Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Review: Evernight, by Claudia Gray

Evernight, by Claudia Gray
Published: June 1, 2008
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: 327
Overall Rating: 3.5/5

She's been uprooted from her small hometown and enrolled at Evernight Academy, an eerie Gothic boarding school where the students are somehow too perfect: smart, sleek, and almost predatory. Bianca knows she doesn't fit in. 

Then she meets Lucas. He's not the "Evernight type" either, and he likes it that way. Lucas ignores the rules, stands up to the snobs, and warns Bianca to be careful—even when it comes to caring about him. 

"I couldn't stand it if they took it out on you," he tells Bianca, "and eventually they would." 

But the connection between Bianca and Lucas can't be denied. Bianca will risk anything to be with Lucas, but dark secrets are fated to tear them apart . . . and to make Bianca question everything she's ever believed.

I'm going to try really really hard to review this without including any spoilers. This may be a challenge.

Evernight started out kind of slow for me. This could be due in part to the fact that I knew going in, that it was about vampires. (I'm kind of sick of vampires.) However, after a few chapters, it slowly pulled me in.

This book had a few surprises. I won't say what they are, but I will say that one of them bothered me. A lot. When we first discovered this twist, I thought, "Hmm, nice plot twist". Then we slowly discover the fact that Bianca knew all along. This really wasn't a surprise to her, so it's shock value was lost in me at that point. The shock turned into annoyance. Evernight is written in first person, and I personally felt like I should have known everything Bianca knew. Or at least had clues to what she knew. I like being taken by surprise, and I like for a book to keep me guessing. But I don't like it when a character acts oblivious to what is going on around them, leaving you oblivious, only to find out they knew all along. They knew EVERYTHING, all along...? No. Third person, that works sometimes. First person? It doesn't. In my opinion.

That problem aside, I enjoyed the novel. I did find myself thinking, "What is wrong with you, girl?!" quite frequently, but I still liked her character. I liked Lucas, but honestly...I kind of prefer Balthazar (GASP!) The nice guy wins my heart in this one. Lucas is sweet, but he packs too much baggage. Perhaps the sequels will change my mind?

Unfortunately, I didn't really get a unique feeling from this novel. I didn't feel as though there was anything to set it apart from other vampire novels. However, both her mom and dad are in the story, and very much in love. This is a rarity in young adult novels, both contemporary and paranormal. Thumbs up on that note.

All in all, I enjoyed Evernight. It kept my attention, and I'm definitely anxious to see where the next installment in the series takes us.

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