on 15 March 2011
'Evermore' is the first book in the series and is about sixteen year old Ever Bloom who is living with her Aunt after a terrible car crash that killed her parents and her younger sister Riley. After surviving the crash which robbed her of her family, Ever discovers that she has the power to hear the thoughts of the people around her and see their auras. She tries to block this out by hiding herself under hooded sweatshirts and having her ipod on at all times but she can't block out new guy Damen Auguste who she seems inexplicably drawn towards. He's mysterious and enigmatic, dark and handsome and her feelings for him might just end up changing her life forever.
What an amazing start to the series - I'm really excited to see where Alyson Noel's going to go next with the story and how she's going to develop all the characters. I liked Ever and I loved her sister Riley (who has her own spin-off series). I enjoy it when books capture the sibling relationship so well and the scenes between the two of them were among some of my favourite moments in the book. Having the ability to still see her sister is a gift for Ever but there's still a healthy dose of realism in that they still fight and bicker like any sisters do! She also has great friends - Haven and Miles are interesting and rounded characters and their involvement in the story was well integrated and added some fun scenes to the book.
Damen is an intriguing figure and although some information was revealed about his past, I'm looking forward to finding out more about his history and how he and Ever first originally met. I was drawn to him and he certainly comes across as charismatic and charming but I'm hoping that there's also going to be more depth to his character. He's got to be more than just a pretty face.
I thought that Noel's idea of the afterlife and the place in between which she calls Summerland was well thought out and wonderfully written. I hope that we'll get to find out more about the latter throughout the rest of the series.
I liked the fact that this wasn't your typical vampire-fare. Certain things in the book hinted at that (a red drink; incredible speed; never getting ill) and led the reader in that direction but the big reveal was so much more interesting and has set things up perfectly for the next book in the series. The paranormal romance genre is big at the moment and I am a huge fan of these kinds of books but sometimes they can be a bit too similar and formulaic. I thought that 'Evermore' felt really fresh and original and had an exciting and engaging plot which kept me hooked until the final pages. I'm desperate now to rejoin Ever, Damen and co and find out what's going to happen to them next.
EVERMORE has had to take many comparisons to Meyer's Twilight Saga, and as I read Noel's book, I could see why. There are startling simialities, even down to "Wuthering Heights" making an appearance. Yet there are also differences to Meyer's successful Saga, perhaps the most important being the ability to keep you wanting to read. Personally, I think Meyer's books suffer from over-writing and repetition. EVERMORE is not so guilty of this. However, if you do not like teenage girls going on about how gorgeous some mysterious boy is, and you do not appreciate paranormal elements to your stories, this book will not be for you.
Ever, the main character of the book, is the sole survivor of a car crash. After her recovery, she has to up sticks to live in L.A. with her aunt. But the crash has changed her circumstances in more than mere geographical terms - she now has the ability to read people's thoughts, see their auras, and know their life story just by mere touch. But there is one person in her new school who she is unable to do such things with, and that is Damen. So, why?
That's the basic plot. There are a few twists and other elements thrown in. But as I am sure you can guess, EVERMORE is a fairly predictable book. as the first in The Immortals series, when I finished it, I have to admit that I wondered how Noel would make it stretch for the other 5 installments that she has set up. Not a great deal happens in EVERMORE, and I'm not sure how much this is down to Noel beginning the story of Ever and Damen, how much is just setting the scene, so to speak.
Having said that, what I loved about EVERMORE was how Ever was a much better character than Bella from Twilight. Ever has more of a backbone and although she herself sees herself as being on the edge of her school population, she does have friends - friends which she keeps throughout the book, rather than droppiong them for the boy she desires.
Do not pick up this book expecting to be blown away by a completely new idea - if you read a lot of YA fiction, you'll have seen it all before. But, that doesn't mean that it's not enjoyable as a way to pass some time.
on 10 April 2011
I bought this book because I do like paranormal fantasy things such as Twilight, Vampire Diaries, Sookie Stackhouse novels (what True Blood is based on), etc, but this book utterly failed in its endeavor to be anything like them because it is clear Noel is trying to be too much like them, especially Twilight. I'm not saying Twilight doesn't have its flaws, it does, it definitely does, but it was better written and more believeable than this.
