Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Review - NEVERMORE

Nevermore - Kelly Creagh
Genre: YA Paranormal/Suspense/Speculative (maybe)
# of pages: 535 (hb)
Publisher: Atheneum, Simon & Schuster
Recommended for: Upper MS (you gotta kno yo Poe) and beyond!
My Thoughts
Quite possibly, this is my favorite book of 2010. As in a combination of Overall Enjoyability, Creativity, and Quality Writing. It is definitely going to be one of my "Honor Roll" books for the year, that is for sure.The basic setup for the story - loner, reclusive goth boy and Miss Peppy cheerleader are paired for an English project - just really doesn't begin to cover this epic 500+ page saga. I was so curious as to how the author would incorporate Edgar Allan Poe and his works into a modern high school drama setting. But boy howdy, she did. I saw so many Poe references brilliantly and cleverly inserted into the story, and that made reading so very, very enjoyable. Watch for scenes from Cask of Amontillado, a glass-eyed dude bearing strong resemblance to the old man from The Tell Tale Heart, a raven or two, and more! Also, one of the chapter titles is called "Ulalume," which is one of my all-time favorite poems. What I'm trying to say is that this book doesn't just name-drop Poe a few times or make vague, random references to the poet or his works. Instead, Kelly blends Poe's masterpieces with her own incredible imagination to create an original, engaging and highly addictive story.
The characters, too, were so amazing. First off, the main character, Isobel, is not really what you'd expect: she is a cheerleader, but instead of being an overly-cheerful, hyperactive airhead, she actually is really smart, witty, and well-spoken. Varen, too, is not quite what you'd expect either. He was definitely likable, but his cold and aloof personality made him very peculiar - he was actually kind of the mean one in the relationship. While maintaining a steady pace throughout, the first 400 pages gave me a chance to really see the characters interact and get a good understanding for them. Everybody, this is how to portray well-rounded, dynamic characters. And at the same time, Creagh subtly built up the suspense: something's not quite right with Varen, and his peculiar "gift" turns out to be quite a curse. The last 100 pages *BAM* accelerate you into a fantastical-but-creepy dreamworld that Poe himself would probably enjoy. And oh, the ending! How it will make you desperate for the next installment!

Quick say: Everybody, NEVERMORE is an exceptional debut by an amazingly gifted author. You will not want to pass this up. I have a new favorite! And Kelly Creagh has definitely set the standard and raised the bar for exceptional Young Adult paranormal fiction. THIS is what creativity and originality looks like. THIS BOOK RIGHT HERE!
**Apart from a few minor swear words and some brief suggestive dialog, NEVERMORE is also a clean read that advanced middle schoolers will be able to devour as well!**

Final Grade:
I received my free copy of NEVERMORE from Simon & Schuster! Thank you so much!


14 shout-outs!:

Christina T said...

Wow, Amelia! I loved your review of this. Nevermore wasn't high on my priority list but now I am definitely going to get my hands on a copy. I really wouldn't have expected a YA paranormal romance to receive such a high rating from you so it really means something that you thought it was exceptional. Great review! It has been a few years since I last read Poe but I loved his short stories, particularly the Pit and the Pendulum, The Tell Tale Heart, The Cask of Amontillado, and the Fall of the House of Usher. Oh, and of course the Purloined Letter. :)

Eleni @ La Femme Readers said...

I 1,0000% agree with you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am so in love with this book. If it was a guy, I'd totally marry it. :) I loved the writing, plot, and the dreamiest, most sexiest goth guy ever, Varen <333

Alison said...

Great review. I'm quite excited for this one. It sounds creepy - in a good way. And I love the cover.
Alison Can Read

Stray said...

I REALY have to read that Amelia

Cari said...

I really want to read this! Thanks for the review!

Melissa said...

I guess I'll have to give this one a go after all! Great review, Amelia :)

Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com said...

Nice review and grade :) I keep hearing great things about this one :)

Natasha said...

Great review! This book looks super good, and the cover art is beautiful!
I'm going to check this out!

Flippin' Fabulous- A Reader's Record said...

Wow! Totally love how you rate your books, and love that you give them your own age recommendation.

This book as made my wish list for sure!

Fab!

Natalie (Mindful Musings) said...

Excuse me while I fangirl.

EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKK!!!!!!!!!!!!

*Takes deep breath* I'm SO SO SO glad you liked this one. I've been waiting for it since I heard about it. I LOVE Edgar Allan Poe, and I was hoping that I would love this book too. I ordered it a few days ago, and I CAN'T WAIT til it gets here!

Anne Bennett said...

I love books with literary allusions, though I often miss them. I made myself a follower. I enjoyed your writing on several blogs and agreed with you about Mockingjay.
-Anne
http://headfullofbooks.blogspot.com

Ashley @ Book Labyrinth said...

Sounds like the book has some great characters! I appreciate that in a novel.

Dazzling Mage said...

Awesome review. All I've heard about this book is that it's amazing. Definitely on my next-book-to-order list! =D

Jen (Makeshift Bookmark) said...

AMAZING review! I couldn't even get out the right words to express my love for this book. Definitely one of my favorites for 2010.

 
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