Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Review: Nevermore by Kelly Creagh

Author: Kelly Creagh
Publication: Atheneum (August 31, 2010)

Description: 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.

My Thoughts: Wow! What a breath-taking, thrill ride of a book! This book starts out so simply. The cheerleader Isobel gets paired with the goth boy Varen for an assignment to do a report on Poe. It could have been a simple contemporary romance.  

Isobel starts out as the cute, blond cheerleader who dates the star football player and travels with the in-crowd but she is always more than that. She has a conscience and values. She has a strong sense of self. She is brave.

Varen is quite mysterious. We really don't find out too much about him. Everything is in hints and teases. We get a brief look at his unhappy home life. We see him at work in the ice cream shop and hanging out in a creepy old used bookstore. We get glimpses of his innate courtesy both in his treatment of Isobel and when he meets her mother.

The book quickly veers off into the strange world that Poe wrote about and Isobel soon doesn't know what is real and what is imagined. She needs to battle imaginary creatures and interact with strange characters who may be allies or may be enemies to save Varen from being swept up in this nightmarish dreamscape. 

The language is rich and the book is packed with terrifying images. The book is long but this reader was swept into the story and couldn't put it down. I had the same reaction to the book as Isobel had when she finally got into reading Poe's stories. "Slowly the words started to get out of the way and let images of courtiers revolve, in slow motion, through her mind’s eye."

I highly recommend this book to older young adults who like some paranormal of the nightmarish variety with their romance. I know that I am hoping for a sequel. 

Favorite Quote:
He turned his head and caught her with his eyes.

She froze, locked by the intensity of his stare. His eyes were stark and cold, the concentrated green of pale jade. Outlined in smudge black kohl, those eyes focused on her, unblinking through the feathery strands of his jet-black hair, and it was like being watched through a cage by a complacent and calculating cat. 
Challenges: 2010 YA Debut Author Challenge, 2010 YA Reading Challenge, Paranormal Reading Challenge, RYOB Reading Challenge


  1. This book sounds pretty awesome; I'm tempted to check it out, but Poe has always left me feeling freaked out and the "terrifying imagery" you speak of practically has me quaking already. Both Varen and Isobel sound like interesting characters. Perhaps I'll just turn all the lights on in the house and give it a go.

  2. This book really does look incredible. I already own it and can't wait to read it. I'm really glad that the book is packed with powerful and terrifying images and the language is beautiful. I love smooth writing. It makes it so much easier to get through a novel, especially one this size! Thanks for the review!

  3. Excellent review! Nevermore sounds wonderfully creepy and romantic. I love the quote you shared. This book was already on my wishlist, but your review makes me want to read it even more! :)

  4. I've read some mixed reviews about this one but I'm so glad you enjoyed it. Great review and I really like the quote you used :)

  5. This is the fist review I've read for this book Kathy but you've made me add it to my wishlist :o) It sounds great and something a bit different which is good. I'm looking forward to giving this one a try!


I love getting comments. Let me know what you think.

This blog is now officially declared an Award Free zone! I do appreciate your kindness in thinking of me and I am humbled by your generosity. Your comments are award enough for me. Comment away!