Nevermore (Nevermore Series #1)

Nevermore (Nevermore Series #1)

4.5 425
by Kelly Creagh

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And the raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting
On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door;
And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon's that is dreaming,
And the lamp-light o'er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor;
And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor
Shall be lifted -
…  See more details below


And the raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting
On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door;
And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon's that is dreaming,
And the lamp-light o'er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor;
And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor
Shall be lifted - nevermore!

-- from "The Raven" by Edgar Allan Poe

At once an homage to one of America's greatest writers and a page-turning psychological mystery that is equal parts horror, humor, and romance, NEVERMORE is the story of Varen -- a Poe-fan and goth -- and Isobel -- a cheerleader and unlikely heroine. When a Lit. project pairs the two together, Isobel finds herself steadily swept into Varen's world, one that he has created in his notebook and in his mind, one where the terrifying stories of Edgar Allan Poe come to life. Isobel slowly learns that dreams can be much more powerful than she'd ever expected, and that pain and despair come in all shades. As labels of "goth" and "cheerleader" fade away, she sees more in Varen than a tall, pale outcast, and a consuming romance is braced against the ever-clearer horror that the most terrifying realities are those within our own minds.

When Isobel has a single chance to rescue Varen from the shadows of his own nightmares, will she be able to save him -- and herself?

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Isobel and Varen come from opposite ends of the high school social order: Isobel is a popular, blond cheerleader; Varen is a goth loner. Paired for a project on Edgar Allen Poe, their bare tolerance for each other turns to grudging respect after Isobel dumps her possessive, violent boyfriend. But as she spends more time with Varen and learns about the life and works of Poe, gruesome creatures start to stalk and threaten her. Poe's horror stories originated from his trips into the realm of dreams, and Varen's own dreams and writings have led him there, too. Now Varen is being held prisoner, and only Isobel can rescue him from his nightmares and keep the supernatural creatures from overrunning the real world. Though the characters eventually grow beyond clichés, the romantic chemistry is faint, and the storyline often shrinks behind the book's infatuation with Poe. But first-time novelist Creagh effectively builds tension, and those with an interest in the literary figure will savor allusions to his oeuvre and mysterious death. Varen's plight is left unresolved, presumably to be continued in later books. Ages 14–up. (Aug.)
From the Publisher
"Tender, and engrossing, so richly textured and acutely rendered. . . . The chemistry between Varen and Isobel is positively simmering and as necessary as breathing. . . . Creagh totally “gets it”, the whole painful and traumatic high school experience. . . . An unforgettable and graceful story.” –

"Verses from Poe's poems and synopses of his stories are woven seamlessly into the story, and the ghoulish spirit Pinfeathers is memorably menacing and gory. . . . a creepy, otherworldly climax." —Kirkus

"This Gothic Romeo/Juliet story is an English teacher's jewel box, with high appeal for readers who might ignore classic literature. Veiled and overt allusions to Poe, Shakespeare, and Frost will support discussion about love, loyalty, popularity, and independence beyond the trendy, dramatic, supernatural action." —VOYA

“Always one step ahead of the reader, Nevermore is a book to engage in, speculate over, and savor.” –New York Journal of Books

“ . . . I fell in love with Nevermore. . . . The chemistry is perfect and it simmers slowly throughout the novel at a beautiful, restrained pace. . . . Absolutely recommended.” –

“One of my favorite 2010 debuts. It has all the components of an amazing YA novel. A sympathetic, fun main character; a sexy, dark dude; a perfectly-paced plotline; a classic-inspired story arc; and a damn good love story!” –

