Monday, 7 March 2011

Nevermore by Kelly Creagh

5 Stars. (Young Adult - PNR)

This was a great read! The type of book you'll keep thinking about long after you've finished reading it.
Unique in its incorporation of Edgar Allen Poe poems and stories, Nevermore by Kelly Creagh kept me glued to the pages and continually guessing.

I loved the characters. Unique and real all in their own ways I could clearly picture everyone involved in the story. Varen was a great hero and I really liked that Creagh didn't fall back on the "tall-dark-handsome-dangerous" routine. Varen does have mystique and he is tall and dark what with his goth appearance, but he's not a 'tough' guy, know-it-all who can stand up or face anything. He's very human and has all the vulnerability and insecurity that goes along with that, while also being a very sensible and engaging and honest character.

Isobel, who at the outset seems to be another one of those peppy, blond, bombshell, snobbish types is actually a very caring and warm-hearted, realistic high school girl. I really enjoyed her character and the ways she dealt with issues she faced in the book. I really enjoyed the slow and honest progression of her feelings and friendship with Varen. Neither one of them wanted to be partnered with the other or even talk to the other in the beginning, but from that first scene they shared their was an instant, yet subtle connection between the two.

Isobel's parents are often annoying, but in that parental way that seemed appropriate for the story and for Isobel's overall character. I wondered at first why they had such strict rules and seemingly overbearing reactions to Isobel trying to do her homework - but Isobel herself expressed these concerns of mine in her own dialogue so I felt better knowing she felt the same way about her parents that I did! (always fun when a character agrees with you - makes you feel closer :P)
Her interactions with her parents are well played and never come off as false or overdone, which I appreciated. Danny, Isobel's younger brother was hilarious and provided a lot of comic relief along with Gwen - who is one of the best written characters. Her wit is hilarious.

The mean girls and guys are appropriately nasty and I wanted to beat them all! Again, I liked that Isobel, who at the beginning seemed to fit perfectly in this crowd, was actually on the outside of it and faced the consequences of their wrath.

The mystery of this entire story is well done and although you don't find out much until the last 100 pages or so, I didn't mind at all. The book is in large part set up for the further novels, but this never seemed tedious or too long winded. Everything is needed to set the tone for the real vs. dream world war I'm sure readers will face in the next two installments
**pause to weep over the fact that the next one isn't out for another year**

The atmosphere of Trenton High School is so real and evocative, I hated high school myself and never had the typical high school experience, but this book made me want to go back and experience the good the bad and the ugly, (maybe only for a day...or a few hours - I'm not that desperate) if only to meet someone like Varen and unearth this type of compelling mystery.

I'm a big literature fan and to have a paranormal-ish book based around a literary figure who died under very strange circumstances was really fun and a pleasure to read. Creagh did a great job of weaving Poe facts into the mystery of the novel as readers slowly make sense of it all and put the pieces together. I can't wait to see where it all goes in the next two novels in the series.

A great read to curl up with!
and a wonderful new voice in teen fiction, but definitely suitable for older readers, which I myself am.

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