it as more of a checkout from your local library book. Don't get me wrong, it's really good, but I'm telling you, the sequel HAS to be better.

Claudia Gray is praised by many for not delving into backstory, but when the book ended, I'm sitting there thinking "This book IS the backstory. Book two has got to be where the main characters' story really takes off!"

Now I haven't read the second book yet, (but I will soon, I'm on the library list - see, I practice what I preach) because of a petty grudge over the following incident.

The first half of the book there isn't an inkling of vampires. Sure there are plenty of people who are "weird" or "perfect" blahbity, blah, but there are no fangs, super strength, or any cool vampire things.

When Ms. Gray finally dropped the V-Bomb, (about the middle of the book) I stared at the page for a full minute, stunned, the only words in my vocabulary being "Whoa, back up," which I did. Figuring I must have missed something, I went through the previous hundred-some pages looking for clues. The "clues" we're given are not "clues." Ms. Gray did not lay out the the whole vampire thing for us in an "obvious way" as many reviewers say. (And this is my genre, people. I'm familiar with this stuff.)

I felt cheated. The entire book is written first person from Bianca's point of view and she keeps the secret from the reader for half the book!

But once I uncurled my fists, stopped my ranting, and my face lost the beet red shade, the book picked up serious momentum - funny how the introduction of the paranormal world does that. Lucas and Bianca have a sexy, forbidden love relationship. Bianca's character is easy to empathize with and what girl doesn't love the dark, brooding bad boy?

All in all, a solid good read and I'm actually excited to get the sequel - Stargazer. The third book, Hourglass, is out in 2010.

I like her covers...mostly. I don't like seeing so much of her face on Hourglass. I never like to see an actual face of what the publisher thinks the main character looks like. I like to make up my own mind. And quite frankly, the face on Hourglass reminds me too much of Selene Dion. Is it just me?


Tales of Whimsy said...

Cool review :)

Anonymous said...

I just read this....
I was like Whoa too when Bianca turned out to be the you know what I was like come on...the writing lead you to believe it was Lucus!!
I still liked it BUT I mean i felt like I was in the dark during the first half.

Jessica said...

Celine Dion? lol
That's too funny. Now that you mention it, I think I see it, too. :D

I enjoyed your review! I think I will wait to see what you think of the second book before I commit to the series though. :)

Sarbear said...

I'm not seeing Celine Dion but something about it's kinda creepy...

Anonymous said...

I checked this out at the library last week. Nice review.

Alyssa Kirk said...

Juju - thanks!

Tina - I know! I don't mind a red herring but I didn't like that something so important was kept from me for so long.

Jessica - I knew it wasn't just me on the Celine thing.
Yeah, I'd wait too. I should be having the review on Stargazer within a month so keep an eye out!

Sarbear - Yeah, it's creepy...because it looks like Celine Dion LOL!

Dani - Have you had a chance to read any of it yet. What do you think?

Amy J said...

Great review! I am reading this now and just got to the V-Bomb. Your review was dead on! LOL

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NY Book Cafe said...

Good review, although you sound a little frustrated!! Hope you enjoy the second book better!

Alyssa Kirk said...

Amy - read your interview. Loved it. We think alike on this one.

Jennifer - Yes it's frustrating. I'll try the second book and let you know how it goes!

Anonymous said...

I absolutely LOVE the Evernight series. I was the same way you were when you found out about the vamp thing!

Alyssa Kirk said...

emsjuarez - I like it too even though I felt irritated at how it set me up. I'll be interested in the second one. Thanks for stopping by!

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