Evermore

Evermore

Evermore was written by Alyson Noël and first published in 2009. It is the first instalment of The Immortals series which focuses on teenage psychic Ever Bloom as she tries to keep her gifts secret and live a normal life. The novel is followed by Blue Moon (2009), Shadowland (2009), Dark Flame (2010), Night Star (2010) and Everlasting (2011). The book also sparked a middle grade spin-off titled the Riley Bloom Series which ran for four novels and focused on Ever’s little sister.

Following a terrible car accident which took the life of her parents, sister and beloved pet dog, Ever is forced to leave her entire life behind and move to California in order to live with her Aunt Sabine. Although she is endlessly tormented by survivor guilt, this is by no means the worst of her problems. The accident has left her cursed with psychic powers – the ability to see people’s auras and learn their life story with a single touch. Unable to control her new abilities, Ever shies away from human contact and gradually becomes regarded as the school freak. Only friends with fellow outsiders Miles and Haven (and the ghost of her sister, Riley), she resigns herself to a life alone. That is, until Damen arrives in her life.

Damen is perfect in every way and immediately becomes the most desirable boy in school. He is intelligent, dashing and skilled at art and Ever can’t understand why it is that he seems so interested in her. Yet she quickly discovers that Damen is hiding something from everyone. He seems to have psychic powers of his own and can dampen Ever’s abilities by touching her and he never seems to each anything, choosing instead to drink from a flask of mysterious red liquid.

As Ever’s attraction to Damen begins to grow, her life grows even more complicated. Haven seems to have fallen in with a bad crowd and is behaving increasingly strangely. To make matters worse, Damen seems to have a history with Haven’s new best friend, Drina. As another member of Haven’s group is found dead and Haven herself grows suddenly ill, Ever begins to realise that there is something sinister about Drina. She needs to find out what is going on and how Damen is involved or Haven could be the next to die.

Just to warn you before I begin, there will be a few small spoilers in this review. I won’t reveal anything too important but you have been warned.

I’m a bit limited with what I can talk about in regards to this novel as to talk about my feelings towards what Damen is would constitute a major spoiler. Unlike many paranormal romances (as I have noted before) which give away what the love interest is in the blurb, Evermore manages to keep this fact from the reader until the final quarter of the novel. I did think that this was a nice touch as it meant that the reader was always in the same position as Ever, gradually uncovering Damen’s identity piece by piece. This helps to maintain a sense of mystery within the story and I was please to find that it had a small twist in the tale. All I’ll say is that Damen wasn’t quite what he seemed to be. If you want to know more, you’ll have to read the novel.

Unfortunately, Evermore seems to have been largely created with the big paranormal romance cookie cutter. Although dressed up slightly by Ever’s supernatural abilities, the novel still contains all of the paranormal romance tropes. Outsider heroine who is made all the more adorable by her flaws (Ever is academically bright but isn’t very good at painting) who is paired with a seemingly perfect boy who harbours a dark secret. Does this sound familiar? That could be because it’s the plot of Twilight. There’s no real way that I can see to argue that this is not the case. And, while I am no lover of the Twilight series, I would gladly read it again if the alternative was reread Evermore.

I admit, I was a little curious in the beginning but after a few chapters I realised that it was a novel built on a foundation of pure angst. While a little bit of teen angst in a story can add to the tension, this was endless. Ever blames herself for her parent’s death and liked to remind the reader about this constantly. It is not made clear until the final couple of chapters exactly how Ever caused the accident but when she finally reveals this it is massively underwhelming. I was left just thinking “really? Is that what we’ve been building up to all this time?”. But this is not the thing that made me despair the most. Not by a long shot.

There is an old saying that love conquers all. In Evermore, this is literary true. Ever’s abilities are fueled by the power of love. As long as she has happy thoughts in mind, she is strong. If she is negative, she becomes weaker. I am aware that I am a jaded individual with a heart made of ice but this really did give me pause. I’m sure that some people will find this charming, even romantic, but I just could not suspend my disbelief. Ever’s depression is immediately dispelled by the power of love. Evil is destroyed (remarkably easily) by the power of love. Love, it would seem, is the deus ex machina to end all deus ex machinas.

This was especially problematic for me, given that I just could not understand what Ever saw in Damen. For almost all of the novel, Damen was a horrible human being. He flirted with everyone, occasionally leading Ever to believe that he loved her only to then immediately be caught with another woman. As his true motivation is revealed towards the end of the story it becomes readily apparent that he is completely selfish, caring little for Ever’s feelings and only concerned with his own happiness (which he perceives as also being best for her although he has never thought to ask her what she wanted). He also came across as being far too perfect. He does not seem to have any kind of weakness what so ever and thus I found him to just be a very boring character.

Ever does not fare much better. As I noted before, she starts out as your typical paranormal romance “outsider” – one who is far deeper than everyone else – yet all she does is complain. I understand that her past is tragic and not something that would be easy to overcome but she harps on about it constantly, repeating the same tracts regarding how she wishes that she had died, it was all her fault and her powers are punishment. This makes for very monotonous and dull reading. She is also completely incapable of believing that Damen is a jerk for more than ten seconds. Although she has the occasional moment of clarity and does not want anything more to do with him, still runs back into his arms as soon as he beckons to her. This is horribly weak characterisation for a female lead.

Other characters in the novel also failed to make an impression on me. The only one that I really liked was Miles but even he had little personality beyond being the token “gay friend”. Haven behaves almost as selfishly as Damen and I could not really understand why the others liked her – she certainly didn’t behave like a friend to them. Drina was also just too over the top as a villain. Her motivation was wafer thin and the execution of her evil plans was just cartoonish. She never came across as being especially threatening and it was kind of a relief when she was finally overcome.

I’m starting to ramble now so I’ll conclude. You may have gathered that I really did not enjoy Evermore. In fact, I would go as far to say that it is my least favourite paranormal romance so far. The story fluctuates between angst and cheese, the plot is riddled with deus ex machinas and the characters just seemed self-centred and utterly unlikable. I’m morbidly curious to know what will happen next but I am not optimistic that it will get any better.

Evermore can be purchased as a Paperback, eBook and Audio Book on Amazon.co.uk

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7 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. booksandbookmarks
    Oct 23, 2014 @ 08:00:35

    I’m on the second book. 😊

    Reply

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