Children's Literature - Jeanna Sciarrotta
When Cheerleader, Isobel gets partnered up with Goth boy Varen for an upcoming English assignment, she has no idea just how much her life will change. Though she balks at the partnership and veers away from the enigma that is Varen- eventually it leads to an unlikely friendship as she finds herself drawn deeper and deeper into his world. The overused cheerleader/football player popularity and bullying of the lowlier masses is a bit trite, but it is not without some foundation in real life high school dynamics and this popularity pyramid forces Isobel to overthink her decisions and where she fits in. Varen's anti-conformity/ anti-popularity character is strangely likeable and readers will find themselves routing for the unlikely romance between the two to conquer all. Readers will find that there are many loose ends in the novel, especially surrounding Varen's homelife, that are brought up, but never answered. Interestingly enough, this slightly too long, underdeveloped novel is still captivating to those willing to invest the time and overlook some of its short comings. The tension surrounding the love story is enough to hold the attention of many young readers and more advanced fans will love the Poe allusions throughout the novel. Reviewer: Jeanna Sciarrotta
VOYA - Lucy Shall
Paired with mysterious black-clad Varen for her English project, popular cheerleader Isobel is drawn into a sinister supernatural dream world that only the couple's growing commitment can conquer. This page-turner intertwines ghoulish confrontations with Poe's works, in-group/out-group conflicts, and possessive love-angst, as the two teenagers battle evil forces in both reality and dream worlds to claim their own souls. Against her boyfriend's wishes, Isobel works with Varen on the English project, and her clique shuns her. Supernatural vengeance answers the boyfriend's attacks on the Goth boy, but evil spirits, seemingly related to an enigmatic apparition named Reynolds, harass Isobel and invade her dreams. With the help of a brilliant girl she previously ignored, Isobel attends a Goth event, The Halloween Grim Facade, where she enters the dream/Poe world that holds Varen. She finds him, saves her previous boyfriend from lethal spirits, and confronts both Reynolds and the white lady who possesses Varen, but Reynolds tricks her into going back to the real world alone. When the English teacher returns the project with an article about the man who visits Poe's grave each year, Isobel recognizes Reynolds. A sequel is born: a confrontation with Reynolds on January 19 to reconnect with a pining Varen. This Gothic Romeo/Juliet story is an English teacher's jewel box, with high appeal for readers who might ignore classic literature. Veiled and overt allusions to Poe, Shakespeare, and Frost will support discussion about love, loyalty, popularity, and independence beyond the trendy, dramatic, supernatural action. Reviewer: Lucy Shall
School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up—Cheerleader Isobel (another Bella?) becomes the reluctant partner of Goth Varen Nethers for an English assignment on Poe. Predictably, she falls hard for him, and he may not be a lost soul trapped between the real world and the dream world; psychologically abused by his father; or just a strange kid. There are so many dropped threads in the story that are just begging to be picked up in sequels that readers aren't really sure what has happened and what hasn't. The characters and story are interesting enough, however, to justify anticipation of further installments.—Corinne Henning-Sachs, Walker Memorial Library, Westbrook, ME
Kirkus Reviews
In this competently executed entry in the still-growing paranormal-romance genre, sunny, self-absorbed cheerleader Isobel Lanley falls for the Poe-obsessed and darkly named Varen Nethers. The obstacles? Controlling meathead Brad and his crew, whom Isobel dumps for mistreating Varen; Mr. Lanley, who forbids his daughter from associating with a "hooligan," even to work on their joint English project; and a host of ghosts, ghouls and poltergeists who begin terrorizing Isobel as soon as she snoops into Varen's private journal. Though star-crossed longing between cheerleader and brooding gothboy is familiar territory, a few unique elements stand out. Verses from Poe's poems and synopses of his stories are woven seamlessly into the story, and the ghoulish spirit Pinfeathers is memorably menacing and gory. One needs to wonder, though, whether all 560 pages are absolutely, positively necessary. For paranormal-romance devotees who won't mind the long buildup to a creepy, otherworldly climax. (Paranormal romance. 14 & up)

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Product Details

Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Publication date:
Nevermore Series, #1
Edition description:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.60(d)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

Read an Excerpt


By the end of fourth period, Isobel’s espresso buzz from that morning’s venti latte had long since worn off. She yawned, fast approaching crash-and-burn territory and shifted in her seat as Mr. Swanson droned on and on about the green-eyed monster, Desdemona, thus, thou, and yea verily. She traced and retraced the looping spiral design she’d all but ground into the front of her blue notebook.

“And with that,” Mr. Swanson said, finally snapping closed his ultrathick teacher’s copy of their text, cueing the rest of the class to follow suit with a unanimous thunk, “we’ll leap into further discussion about Iago and his supposed honesty on Monday.”

