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If I were to use one word to describe Nevermore, I'd go for haunting. Although part romance, this book leans more towards horror and mystery. Ingrained within the plot is the prominent figure of Edgar Allan Poe - and reflective of his works, Nevermore is just as dark and as fascinating. Knowing more about the poet would better your reading experience, but regardless, it is hard to resist this compelling book. It is superbly written, descriptive and genuine to its characters. The feel of the narrative is dark but smooth, fluid and completely captivating. Nevermore will drag you into its depths as easy as Poe's works - it's complex, it's twisted, but worth every word. It will have you turning pages well into the night, and leave your imagination running!

Everything begins when Isobel finds herself paired with Varen for an English project. Goth and poetic, and definitely outside of Isobel's crew, Varen finds himself threatened and bullied by Isobel's boyfriend, Brad. Isobel's defence of Varen and her subsequent distance from her crew endeared me to her. Her choice is not to stand by Varen because she is attracted to him, but because she knows her friends are acting wrongly - I liked that best about her. Her actions carry an air of realism and I never had a moment of doubt and dislike for Isobel. Varen is unlike many guys - he wears eyeliners, has lip piercing, he loses himself in the darkness of words, and is distant. He is complex, broken and... hot. It's a classic mismatch, but cheerleader Isobel is undeniably perfect for the Goth Varen. Their chemistry is one of the best I've read in YA romance.

Unlike what you might expect, Varen's and Isobel's relationship is chaste, appropriate, and is strictly within the safety of friendship - but, and it's a humongous, colossal, gargantuan BUT, the air whenever these two are together sizzles. The romantic tension between them is evident in every word, in every touch, in every searing gaze. The lack of physical interaction only intensifies the need for one, and shoot me if I was not scrambling for more Var-obel moments! Only the necessity to understand Varen more prevented me from swooning!

Isobel's difficulty at figuring out Varen's emotions is one of the most compelling parts of the plot. Although written in the third person, the readers are taken into Varen's world through the eyes of Isabel, and only through that. As a result, you only get to know what Isabel knows - a lot of suspicion arises from it and the continuous mysteries and revelations as more about Varen is uncovered is a brilliant rush. With secondary characters that will have you grinning and laughing to frowning and yelling, rest assured you'll enjoy every bit of Nevermore!

I was in tatters by the ending, and it will be a slow, painful torture to wait for the next book. Fantastic first book in a trilogy (thank God!) - and horror fanatic or not, Edgar Allan Poe lover or otherwise, read.this.book.!
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on 8 May 2012
Hmm i'm a bit conflicted with this one. I loved it and couldnt put it down as i read it, but then the direction of the whole second half was a bit like, really? this is where you're going?

The book starts out with a stereotypical popular materalistic cheerleader with an inconsiderate jock boyfriend who she's only dating because that's what head cheerleader does. Then she starts sticking up and falling for the wierd kid.
Then the book goes in a very wierd direction where you're trapped in a whole other dark world.

People may love this book because that other world was amazing, well written, and Edgar Allan Poe. But i couldnt give a toss about Edgar Allan Poe, the story would have been fine without him. And the other world was wierd. I don't know whether i just couldnt keep up with all the descriptions, but i got a bit confused and couldnt picture or keep up with what (or why?!) stuff was happenning in the other world.

Essentially, the other-world part of the book makes it really original, but i was hooked by the everyday romance that i was rooting for. I finished the book down and yearned for #2, but that was despite of the Edgar Allan Poe stuff, not because of it. If this book had just been about a cheerleader falling for a goth, it would still have been original and a page turner.
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Isobel has a great life: she is a cheerleader, her boyfriend is a star on the football team, her friends are great. That changes once she is partnered with the weird Goth guy, Varen, in English class to do a project on Edgar Allen Poe.

Varen is mysterious, and he doesn't seem too interested in Isobel. However, Isobel finds herself drawn to him, especially after she takes a peek at his notebook, only to find it filled with strange stories and drawings. Strange things start to happen both when she is alone and when she's with Varen. She can't tell whether it is a dream, or reality.

NEVERMORE was so captivating. I have never read anything like it before. It was really fast-paced and intriguing; however, the ending was slower than the rest of the novel. I loved how there was some history involved, too, because I don't know much about Edgar Allen Poe.

