Came out: August 31, 2010
Source: Kindle Store
Age Group: Young Adult
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
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.
His life depends on it.
Dark and alluring, Nevermore will ensnare you in its grasp. I loved how the beginning was about Edgar Allen Poe and his mysterious death. Weaving a little bit of history into the beginning of the book was a genius touch by Kelly that gave the book just the right amound of backstory.
Isobel and Varen are such captivating characters and they both have intriguing personalities. Once you think you know what they’re doing, they do something that completely surprises you.
At first, I was instantly repelled by Isobel’s slightly-catty personality. I didn’t like the people she spent time with, her attitude, or the remarks that she made. But once she started spending more time with Varen, she let her true personality shine through, which was refreshing. You really grew to like her towards the middle of the book.
I liked how it balanced the drama of high school with the dark essence of Edgar Allen Poe’s poems. I really liked the unique spin on a dark fairy-tale. The poems had great influence over the story and filled it with a smoky, evil air that made you not want to put the book down.
Varen was okay. I didn’t really like him, but I could see why Isobel did. He was a little too dramatic for me, so I found myself frustrated at him throughout the book. But towards the end, you see why he is the way he is. This book isn’t so much paranormal romance as it has a little bit of HORROR in it, but I found myself gasping at every chapter.
The ravens, the nighttime, the demons, the poems. All of it added to the eerie and terrifying atmosphere that Kelly created. The only negative that I have for the story is the ending. I get that it was supposed to be centered around Edgar. But I found myself confused because it was very jumbled for me. I like having a lot of twists, but not so much where you find yourself trying to figure out what’s going on.
But overall, this was a great book with a unique plot that was dark and beautifully written. Perfect for a dark fantasy read.
Recommended for anybody who likes: Edgar Allen Poe; The Summoning; The Vampire Diaries; Personal Demons; etc,.
Possible book club questions:
How did the Edgar Allen Poe book tie into everything?
How did Isobel mature and change throughout the book?
What other books reference Edgar Allen Poe?
Did Isobel remind you of Eve from Glass Houses?
Do you think that the relationship between Varen and his parents will be highlighted later in the series?
What would you have done if you were paired with Isobel?