Isobel straightened in her seat, brushed her sheet of blond hair behind one shoulder, and shut her own book with relish.

“But hold on, hold on,” he said above the rustling and scraping of chairs. He raised both hands and lowered them through the air, as if such a motion somehow held the power to still the room and reinstate the Elizabethan-literature-inspired stupor he’d managed to cast over all.

Kids jonesing for lunch and already halfway out of their seats sank back down again, their butts reconnecting with their chairs like magnets snapping together. All around, backpacks slipped from shoulders and chins returned to hands.

They should have known better, Isobel thought wryly. Swanson never let them out early. Never. Especially not as early as a quarter till.

“Don’t go and get antsy on me yet, folks,” he warned, now brandishing a stack of what looked suspiciously to Isobel like fresh-from-the-copier pages.

“Heads-up to the syllabus being passed around,” he called, licking a finger and leafing through the first few. Then, rewetting his fingertips, he sent out the next stack, and the next.

Isobel blanched as she watched the papers make their way toward her, and she hoped she’d be lucky enough to snag one relatively free of Swanson saliva.

“We’ve avoided it long enough.” He sighed in mock remorse. “Now, I’m sure the seniors all warned you about this one. Well, here it is. The big one. Better to get it over with early in the year, I say. You guessed it—the Swanson project.” He announced this last bit cheerfully (if not maniacally), and a grin spread its way beneath his wiry gray-white mustache.

Groans arose from key points around the room, Isobel’s own buried in the back of her throat.

Projects took time. A lot of time.

“This is to be a partner project,” Swanson continued, “due the last Friday of the month. That’s Halloween, for those of you who haven’t got your iPhones or BlackBerries or Kicksides or whodiwhat calendars handy—which I hope for their sake no one does.”

The boredom that had only a moment ago made Isobel’s limbs heavy and her mind sluggish slipped away from her in a quick whoosh, like a magician’s cloth.

Hold up. Did he say Halloween? Uh, yeah, where was his calendar? Did he not know that was the night of the rival football game against Millings? Lift up the rock, Swanson. Breathe. It’s called air.

Isobel’s grip tightened around her pen. She kept her gaze steady on her English teacher, all dials now tuned to the Swanson channel.

“This project,” he said, “will consist of both a presentation and a detailed ten-page paper. I want you and your partner to select a famous American author—any American author. Though, in the spirit of Halloween, let’s make sure they’re dead, okay? In other words, no Stephen Kings, Heather Grahams, or James Pattersons. Also, this is an assignment to be completed outside of class, since we’re currently in the middle of Othello.”

Ten pages? Ten pages. That was epic. That was like . . . the freaking Gettysburg Address. Was Swanson really going to sit down and read all those papers?

Probably, she thought. And love every minute of it too.

She just didn’t get it. Why did Swanson have to assign a huge project due on the day of the rival game? No one ever got any work done that week. He could have at least given them that weekend.

It always amazed her how teachers seemed to think that students didn’t have lives outside of school. They couldn’t seem to grasp that by the time she got home from cheer practice, ate dinner, and scribbled down something on the mound of homework she already had, it was practically time to go to bed.

Isobel started an immediate scan of the room. This was serious, and she needed to locate a brainer—stat.

She eyed Julie Tamers, marching band geek extraordinaire, and began to plan a strategic route to the open chair next to hers when Mr. Swanson spoke again.

“FYI,” he began, class roster poised in one hand, chin tilted down, wire-rim glasses perched at the tip of his nose, “I’m trying something different this year in hopes it will both broaden your perspective and improve overall project results. That said, I’ll take a moment to include my little disclaimer that all pairings have been made at random. So after I read your names off the list you can partner up, brainstorm among yourselves, and then head to lunch. Starting with Josh Anderson and Amber Ricks.”

Isobel felt her jaw unhinge.

Wait, she thought. Just wait. Random pairings were so third grade. He could not be serious.

“Katlyn Binkly and Alanna Sato,” he continued. “Next we have Todd Marks and Romelle Jenkins.”