First problem I had, and it's the main one the relationship between Damen and Ever is unrealistic, and not very romantic, it lacks connection, spark, any real emotion. That is the thing, this book is marketed at young adults, who are just growing to the idea of love, romance, boys, girls etc, and books like this set up unrealistic ideas about it. It's like, love shouldn't be like this at all, (and I understand there's a paranormal element in them, but taking that away) the connection isn't there at all.
Ever is utterly unlikeable,as are most of the other characters and the ending is just like WHAT?! Seriously? I put it down and thought, never again, not picking up another of her books again. The disappointing thing was had she tried to be original, and actually develop the relationship between the two of them, it would have been really good.
on 8 December 2010
Consider this broadly a review of Fallen by Lauren Kate as well. The general feeling for both is one of huge disappointment. OK so I'll be honest, yes the reason we are all here is thanks to Twilight. Whether you love or hated that book - it kicked off a deluge in the teen paranormal romance genre.
I in particular was extrememly excited by these two books as they deal with a sub section which appeals to me greatly, that of the fallen angel and the re-incarnated lovers in time theme. I thought OH WOW a whole bunch of books about my favourite kind of story. However I was to be let down big time.
So why didn't I like Evermore. I wanted to, I really did and I don't know maybe its because I'm probably at the very least 10 years older than the target audience of the book but I found it very lacking and it just had a feel of being really lazy. Its like the author knew she had a ready made market thanks to Twilight that she didn't even need to bother writing that much. I was reading and at some points I was thinking "well aren't you gonna expand on that or explain that?" Its like Noel's just gone, here's a set up now fill in the gaps with your teen imagination. Like she's been passed the must have items checklist which all these authors must share around and just left the reader to fill in the gaps with their own individual needs.
Which I suppose is fine but I just thought it was lazy, I never really felt that the Ever and Damen relationship grew, it was very stop and start and blocky. I never really felt the development it was just one minute he was there, next minute she likes him, next minute they're sticking their tongues down each other's throat for no reason, going out, not going out - it was just so mechanical and lacked any verve or energy. It was hard to get excited about it at all.
The worst thing about this book for me though was the central protagonist - Ever. She was a vile, horrible character that repelled me pretty much from the first. OK Bella from Twilight can be whiny and annoying but oh my god she's got nothing on this girl. Ever is nuasiatingly self centred and standoffish and whilst you want to sympathise with her over losing her family you just want to scream at her - its not all about you. I think what did it for me was when the author went and did the as one of her own characters quotes "textbook" descent into alcohol addiction I really had enough of her. Just the toxic selfishness of Ever and the complete lack of chemistry meant I was glad when the book was finally over.
Like I say perhaps its just me, being a little older but I definately didn't get excited about this book. I will carry on trying others in the genre instead.
on 4 March 2010
There are quite a few YA paranormal romances around these days, some are great, some perhaps not so much, but in the case of Evermore, I really liked it!
I love the paranormal element that goes throughout the book. When I picked up the book, and read the blurb, I wasn't sure what would be going on, and I didn't know. As you read through it, you make certain assumptions which feel pretty valid giving some of the evidence in the book, but it was nothing like what I thought! I was completely blown away by what was really going on, and I loved it! Such a unique premise, I really liked it! However, when coming to write this review, I was looking up summaries, and ended up typing up what's on the back of the book, because I feel some of the ones I came across just gave too much away. Doesn't it annoy you when you know a summary is more spoilery than it needs to be? I won't be spoiling the book for you, so I won't dig in too much with the paranormal element, but just know it was great!
I had a fair bit of trouble reading this book, emotionally. At times, it really did pull on the heart strings, and how could it not? Ever's pain over the loss of her whole family, and the guilt she feels over believing it was her fault is just so strong, it's difficult not to feel it yourself. So big, you could almost reach out and touch it. This book is pretty sad, and there were tears from me. In my opinion, this just shows how amazing No¸l's writing is, and how fantastic the book is, to evoke such strong emotions. Really powerful!
There was something about Ever and Damen's attraction that wasn't big enough for me, however. It is spoken of a lot by both of them, but I just didn't really feel it, especially when it comes to Damen. It just wasn't as believable to me. As characters though, they were pretty awesome; Ever was so fragile, yet so strong at the same time, she's incredible - though she did annoy me with the amount of times she said "I mean", and how she thought everything she said came out whiny, but that's no big deal. Damen is mysterious and, to be honest, I still don't know quite what to make of him. I don't like Haven, one of Ever's best friends; she has issues, and I get that, but the way she acts and talks to her friends sometimes is just disgusting if you ask me. I don't like her at all. Miles, Ever's other best friend, is hilarious; he's gay, and very camp, and can't shut up talking, he had me laughing out loud so many times, I love him! But my favourite character in the book has to be Riley, Ever's little sister and ghost; she is annoying as any sister would be, but she was just so funny! Her visits to Ever were some of the highlights of the book!
