Thursday, August 13, 2009

Book Review: Evermore by Alyson Noel

Title: Evermore

Author: Alyson Noel

Pages: 305

Summary (from alysonnoel.com):

Since a horrible accident claimed the lives of her family, Ever can see auras, hear people's thoughts, and know a person's entire life story by touch. Going out of her way to avoid human contact and suppress her abilities has branded her as a freak at her new high school—but everything changes when she meets Damen.

Damen Auguste is gorgeous, exotic and wealthy. He's the only one who can silence the noise and random energy in her head—wielding a magic so intense, it's as though he can see straight into her soul. As Ever is drawn deeper into his enticing world of secrets and mystery, she's left with more questions than answers. She has no idea just who he really is—or what he is. The only thing she knows to be true is she's falling deeply and helplessly in love with him.


If there's one thing I can not--I repeat, can not--stand in a book is brand dropping.

You know the ones I'm talking about--the sly mentions of the latest Hot Young Thing, a quick reference to author's favorite book (i.e. House of Night, book 2, when someone mentions Wicked Lovely) or song. Usually, this works with the classics, such as Dracula in Evernight or the band Thin Lizzy in This Lullaby. But if it's a book or a person or a song that is less then three years old, it jsut doesn't work. People reading said book in twenty years will look at said reference, and draw a blank. Evermore, unfortunately, is one of those books.

While the plot is fascinating, if a bit Twilight-esq, the thin characterisation, the awful writing, and the horrendous name dropping completly ruined it for me.

I hate Ever, the protagonist. The first thing I look for in a character is whether I can relate to them, whether they're likable. Ever was...not. In fact, she was probably the most whiney, self-centered brat I had ever read an entire book about. I mean, I understand that your entire family dying in a car crash is traumatizing, I get that she can't touch people because she'll be overwhelmed with their emotions and such, but---shit, girl. Can you say mellow-dramatic? Ever other word is her whining---her aunt, whom she's living with, is spending too much money on her, she's so damn pretty!, Damen likes me, oh how I wish he didn't, I can't touch anyone I can't love anyone my mommy and daddyz deeaaaaddd. It's like...crap, there are such worse problems you could be having....I don't know. It was just incredabley irritating, reading 200 or so pages of a girl angsting out.

As for Damen and Ever's relationship...I have absolutely no idea how they fell in love. Okay, I get Damen's side--he met her years ago, and has continued to meet her over the years--but Ever? She spends a total of two weeks with him, half of which is spent being either jealous/nervous/sweaty/angry/frightened, which leaves...what? How the hell did this girl fall in love with this guy? It left me terribley confused, staring at the page in bewilerment.

Then there's Ever's friends--the Sassy Goth/Punk/Emo Best Friend and the Token/Archtipical Gay Guy--are just as thinly described. Haven and Miles have been written about in nearly every other young adult book since the eighties. They are completly unhelpful, next to useless for the plot, airheaded, one-layered, and...they say things like this:

"What the fug?"


What the fug indeed.

As for the general plot, it does have a fair share of potential. Immortal boy, multi-reincarnated girl (who manages to stay a virgin for numerous decades...?), angst insues, magical powers, etc. But there's really nothin notable about the entire book but for...well, nothing. The only thing I can think of that might make Evermore readable is the fast-paced prose. It will keep you reading, no matter how cheesy and dramatic.

In case your wondering what exactly I mean by cheesy, here's a choice bit from the last page--spoiler free, no worries:

...if eternity starts today, then that's the way I'm going to live it. For this day, and this day only. Knowing that Damen will always be at my side. I mean, always, right?

He looks at me, waiting.

"I love you," I whisper.

"And I love you." He smiles, his lips seaking mine. "Always have, always will."


Yeah. I know.

Also: I know Ms. Noel is capable of better then this mess; I loved her book Cruel Summer. It was well-paced, well written, the characters were decent, and I could understand the relationships as relationships, as opposed to weird fights for power. And very little Name Dropping. If your going to read anything by this author, that'd be it.

Rating: 2--horrible. Not suggested.

And:

Dear Alyson Noel,

Sid Vicious is the bassist for Sex Pistols. Not the singer. BASSIST

And, she also mentions a song...ahem...entitled "(You Never) Call Me When Your Sober" in a very strange, irrelevent moment. However, I do like the song:

2 comments:

Jessica (BookLover) said...

I'm glad I'm not the only one who didn't care for this book. It's almost as if the author was thinking how she could possibly make the book relevent and "hip" but her attempts really brought the story down.

I did not understand Damen and Ever's relationship at all. Yes, I had a clearer idea of why he loved her but I think it would have been better **Spoiler alert for those who haven't read this book** if he didn't always crawl back to the other woman between losing Ever and getting her back.

Anyway, thanks for an honest review!

Jessica said...

I just saw your blog today, and I love your writing! I searched this book because my friend said it was good enough to buy. Now that I've read your review...I hate Twilight if this book is anywhere near has awful as that I'm sorry I wasted the money.

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