Around her, those whose names had already been called rose from their seats to find their corresponding partners. Isobel sat stunned at their willingness. For real? Was she the only one who felt the burn of injustice? Wasn’t anyone else going to say anything?

“Isobel Lanley and Varen Nethers.”

She felt her chest contract.


Oh, no. No way.

She turned her head slowly and took a long, reluctant look to the opposite end of the room. He sat in the back row against the far corner, slumped in his seat and staring straight ahead through shreds of inky locks, his thin wrists lined in black leather bands specked with hostile silver studs.

This could not be happening.

Her hunger forgotten, a gnawing discomfort tugged at her insides instead as she wondered how many of the freaky rumors about him were true. For a moment she seriously thought about requesting another partner, but knowing Swanson, she realized that would probably fly about as fast and well as cafeteria meat loaf.

Isobel frowned and bit her lip. Maybe, just maybe, it wasn’t going to be as bad as all that. Another glance at him, though, had her thinking otherwise.

Lost in the curtain of his dyed black hair, he hadn’t even acknowledged her presence, let alone the fact that—hello—they were supposed to be using the time to discuss this monstrosity of a project.

She wondered if she should get up and go to him, since it didn’t seem like he would be heading in her direction anytime soon.

Resigned, Isobel rose and collected her notebook. She fumbled for her backpack strap as her mind repeated all the whispers she’d ever heard linked with his name. There were rumors that he sometimes talked to himself, that he practiced witchcraft and had an evil eye tattooed on his left shoulder blade. That he lived in the basement of an abandoned church. That he slept in a coffin.

That he drank blood.

She approached him with steady steps, the way someone might inch up to a sleeping snake.

Slouched in his seat, one arm draped over the desktop, he was one long line of black, his well-worn, tightly strapped boots crossed at the ankles. Pinned beneath his arm dwelled the ratty black hardback book she’d seen him disappear into more than once during class.

In fact, it always seemed as though he was jotting or sketching something into its pages, though she could only guess at what. And maybe part of what made that whole thing so weird was that Swanson never called him on it, just like he never asked him to read out loud or answer questions. And that was weird too, because no one ever called Swanson out on that.

Isobel drifted to stand at a solid and safe four-foot distance. She waited, shifting her weight from one foot to the other. What was she supposed to say? Howdy, partner?

She glanced to the clock on the wall. Seven minutes left until lunch.

Aaawwkward, she thought as he continued to just sit there and stare off like she didn’t exist. His enthusiasm was almost catching.

“Look, I’m not doing the work all by myself,” she said at last, deciding to crack the rather thick ice with that little mallet of for-your-info.

He didn’t move, but he spoke.

“Did I say that?”

Isobel felt a sting of surprise at the sound of his voice. It was as if she’d half expected him to be made of wax. His voice was calm and low and reasonable, not troubled and gruff like she’d assumed. He’d never spoken in class before, though. Ever, that she could remember.

“No,” she said, stiffening, tempted to just bail. Nikki would never believe this, she thought. Her getting paired up with the king of goths? Talk about breaking news. “I just thought I’d let you know,” she said, clearing her throat. “I mean . . . because, actually, you’re not saying anything.”

Feeling dumb for being the last person in the room standing, Isobel finally slid into the seat next to his, her gaze darting over the room.

A low murmur started among the pockets of groups, growing in volume as everyone went about exchanging ideas. After swapping scribbled sheets of notepaper, two groups even got up and left. And here she was, still stuck trying to commune with a member of the living dead.

Her jaw tightened. She was starting to think that Mr. Swanson’s claim that all pairings had been made “at random” was a bunch of bull. This was probably his idea of a great joke, his way of getting back at her for not turning in that stupid paper on Don Quixote.

“As long as we’re getting things out on the table, so to speak,” he said, calling her attention back to their little space in the corner—it was so weird to hear him talk. “I’m not doing it on my own either.”

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 smudged 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.

Discomfort welled in her, thick and black as an oil spring.

Who was this guy and what was his royal problem? Her gaze flicked briefly to the small metal loop that hugged one corner of his bottom lip.

He blinked once, then slowly lifted one hand and crooked a beckoning finger at her.