There isn't really a huge amount more I can say about this book without going into the paranormal element. Evermore is really a great book, and I'm really looking forward to reading Blue Moon when it comes out in the UK in March! I highly recommend you go out and read Evermore if you haven't already!
on 17 August 2012
Firstly,i have to say that Ever More is actually a very well written book. As i struggle to continue with badly written books, this one kept me wanting to pick it up and read on some more. The characters were well described and believable, especially Miles! However, it wasn't exactly amazing. Ever annoyed me quite a lot as a character. I know that she'd had a very traumatising past but she was just a little bit boring really and the phrase "I pressed my lips together" must have been used about a trillion times. Also, there was just no surprise at all really in the book. It was so obvious Damen was a vampire even from the first time we were introduced to him, sipping his red drink, eating nothing, moving in a blur and producing those stupid red flowers all over the place. There was no chemistry between the two either. One minute she loved him and the next she didn't, i felt that he had to have some pretty good patience to put up with her constant whining!
But the most annoying thing about it was the fact it wasn't particulary original. First of all, she couldn't see his aura. A bit like when Edward couldn't read Bella's mind. There was the feature of the book 'Wuthering Heights' in the story which i'm pretty sure features in one of the Twilight saga books. He doesn't eat much like Edward. He moves in a blur. Also, i'm also quite a big fan of the 'Vampire Diaries' series and it annoyed me how he was called DAMEN and the alluring vampire in the Vampire Diaries is called DAMON. Ever had just experienced a tragic car accident and was the sole surviver of the group in the car, just like Elena in the Vampire Diaries.
Not a lot happens in the book either and sometimes it just gets pretty darn boring. So if you dont mind a book about a vampire that contains many similarites to past books/films then i'm sure you'll enjoy it.
I'm going to start by stating that, overall, I enjoyed reading this book, and, with qualifications, would happily recommend it to others.
Ever (a 16 yo female human) has recently moved to LA following the death of her family in a car accident, living with her lawyer aunt. Since the accident, she has been able to read minds and see ghosts, including the ghost of her younger sister; the consequence of her grief and the psychic hubbub of the masses has left her indrawn beneath her hoodies and iPod, her only friends outsiders like her - a goth and a gay sterotype. Then arrives the hot male newcomer to her school, Damen. Damen is arrogant and a poor communicator, who forces himself into her circle, to the surprise of everyone; he also seems to know what she is thinking, sees her dead sister, moves unnaturally fast when he wants to, and only drinks a red "energy drink". I don't think I need to say more...
Ever is a silly, boring young girl in unfortunate circumstances; naturally, she is stunningly beautiful, which no one else notices. Damen comes and goes from school as he pleases, without notice from the authorities, and seems to make his income by indulging in highly obvious bets on the race track. The only obvious rationale for Ever being attracted to Damen is entirely physical and superficial. All secondary characters are entirely cardboard, many, such as her English teacher and her aunt's boyfriend, are dealt with solely though narrative passages, and don't actually take part in the story. The villain doesn't make an appearance until close to the end of the book, after an overly long and drawn out middle portion, and is disposed of after two grand standing monologues. Ever then decides to resolve her relationship with her sister and acknowledge Damen - end of story, and cue the sequel. Watch out for the Poe/raven interlude.
This book is clearly intended to appeal to the mid-teen Twilight fans, and as such it does a good job, at least on Ever's part. She is a more credible, less annoying, character; although she agonizes just as much over her feelings, and makes irrational and just plain wrong decisions at every opportunity, which isn't so far from real teenagers. The backstory of the Immortals isn't revealed in this book, but at least has some originality (and some resonances with Highlander), which has potential for future books in the series. One weakness is the shallowness of supporting characters, including ones that play significant parts in the story without convincing: her aunt, her friends, the psychic, and even Drina, are very weak - but in this genre, the central story is everything.
