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After a String of Successes, A Failure

Evermore by Alyson Noel

It quickly becomes apparent while reading Evermore that the book is going to feature little originality. In fact, there are moments when one questions if they are reading something else, watching something else come to life on the page. After surviving a deadly accident which robbed her of her parents, her sister, even of the family dog, Ever suffers from and struggles with psychic abilities. She can read auras and know everyone else's thoughts... well, except for the mysterious, drop-dead gorgeous new kid's. Why is he different than everyone else, and why is Ever so drawn to him? This relationship is very much like the one created by Charlaine Harris in her Sookie Stackhouse novels... only Harris created a psychic whose powers are relieved by being in the presence of a mysterious, magical being long before Noel did. Then there's Ever's friend, Haven, who is quite reminiscent of the quirky, help-group addicted, emotionally needy, oddly dressed Marla Singer from Fight Club. Add to this a litany of classic teenage angst cliches: suffering a staggering loss, moving to a new school, making friends with the other resident outsiders, and Evermore feels like a dozen other books which preceded it all rolled up into one while, at the same time, lacking its own identity.

What's more, the book is poorly developed as well. Every single character is flat and predictable. The villains are bad, and the heroes are, even if misunderstood and slightly predisposed to acting out in typical, adolescent fashions, good. There is nothing gray about this novel... well, except for its mythology. Thoughts and concepts of this different world where immortality, Summerland, and the ability to manifest anything with the power of one's mind are all possible are tossed in at random without explanation... as though Noel needed something to explain earlier plot devices and elected to go with the first half-developed idea which occurred to her. As a result, the entire work seems poorly planned and even more poorly executed. This is the type of book which has the ability to give Young Adult fiction a bad reputation. I finished it simply so that I could be firm in my negative stance against it.

One out of Five Stars

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January 2014


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