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Monday, September 28, 2009

Evernight by Claudia Gray

Genre: YA Fantasy

Copyright: 2008

Pages: 327

Rating 3 1/2 Crowns

When the story begins in Evernight, Bianca has just left the small town where she's spent her whole life. She's a new student at Evernight Academy, a creepily Gothic boarding school where her classmates are somehow too perfect: smart, sleek and almost predatory. Bianca knows she doesn't fit in.

Then she meets Lucas, another loner, who seems fiercely determined not to be the "Evernight type." There's a connection between Bianca and Lucas that can't be denied. She would risk anything to be with him—but dark secrets are fated to tear them apart... and to make Bianca question everything she's ever believed to be true. www.claudiagray.com/

My thoughts on Evernight are quite conflicted, and before I get booed out of court or egged, let me try to explain. I loved the concept, star-crossed lovers, Romeo & Juliet style feud, dark, gothic setting casting a menacing, edgy aura, interesting characters and some pretty suspenseful writing. So what you ask was my problem?? The first 100 pages or so are a little slow, lots of teen angst and striving to fit in, then a surprise development. Now there's nothing wrong with surprise developments, I actually love them, but I was shocked by the author's execution. When reading a first person narrative I expect a degree of transparency to that character's thoughts and feelings, and for me to suddenly believe something that the narrator knew all along was just not ... believable. I have a feeling that the author has done this with intention rather than poor writing as there are hints along the way but I just wasn't convinced by the 1st person rendition.

I don't think the above mentioned issue will be a problem in Stargazer or subsequent novels, simply because it's already done. After the 'reveal' I enjoyed the rest of the book, the new twists were entertaining and there is plenty of plot potential. The vampire mythology is a mix of traditional and new ideas which I thought worked well and and despite the growing number of vampire books centred around academies, Evernight is actually quite orginal as the boarding school was established to help teen vampires become savvy with modern technology.

Bianca is likeable enough, she's a little awkward and while she constantly makes mention of her painful shyness, there wasn't really much evidence of it. Lucas is a complex character, he's secretive, protective, hot-tempered, abrasive and not at all conventional which I really liked but he's not without a certain vulnerability. There's an immediate connection between Bianca & Lucas, their friendship develops into love but the road to true love is not without some major speed bumps. The secondary characters are all quite interesting but the character I wanted more of was Balthazar. I have my fingers crossed that Balthazar will be a character in the forefront of Stargazer.

The ending, while not a cliffhanger leaves many unanswered questions obviously setting the scene for Stargazer and I for one am keen to find out where this series is going.

Next books in the Evernight series:
  • Stargazer (March 2009)

  • Hourglass (March 2010)

  • Afterlife
Visit Claudia Gray's website to find out more.

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Mandi said...

I agree with you - while the big twist really surprised me, I felt weird after I read it..like is there another twist coming up. I actually went back to read the first half again to see if I could have guessed at the twist..I don't know.

I am looking forward to Stargazer...

ParaJunkee said...

You know, I did enjoy this book but I do remember thinking the author was a cad - especially after she revealed all these extraneous classes and stuff (like that modern class). I also didn't think the idea of a school was believable. Why would vamps have to mask their efforts as high school??? The whole concept was a little off and not completely brought together well. But - through all that I still enjoyed it, and look forward to the next one. Thanks for the review.

elnice said...

Ok, I've been eyeing this for a while. I appreciate the honest review. I am going to wait for Hourglass before I start reading

Anonymous said...

I found Evernight to be a little slow,but still liked it..Stargazer was alot better.

Teddyree said...

Mandi & Parajunkee ~ I picked up little hints in the 1st half but its weird, I still enjoyed it even though I thought it had quite a few flaws. The author obviously did something right as I too am looking foward to Stargazer.

Elnice ~ If I enjoy Stargazer I'll certainly continue on with the series.

elaing8 ~ I already have Stargazer & I'm looking foward to reading it so glad to hear you enjoyed it

The Book Resort said...

I really enjoyed Evernight & thought it was better than most teen vampire books cropping up.

Gr8 review!


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