Varen seemed so weird at first, but right off the bat, I could tell that there was going to be something between the two main characters. Once I came to the end, I was mad because of the intense cliffhanger - but I was happy to find out that there will be a sequel!

Reviewed by: Ashley B
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on 27 March 2013
Despite the thickness of the book, if didn't take me long at all to read this book because I loved everything about it.

It doesn't take long for the story to kick off and the secrets and mystery are beautifully panned out through the story.

Although it comes across as a normal average love story with vampires and warewolves, Creigh manages to create a brand new fantasey world mixing with a real poet called Edgar Allan Poe, she gives us background of his mysterious death and ties it in with the story really well giving her interpretation of why he went crazy and including him as a character in the prologue.

The characters were believable and lovable and very fun to read(especially Varen) and I read it for hours at a time in a space of four days- making the mistake of not realizing the sequel wouldn't be out until the summer of the next year.

Well done Kelly, Nevermore was the best book of the year for me :D
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on 31 March 2013
"You're a dream. Like everything else."

It's been ages since I've finished this book and I still don't know what to say. I don't think anything I can say for this book will be enough.

This is one of the most unique paranormals I've read. You've got all sorts of Pnr out there but what about books where people create creepy worlds with their creativity. This is one creepy book but I love it. The world building is amazing. It's so ORIGINAL!. Why don't we have more stuff like this out there? Our minds our powerful things and sometimes the creepiest things live there. The author has a great concept (I've said that already I know).

I remember when I first saw the summary I rolled my eyes. A cheerleader and a emo guy. How perfect? *sarcasm* But I added it anyway because I had yet to read one where that happened. I unlike a lot of people didn't run into a lot of books that went along those lines so the idea wasn't cliche to me yet. It took me a few months to finally read it. THERE IS NOTHING cliche about their relationship. Or for that fact any of the ones in the book. It has always annoyed me how in YA parents are either absent or they suck and well friends suck as well. Why cannot there be good relationships in YA. Why must the guy be the girl's savior? WHY?

I love how the author takes it slow with the relationship. The girl doesn't wake up one day and decide that she loves the guy thank god for that.

It develops slowly, from hate to being okay with them to like to love. This kind of development doesn't only happen on the girl's side, it also happens with Varen. No Varen hasn't secretly loved her for a long time or any other things that happen these days in YA. He dislikes her because she is popular.

And no he isn't a bad guy. He is never outright rude to her. It's more like Isobel thinking he is and you can see it. He isn't a broken bad boy who is an ass. He may be broken but he doesn't take it out on other people which I admire.
Yeah I think Varen's awesomeness is one of the main reasons I love the book. How can someone read this book and NOT love Varen? He is one of the most original male characters in YA.

I think the character development is also amazing. The girl finally decides that her popular friends suck. Her boyfriend is too overprotective so even though it hurts her she turns against them and starts hanging out with Gwen. (Gwen's awesomeness must also be mentioned but we don't see as much of it in this book as we do in the next book so I won't talk about it because I'll probably end up spoiling the next book).

I cannot think normally for too long when I think about this book because thinking about it always brings a rush of emotions. I really do love this one and at the same time I wish it were nicer to me, loved me more and wouldn't be so mean.

*sighs*
Now I am just rambling. I should shut up.
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on 20 February 2012
They say not to judge a book by its cover. That appearances are deceitful.

I say this time you should not judge the book by how it starts off. At first it very much looks like your garden-variety paranormal YA: jocks, cheerleaders, cliques, mean girls, emo-goths, star crossed lovers, you get the gist. There were a couple of scenes at the beginning where I thought I was probably going to ditch it if it went on like it was.
But it didn't.
First of all, you should be aware that underneath the shallow, clichéd appearance, this book is very dark and oneiric. I don't know if you're familiar with the work of Edgar Allan Poe, but the story is based and heavily influenced by several of his writings, such as The Raven, The Masque of Red Death and Ligeia, among others. Parts of his biography, especially concerning the mysterious circumstances of his death, are also a fundamental part of the plot.