Isobel hesitated but then as though spellbound to obey, she found herself leaning in.

“What are you staring at?” he whispered.

She drew back, her face going hot. She swiveled away from him and put her hand in the air. Mayday, Swanson. Do you read me?

There came a slow, ominous clink of chains from behind her. Isobel went rigid. She lowered her hand and, looking up, found him towering over her, all tall straightness and stone pale.

She bit back a protest as he took her hand in his. She gawked as one long-fingered hand grasped hers and stared, unblinking, at the black pen that appeared from nowhere and began moving against her skin, the tip as cold and sharp as those eyes.

Oh. My. God. He was writing on her.

She tried to make a noise but couldn’t.

His face remained emotionless as he made small, careful lines with the pen. The steady impression of the ballpoint tickled, creating knots in her stomach.

All she could do was stare at an enormous ring, molded into the shape of a silver dragon, as it snarled at her from his middle finger.

When at last he finished, he released her hand and, with one final almost admonishing stab of that razor gaze, turned away. Grabbing his black book, he slung his beaten leather satchel over one shoulder. “Don’t call after nine,” he said, and tucking the pen behind one ear, strolled out of the classroom.

Isobel’s face burned. Her skin tingled where he’d touched her, with an almost imperceptible electricity that she couldn’t be sure if she was imagining. Like the tips of her fingers had somehow fallen asleep.

She took a quick inventory, first of her senses, then of the people still in the room, afraid to see who had noticed, amazed that apparently no one had. Even Eagle Eye Swanson had just returned to his desk, where he now sat munching a sandwich and leafing through the school paper, the Hawk’s Call.

Isobel looked down at her hand again.

In deep purple ink, he’d written “V—555-0710.”

