Author: Kelly Creagh
Publisher: Atheneum/Simon & Schuster
Rating: 5 Stars
Release Date: August 31, 2010
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Simon & Schuster’s Website for Nevermore
Something otherworldly is haunting Varen Nethers-invading his dreams and consciousness. But is it real? When does the line between fantasy and reality blur? When does it become deadly? For the rest of the student body of Trenton High, Varen, is a mysterious pariah, a black clad bad boy-a green-eyed enigma. And as Trenton mainly keeps to its segregated cliques, mixing is strongly discouraged-from all parties.
But when cheerleader Isobel Lanley is paired with Varen on an English project, the two opposites find that there is nothing more combustible than their unlikely attraction to one another. But that becomes the least of their worries. Because Varen is in deep, dark trouble. As they become more involved with their English project on Edgar Allen Poe, his life, his words, and the stories of his creation become sinuously alive in the hands of Varen. Something oily and evil is spilling over from Poe’s world and it wants the power that Varen has…and it will not hesitate at a body count. Their connection for one another has to take a back seat to the unfurling of an evil that threatens to pull Varen in-for good. Can Isobel manage to save him? Can they get out when they are trapped between two realms?
Creagh takes her time building the story, carefully fleshing out Varen and Isobel’s roles, who they are and what each of them need from each other. In many ways the readers are just as much a part of this romance as Creagh’s two leads. It doesn’t happen instantly-it is more of a gentle unfolding. She allows the readers to get to know both characters intimately-their motivations, and their untapped potential. It is these hidden characteristics that surface and makes them so appealing-that smashes the stereotype. Isobel realizes there is more to her than cheerleading and her former vacuous lifestyle-even her friends seem so different, so alien to her just from her exposure to Varen. Likewise, Varen lets Isobel into his life-sharing painful bits of it with her.
Nevermore was tender, and engrossing, so richly textured and acutely rendered. Creagh managed such an innovative twist on Poe lore, and turned it into a creepy reality. What an incredible premise! The chemistry between Varen and Isobel is positively simmering and as necessary as breathing. I love that Creagh painted these two as so dissimilar. Through the journey of Nevermore, they manage to build something, and forget what clique they are from-what their differences may be. The high school settings where Varen and Isobel cross swords is uncannily and brutally familiar. Creagh totally “gets it”, the whole painful and traumatic high school experience and it becomes a vital part of this fantasy piece. There is one scene where Isobel confronts Varen that’s a guaranteed tearjerker for readers. So get ready and grab the Kleenex girls! Many elements have managed to be woven together and it works to bring this beautiful story to the forefront-an unforgettable and graceful story. When you reach the end, just remember its not the end. Remember that “Nevermore” is a trilogy…so we will definitely be seeing more of Varen and Isobel!
A Fiendishly Bookish Review (and one grumpy cat)