The story starts, quite predictably, with Isobel - blonde, cheerleader, girlfriend of THE football player of the school - getting paired up for an English project with Varen - goth guy, aloof, antisocial, with a mean girlfriend but magnetically irresistible. Despite a rocky start, as Isobel's feelings for Varen change and grow into something even she is reluctant to accept, strange things start to happen. Isobel gets chased by voices, she starts hallucinating, supposedly.
Who is causing all this? The key seems to be a book of the works of Edgar Allan Poe that Varen has given to her her for the project and that appears to have a life of its own.

Nevermore came as a surprise to me, really.
Despite glowing reviews (and some non-glowing), I wasn't expecting much from it. This seemed to be confirmed in the first few chapters, when all the clichés made their entrance, and the mean girls theme put me in eye-rolling mode.
BUT. As the Raven theme crept more and more into the story and the clichés were left behind, the plot turned into something truly and incredibly original. I am sorry for those readers who dropped the book before getting to that part because, really, they missed out on something good.
The second part, which takes place in a sort of dreamland, a story inside the stories, was truly engaging and fascinating for me. The star-crossed lovers got separated, grotesque figures started appearing, Isobel became a dark Alice in Wonderland, right after she fell into the hole.
I'll admit: not everybody will like it. It can be confusing at times and many people won't like the romance being set aside to see other characters steal the scene with their bloody razor teeth. Me, I loved it. I love when a book manages to surprise and frankly, this did it successfully.

As far as I am concerned, a success. I can't wait to read Enshadowed when it comes out in August, 2012.
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on 2 February 2012
This is one of those books where after only a couple of lines, I'm immediately hooked. I fell in love straight away with the story line, the characters, the setting, the mystery - everything. Why? Why did I wait this long to read Nevermore!

This is certainly one of the best YA books I've read in a long time. I simply loved every minute of it, every detail and everything about it. I've never felt such a compelling need to keep reading.

Everything about it was a breath of fresh air. From the original story line, to the Edgar Allen Poe references, to the gothic dreamworld that the characters are thrown into. I'm just completely speechless as to how this book escaped my notice for so long!

Our protagonist, Isobel, is in her senior year in high school. She's head cheerleader, and her boyfriend is captain of the football team. However, when she gets paired up with Varen, morbid quiet goth boy, to do a project on Edgar Allen Poe, everything changes. I loved that Isobel already had a boyfriend to begin with. That doesn't happen often with YA books and I'm glad the author decided to take a different approach to this. I also like that it took so long for Isobel to decide she likes Varen. No insta-love here. It was built up and built up bit by bit and felt very believable.

As you can imagine, as this is set in high school, there are lots of troubles and incidents along the way for Isobel and Varen as neither his goth friends nor her football/cheerleader friends are too happy about their sudden interest in each other. This made for some interesting chapters of high school politics, which is something I love to read about. Any book with an American high school interests me and this one is probably the best I've ever read.

The paranormal aspect was woven in nicely with the Poe stories. Upon reading more Poe writings for the project Isobel starts to have strange dreams and becomes able to see and interact with beings that no one else can. These dreams and beings bring her closer to Varen, who she soon comes to realise has a lot more to do with it than he is letting on. I've never read any Edgar Allen Poe works so I wasn't sure what sort of bearing it was going to have on the story. Turns out, a very gothic, eerie one! I adored it.

The last few chapters were very dark, dramatic and extremely creepy (and in the best way possible!) I found myself holding my breath and getting a knotted up feeling inside over what was happening and whether it was all going to be alright in the end! A lot of questions are answered that I had been wondering about and so this was good. But we are also left with just the right amount of unanswered questions to carry us through to the sequel, which I am now impatiently waiting for!

If you've been putting this one off for a while like me, then I urge you to please, please, give it a shot. It really is well worth it!
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I have had Nevermore on my shelves for a while and have been put off starting it because of its size, at over 500 page it is a bit of a beast, but I really shouldn't have worried as I whizzed through it in the space of a few hours.

Isobel and Varen are an unlikely couple, forced to spend time together when they are made to do a joint project on the work of Edgar Allen Poe. While you can tell from the outset they are going to get together it's hard to see how at first. However as the book develops you find yourself routing for them more and more, hoping that they'll sort it all out against the odds. Their relationship isn't the usual lovey dovey romance, it's haunting and dark and built up in the creepiest backdrop you'd ever care to imagine which is what makes it uniquely different from other paranormal romances I have read of late.

