Book Review: Nevermore by Kelly Creagh

Sunday, 14 August 2011 19:49 by Avery Olive
I’ve decided to add book reviews to my blog repertoire. Since I write Young Adult, I’m going to start off by saying that yes, a large portion of my book reviews will be Young Adult. That doesn’t mean I don’t read Adult books, or even Middle Grade, I do, sometimes. But to keep up with the current times (since sadly I am no longer a Young Adult) I stick to reading what I like, what I know and of course, what I write.
The first book I’m reviewing is Nevermore by Kelly Creagh. I bought this for my Kindle minutes before leaving for a weekend camping trip. I had just realized I didn’t have a thing to read, I panicked, I pulled out my iPhone, went to my Goodreads App (if you don’t have it, you should) and searched for a book. There happened to be a list, Best Gothic Book Covers. I was curious. I selected it and started to scroll down until Nevermore caught my eye. Being a Poe fan (That’s Edgar Allan, if you are wondering) the Raven quickly came to mind. The cover was interesting, was it hardcore Goth? No. But after reading the blurb I downloaded and was on my way camping in less than a few minutes.

Cheerleader Isobel Lanley is horrified when she is paired with Varen Nethers for an English project, which is due—so unfair—on the day of the rival game. Cold and aloof, sardonic and sharp-tongued, Varen makes it clear he’d rather not have anything to do with her either. But when Isobel discovers strange writing in his journal, she can’t help but give this enigmatic boy with the piercing eyes another look.

Soon, Isobel finds herself making excuses to be with Varen. Steadily pulled away from her friends and her possessive boyfriend, Isobel ventures deeper and deeper into the dream world Varen has created through the pages of his notebook, a realm where the terrifying stories of Edgar Allan Poe come to life.

As her world begins to unravel around her, Isobel discovers that dreams, like words, hold more power than she ever imagined, and that the most frightening realities are those of the mind. Now she must find a way to reach Varen before he is consumed by the shadows of his own nightmares.

His life depends on it. –Quoted from Goodreads.com
I feel your eyes narrowing, your mouth twitching as you grumble with distaste. The first paragraph had you rolling your eyes, didn’t it? Cheerleader aka popular and good-looking get’s paired with, not so popular misunderstood (Goth) guy. Hasn’t this story line been written, to death? Haven’t we seen it time and time again? Sure, we have, but not quite like this. I admit, I rolled my eyes too, but the blurb did its job and after getting passed the first paragraph (where I rolled my eyes too and sighed) my attention perked.
How could you not be interested in a dream world, a realm where the terrifying stories of Edgar Allan Poe come to life?
And that’s just what the Author did. If you aren’t familiar with Poe’s work, then you might have missed a lot of intricately tied in references to his stories, his poems, the characters and the worlds he created. But that’s not all, she gave a unique twist on the paranormal aspects, going farther than typical ghosts and gouls and created a world of antagonist’s that any Poe fan would love.
The love story is honest and the main character, Isobel, who at first glance is one thing, only to shed layers over the course of the novel  proving that her personality, the heart that which makes her not just any other prep shines through. Isobel is intelligent, funny and clever. And when put in a few circumstances where I thought she’d prove to be like any other YA character, she truly gives us a flare for the unexpected, even slapping her ex boyfriend, to give him a taste of what’s right and wrong.
Varen, the other lead character, is so, so well written. He’s broody, quiet and a little weird but when given a chance to open up, allowing Isobel into his world he's even more interesting. When he talks it’s because he’s got something to say, and it makes you wish he was in the same room as you, whispering into your ear and not Isobel’s.
The Author did an amazing job creating well rounded characters, incorporating her own love of Poe into a modern day novel full of twists, intrigue and love and of course, leaving you wanting more. Which is coming in 2012! I think myself, other aspiring writers and debut novelists should take a cue from Kelly Creagh, this is how you write characters, build suspense and weave a tale so similar, yet so unlike it’s fellow YA books.
This is a must read for anyone!

9 Response to "Book Review: Nevermore by Kelly Creagh"

  1. Scott Springer Says:

    yes, while reading the first paragraph I did think, kids pushed together to do an english assigment, are you kidding me . . .

    but, so glad to hear it gets better. guess I'll add it to my reading list.

    thanks for the review, looking forward to more

  2. Avery Olive Says:

    Thanks!
    It really impressed me, I'm of course they fall in love, but the story is so much better than the typical YA novel that starts with a similar premise--two unlikley kids get pushed together :)

  3. Kathy Ann Coleman Says:

    Great review. :) I bought this book last week but haven't gotten around to reading it yet. I'm looking forward to it.

  4. lenakfb Says:

    Great review. I admit, at first yes, i was kind of reluctant about the book, after reading the first paragraph.
    But then as i went on it started interesting me more.
    I'm not EAGER to start reading this, but I think i'll put it in my to-read list and give it a try, since you say it's so good.

  5. Avery Olive Says:

    @ Kathy Ann Coleman, thanks! it's my first review and it sure was so much harder to write! I thought it would be easy!

    @lenakfb all you have to do is give it a try! But off course different people like different thing :)

  6. Linda Says:

    Great review! I think this book sounds really interesting and I love Poe.

  7. Avery Olive Says:

    @Linda
    Thanks so much!

  8. Steven Whibley Says:

    What a great review, Avery. It's now firmly on my "to read" list! Great Blog by the way. I'm loving your posts!

  9. Avery Olive Says:

    Thanks for dropping by and leaving a comment Steven!