© 2010 Kelly Creagh

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Nevermore 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 426 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is perfection! I have so many wonderful things to say about it that I don't even know where to start, not to mention it would take a while. But I will say this... I LOVE Isobel and Varen, especially together. The author did such a great job that I felt Isobel's emotions. My heart was racing the first time they kissed and I cried when she cried, (I won't ruin it for you by saying why she was crying). The "paranormal" aspect of it was so creative and original and just so different from what everyone is writing these days. It was a bit slow going at first but once it got to that point we anticipate in all books, I couldn't stop reading. I finished in a day and have thought of nothing else since. I can't even decide on something new to read because I'm sure it won't measure up to the perfection of what I've just finished. Don't skip this book!
acsimps More than 1 year ago
I love it when I come across a book that seems completely unique. It is hard to find a good paranormal YA book that is not about Vampires, Werewolves, or Faeries. Not that I am saying that I don't love books on these subjects but I think we can all agree there are a lot out there right now. Nevermore is fresh and new. I also love books that pull in real historical events to serve as a backdrop for paranormal events. It makes the story seem more realistic. Isobel Lanley: perky, blond, cheerleader Varen Nethers: mysterious, dark, goth The simple laws of the high school class system says that they can never be friends, but when they are paired up for an English project they are forced to work together. Varen and Isobel are not the only ones who are upset by their pairing. Brad, Isobel's boyfriend waists no time putting Varen in his place and Lacy is not to fond of Isobel spending time with her boyfriend either. Despite their initial aversion to each other, both soon discover an attraction hiding beneath the surface. The closer that Isobel and Varen become the stranger their lives become. Soon Isobel is being followed, watched and visited by various beings who seem to be sending her a message, "Stay away from Varen Nethers." Despite their warnings Isobel falls hard for Varen. When he vanishes before her eyes Isobel ventures into the dream world Varen created through the pages of his notebook, a realm where the terrifying stories of Edgar Allan Poe come to life in order to save him from a fate that seems inevitable. Choices are made, lies are told, and Isobel discovers that dreams, like words, hold more power than she ever imagined. Be prepared for a cliffhanger ending this one is a series! I simply could not put this one down. Kelly Creagh's debut is enticing, exciting, and nerve racking. And it's all balled up into this fresh take on the mystery that surrounds America's first master of horror, Edgar Allen Poe. Interesting tid bit: I love the cover art for this book but I was surrprised to find that when the book arrived Varen was missing the lip ring shown in this picture. He has one in the story and on most cover art you find online but on the actual book it has been removed. Weird!
romancemistress More than 1 year ago
If you are a fan of Poe's dark and dreamy landscape of the imagination, you will fall into this novel with both a sigh...and eventually a scream. Kelly Creagh does a fantastic job (in her first book yet! You go, girl!!!)of creating a realistic picture of high school life with its dangers of both fitting in and not fitting in while simultaneously penning a spookily surrealistic world of whispers and creatures seen only from the corner of the eye. I've noticed that some of the best YA paranormal lit of the last few years are the ones with great guy characters (i.e. Hush, Hush's fallen but redeemable Patch, Bleeding Violet's crazy/sexy Wyatt, Beautiful Creatures' loyal and romantic Ethan, Wicked Lovely's awesomely awesome Seth (did I mention he was AWESOME?!), and the upcoming (9/21) The Replacement's otherworldly (seriously) Mackie...and, of course, that Edward guy. But somebody's gonna have to do some serious creatin' to beat Nevermore's wondrous and winsome Goth, Varen Nethers. I mean, does the picture on the front of the book not paint his Gothic-y, smart-but-maybe-troubled-boy in all his dark Princelyness? Great cheekbones, interesting nose, even Isobel mentions his lips, a suggestion of a cleft to the chin, and all that black hair...which becomes even more attractive when we learn he dyes it - why...maybe to indicate that the innocence of that blonde boy in the photo has long ago been destroyed. One trip to the beautiful Victorian house and a meeting with his drunken and abusive father shows Isobel and the reader all we need to know about beautiful facades covering the rottenness within. For all the "dark and dreary" of this Poe inspired novel, there is deeply felt romance between the odd couple pairing of smart but withdrawn (and pretty much universally feared as some sort of vampire)Varen and the blonde but no dummy Isobel. The family dynamics of both kids are well layed out, that swift revelation of Varen's showing us all we need to know about his psyche whereas Isobel's habit of arguing with her little brother and her dismissal of his game-playing just shows how normal her family is in contrast...and little bro does come through eventually. Also the whole popular crew showing themselves as a violent, vandalizing pack when everything doesn't go their way pretty much fuels the fire of Isobel's growing interest in Varen. If you're not a fan of Poe's 3M's - misery, melodrama, and melancholia - don't worry because there is humor, too. Isobel can be very snarky in her internal dialogue - "Mr. Creepy McCreepers," and her efforts to fit in with other less popular cliques after she's ousted from her old pack are funny and tragic simultaneously. Poe and his tales and mysterious death are just the engine behind this book...he's the matchmaker, you might say, along with the English teacher who puts Isobel and Varen together on their project to write about a dead American author...right before Halloween. The last quarter of the book is where the real creepiness ensues as both the characters (and the reader)are submerged into a nightmare world from which everyone can't return. And if you know your Poe, you shouldn't be surprised that the ending leaves you...hoping and praying for an immediate - if not sooner - sequel. Loved it enough to read it in one evening and cannot wait for book 2.
xoxomlrxoxo More than 1 year ago