Isobel on the surface is one of those girl, the one you hated at school for appearing to have it all. It's not until she starts to lose that perfect life, the friends, the cute boyfriend and such like that I started to warm to her especially when you start to see how toxic her friends actually are. I tolerated them up to the scene in the icecream parlour but after that I hated every single one of them. I was also very very annoyed with Isobel's Dad who seemed to have his own personal love affair going on with Brad and treated him like a God even though he'd treated his own daughter like rubbish.

From this point on Isobel became more interesting for me. She meet Gwen (I loved that girl entirely) and starts to delve deeper into Varen's world and finally starts to be pulled into his dream world, facing the very danger that Poe faced himself. These sections of the book were very creepy and I often was left not quite sure what was going on as reality and dream world started to overlap. As the book went on the setting and the events became more and more creepy and in some places quite disturbing.

By the end of the book I was left on a complete cliff hanger desperate to know where the story goes from here. I can't wait for the next instalment!
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on 2 August 2011
Nevermore is a rare find in books. It is hard to know where to begin with how amazing this book is. While the book is Paranormal it is not overtly obvious when compared to other books in the same genre. Kelly Creagh's touch of Poe brings a Gothic sense to this novel while at the same time being set much in reality. Creagh's attention to Poe himself shows an author with a passion, not just for writing but for believability. You can tell she did her research as she provides details and quotes directly from Poe's life.

The plot of this novel is top notch. While the plot seems to be one used by many authors (opposites attracting under "unusual" circumstances), Kelly Creagh takes it to a whole new level. Again like many novels, our main characters are paired together for a class project; in this case, Isobel and Varen are paired to work on an English project focusing on Edgar Allan Poe. Both are anything but pleased to be `forced' to work together. As partners they each start to open up in their own way, allowing the other to see a side of themselves they normally hide. During which time Isobel becomes allured by and drawn into Varen's "nightmarish world" and his secrets. Of course with a book being over 500 pages you are given quite a few events, but the plot does not skip around. Kelly Creagh fills her pages with outstanding detail of reality and dream worlds. It is hard to not be on the edge of your seat for the entire book.

The character development is also top notch. Both Isobel and Varen are completely believable both as human beings and as high school students falling in love. In the beginning Isobel comes across as your typical cheerleader, but she also shows how she is not just a "typical" cheerleader. Her character grows tremendously throughout the book in many ways. Isobel finds herself having to stand up to people that can danger her "popularity", questioning the status quo, and even herself. At the same time, she shows how "typical" she is as a teenager - sneaking out of her house while she is grounded, caring about what other think, and worrying about homework.

Varen is also a very unique character. He puts up a front that he is aloof to everyone's gossip about him being a 'vampire', dark, and scary. But you find that he is more affected than he lets on. For both Isobel and Varen, there is more than meets the eye. They appear to be complete opposites, but under the surface they are more alike than they know.
The only negative thing one can say about this book is the time period before its sequel is published in 2012. Kelly Creagh's debut novel has already set her apart from many authors, and expectations are high for her following novels - expectations of which she will surely meet.

I was blown away by this book!
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on 13 January 2011
It started off slow, typical, lots of teen drama and high school filler. Teen girl (cheerleader) who's part of a 'crew' and dating the jock with attitude.Teen girl has to team up with the dark emo guy for class project on dead poet (Edgar Allan Poe) We've all read this a million times before. But by the 5th chapter i was hooked. I could not put the book down, it refused to leave my hand all day. And as i read and read it got better and better.

The book starts off soft and light but around the middle starts to get twisty and fascinating. The last half of the book is mind blowing. Think Alice in Wonderland on acid with added poetry. The movie Labyrinth also came to mind.

The lead character started off shallow, boring but changed into a different person by the end. Stronger and wiser and more mature. And the supporting characters were just as interesting and satisfying. Feathers, blood, white witches with raven black hair. Things that go bump in the night. I especially liked the new friend element.

And the guy? He's the type you secretly like but cant tell your friends. He's the loner, the goth, the brains. But hidden away is a prince with jade green eyes. Varen '
Kelley Creagh has created a world i am desperate to fall into again. Beautifully written. READ THIS
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