So Twilight and supernatural romance fans will enjoy this book; it's superior to much of the competition. If you want to try something similar, but significantly better written, you could consider Richelle Mead's Vampire Academy series.
on 13 October 2013
There are a lot of things that annoy me about this book:
First: Their names. Yes, it is fiction, but it's still set on this world, right? 'Ever', 'Haven', 'Sabine'. Yeah, okay, did you want to add 'Xofalreth' and 'Emiettie' to that list? Fair enough if one of them has a weird name, but all of them?
Second: The main character doesn't shut up about the "gorgeous" Damon. I don't care. I stopped caring when you set eyes on him and practically drooled, and he drooled back.
Third: Why is everyone whose looks are mentioned hot/sexy/pretty/gorgeous?
Forth: I dislike every single character. Every selfish, backstabbing, jealous, bully, woe-me character. I don't identify with any of them. I don't care about any of them.
I'm trying to think of something positive to say, sadly I'm failing. There is usually at least one thing that makes me smile, or want to read on, but there isn't. I've spent the last hour or two trying to get into this story, while at the same time saying: 'really?', 'oh for God's sake', or something to that effect at every other page.
Apparently this was a bestseller. Am I missing something? Sorry author, but this should have stayed hidden on your hard drive or posted up on a website like fictionpress. (I've seen better written stories there in any case.)
on 19 July 2013
Evermore is the only survivor of an accident that killed her whole family, but left her with psychic powers, the problem is that they do not come with an off switch. She tries to avoid physical contact as with a single touch she can learn everything there is to know about a person. She can even see ghosts most specifically her dead younger sister. Enter Damen a gorgeous mystery man who seem to be a blocker for Ever power allowing her some peace, but who is he really and what is he? Also what is drawing her to him, and is it mutual?
This book is in a realistic teen setting, Alyson Noel excels at talking about Ever's feeling. Being 16 Ever is very confused about social situations. She used to be one of the popular girls a cheerleader, but since the accident she is an outcast. Her own feeling for guilt from the accident will not allow her to move forward.
The book is seemed to fly by, the interaction between the characters was great and seemed to be what teenagers would naturally talk about or fight about especially the sister. I quite like that Damen's reactions when Ever compares him to movie stars she has a crush on. The book is very well thought out, then I got to the last 50 page and all these seemed rushed, there was more revelations and action in these last 50 pages then in the rest of the book. I think this could have been avoided is these revelations were distributed better throughout the book rather than just leaving them to the last minute when the deadline is approaching. A good read, the great thing about this book is you can read this book and if you think it is not for you; you do not have buy the rest of the series.
on 11 June 2012
I have been intrigued by this series for quite some time. I didn't know a lot about it and I stupidly presumed the immortals mentioned were vampires! Shows how much I know! I won't spoil it by telling you how the immortals came about but I will confirm there isn't a vampire in sight.
This is the kind of book I love - this is the kind of book I want to write. I have an unhealthy obsession with the afterlife and anything spiritual, so this book really appealed to me. I really felt Ever's pain at losing her family - her grief really touched my heart. This book had a question and answer session with the author at the back and I wasn't surprised to discover that this book came about during a period of grief for the author, as she wrote so convincingly about it.
The settings were fantastic. It had a Beverly Hills type feel to it, with it's sunny beaches, lazy days by the pool and trips to Disneyland. Just with that added touch of the paranormal.
The characters really stood out for me, especially Riley - I absolutely loved her. She was a typical sarcastic, gobby pre-teen and I should know! She was full of spirit, if you pardon the pun, but even though she was dead, she was ballsy and showed no fear. The only thing that seemed to frighten her was leaving Ever behind, showing the emotional ties that hold us beyond the grave. Haven and Miles were like a comedy duo and I found myself sniggering quite a few times at their conversations.
The plot revolving around Damen took quite a while to peak and I did find myself getting a little impatient to discover the truth. It took me a while to decide whether he was good or bad, as at times he came across as quite dark in nature.
The book talks about a subject that I have always been a firm believer of - cosmic ordering. I have always preached to people that we create our own reality to a certain extent and enough wishing and believing can bring us the things we crave. The author uses this theory quite a bit near the end of the story.
This book isn't brimming with action, it is more of a slow burner as we get to see the truth about Ever and Damen. It reminded me quite a bit of the Fallen series by Lauren Kate. I really enjoyed reading this book and I am looking forward to reading the rest of the series.