Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Fresh New Voice of YA- Nevermore by Kelly Creagh
Nevermore by Kelly Creagh
"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."- summary from Amazon
This debut is simply amazing. I loved the way Creagh balanced the real life of Isobel with the haunting nature of the tale and how the novel progressively got creepier. The prose of the novel was very much like a great, well-crafted scary story. There's a lot of build-up and there isn't necessarily stuff that jumps out at you and scares you, but there's this underlying spook factor that gets underneath your skin and keeps you up at night.
The story is told in third person, and while you would think that would give a disconnect between the reader and the scariness of the situation, it really doesn't. In fact, I think it's probably creepier being told from this perspective. Isobel is a great main character though- yes, she's a cheerleader, but she's not like most cheerleaders we see in YA. She's got a good heart and is willing to take risks, despite what her so-called friends might say about what she does (like hanging out with goth boy Varen, though that got on my nerves- why torture a boy because he was paired randomly with a popular girl for a CLASS PROJECT?! I wanted to slap those stupid jocks and cheerleaders.).
The last 200 pages (yes, I know, it's a huge book- probably the longest I've ever read) of the book are pretty much almost non-stop action and suspense and horror. It's Poe for the modern day and is just deliciously spooky, especially with the way Creagh weaved in "The Masque of the Red Death" short story into her own novel.
The ending was something I was thinking about during the last 50 pages. I thought it would be kinda cool if it ended a certain way and I almost thought it would end that way, even though it would be unconventional. It still ended unconventionally but in a different way than I thought. There is a bit of a cliffhanger, but there's a sequel coming. I will be surprised if the sequel is just as long as this book because it seems to me there isn't 500 pages worth of material there, but hey, maybe I'm not thinking enough.
Overall, this is a great spooky, and well-written debut- get it now and start preparing for Halloween!
FTC: Received book via Around the World tours. Link above is an Amazon Associate link; any profit goes toward funding contests.