Okay, so I read the synopsis for Nevermore a week before it was released and I was hooked. So I went to buy the book on Saturday. I've been reading since then and I'm pretty fast at reading, so I'll be done tonight-maybe. In my opinion, Kelly Creagh has done a fantastic job at writing this book, and for some reason, (even though I'm not a big fan of cheerleaders) I am super excited to see what happens in the end with Varen and Isobel. And (for your information) I never heard of Edgar Allen Poe before reading this book, so I'm gonna tell the fans of this amazing poet, that its not a book that COMPLETELY revolves around him. Poe IS included in this book for projects and events, but the story isn't completely about him. BUT THAT COMMENT ISN'T SUPPOSE TO STEER YOU AWAY FROM READING THIS BOOK! It is a VERY, VERY, VERY great novel that I will definintely be wanting and waiting for more!! So please try this book out--IT IS SOOOO WORTH IT! :)
Anonymous 20 days ago
This will actually be my third time reading this book. I have reread this one quite a few times and the third one is FINALLY out and I can see how it all ends! I absolutely love Kelly and her writing style. I think the world that she has brought to life in Nevermore was just amazing. It was so thought out and made me feel like I was right there in the book. Not to mention the characters and the relationships surrounding both Isobel and Varen. To me none of them felt one dimensional. Honestly Isobel is one of my favorite characters in YA. I absolutely love her. Sometimes stories like this make me so mad because the minute they find the boy they become hopeless and emotional, but that wasn’t the case with her at all. She is such a strong character, and there is a part where she does get a bit mopey but I thought it added so much to her appeal. Now I have to admit one story trope I will never really get sick of is the bad boy/good girl. I think it’s one of my favorites, but it has to be done right and I think that Kelly gets it right. Now Varen.. Where to even begin with him. I pretty much loved all the characters in this book except for Brad. But Varen is another one I love. I did find that he wasn’t really in the book a whole lot but the moments when he and Isobel interact where some of my favorites. I love that he wanted to protect her. One thing I also really loved is the fact that Isobel is a cheerleader, but she wasn’t just in it because it’s the only thing to do, but she actually enjoys it. She does it because she has a love for the sport and it was such a small thing but I think it really added to her character. I really do love this book. I just think it was really well done. The way Kelly entwines Poe’s stories in to her own is just amazing. The world! I mean I really wish this would be made in to a movie so that I could see the scene where Isobel is brought in to the world of Poe’s Masque of the Red Death story. That would be amazing. That scene is just so well done and creepy and I would love to actually see it in real life. Honestly Kelly is just so amazing at writing a world that makes you feel as if you’ve been transported there. I love the time and the effort she has put in to each character. The way she has built the relationships around Varen and Isobel was just so well done. I loved the how different Isobel and Varen’s parents were. Overall I just thought this was such a great story, and I have already read the second one (i’m rereading it now) but I think it is just as good and I need to hurry up and read the third one. I highly suggest that you guys pick this one up. If you like creepy, crazy worlds, with an awesome female lead read this one! I love it and I think you guys would as well! I gave this one five stars.
KristiHulsey 8 months ago This review was really hard for me. I just completely fell in love with this story. These characters and this world was just so amazing. This book was just so thought provoking. I love the story line and the Edgar Allen Poe parts. I am not really a fantasy person. But this paranormal fantasy was just fantastic. I got so invested in this story. I just couldnt stop reading it. I am so glad this story is in a series and not a standalone. I need more of this world. So I am really looking forward into diving into the next book. The characters of Varen and Isobel. You wouldnt think they would have feelings for each other. Because their characters are just so much different than each other. Isobel being head cheerleader and Varen being more gothic than anything. Their characters are just so different. But when they got paired for the project together. I didn't know how I would like them together. But their attraction grew on me. Their feelings for each other. It just became so emotional. I kept thinking when will they kiss. Because I love the romance in these stories. But it never came. The buildup was just so overwhelming. Of course they do kiss, but at the time its not important because its close to the end of the story and other things are happening that are more important. It was just a great story. So much detail went into this story. You really should invest your time into it. And just fall in love with it like I did. I cannot wait to continue on with this story. And see what happens with it. Because there was a bit of a cliffhanger in this one. I just need to know what happens to certain characters. 5+ stars.
Anonymous 10 months ago
I already enjoyed Edgar Allan Poe a ton and these books just captured me. I really would suggest this series to anyone
WynterBooks More than 1 year ago
I loved this book!  I got it when it first came out, because I loved the Edgar Allen Poe aspect of the book.  It was incredible.  
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Really good book. I loved how a mystetious death can bring about ideas of such immense story plot. I loved it!!!!!!
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When I went to the library, I grabbed the wrong book- I meant to grab a different book besides this book. That being said, this was the best accident ever! This book gave me a different look at Poe's works. I suggest this book to anyone who loves Poe!
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Wow! This book took my breath away! I love Poe and I loved Varen. The cliffhanger killed me. I can't wait to read the next book!
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This book had me on the edge of my seat the entire time. I loved Isobel and her feelings toward Varen that have yet to be descovered. It made me look at the world a whole new way. This is by favorite book. Trust me whem I say I have read a lot of books. This is by far the best.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago