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.
I didn't know what to expect when it came time to read NEVERMORE by Kelly Creagh. The English major in me was excited because there were Poe references (even if I'm not a Poe fan), and the girl in me was excited because I was craving for another love story about the popular kid falling for the goth kid. Stereotypical, yes, but sometimes, those make for some interesting reads.
Boy was I in for a shocker.
I was unimpressed with the beginning of this book. I felt like Isobel and all her popular friends were over-dramatic. Likewise, I felt that Isobel's father (her mother, not so much), was also way too involved/dramatic and unrealistic. Maybe it's just me, but I can't picture people acting the way the characters did at the start. I understand it was necessary for the book in order to keep the story going, but it just... felt forced.
It also made me bemoan the fact that this book was 500+ pages in length. In fact, I started doing the dreaded... flip the pages ahead to see how big a chunk of the book was left to finish. You know, where you have to read 100+ pages for history, and it's dry and boring and all you want to do is sleep, but you can't because if you don't do this assignment you're screwed? That was me. With a book I requested. I could have slapped myself silly for that one.
But then something magical happened. I went from being on the verge of slamming this book shut to being engrossed with the plot and characters. Everything went from weird and ringing false (character-wise) to being a story I actually could enjoy. Enjoyed so much, in fact, that I stayed up until 4AM last night reading.
So the first third of the book was weird, and I wasn't a fan. The middle, however, is where things became interesting for me. I think it's because Varen and Isobel clicked, despite both of them facing so many obstacles. Plus, I absolutely adored the interactions between the two. I wish I had a guy in high school willing to climb my roof to see me! I was falling for Varen right alongside Isobel, which was an extremely pleasant experience.
The last third of the book... well, it got a bit trippy. I was wondering if our wonderful author was on acid (there's a comment about the characters being on acid in the book) because some of the things I read were way out there. It had an Alice in Wonderland-esque vibe. I liked it, but it was definitely out there in regards to things I've read.
And do not get me started on that ending. I literally screamed when I read the last line. Even now, I can't decide if I should be mad with this ending, or if I should be excited about the second book in this series... whenever it may be released. Beware the cliffhanger folks.
So yeah, it might be a bit of a slow start for you too. And if that's the case? Take my advice and chug through it, because the rest will blow your mind. You don't need to be familiar with Edgar Allan Poe in order to follow along with this book. In fact, you can detest his poetry and still love this book! Highly recommended for everyone to read this fall. Especially around Halloween.