Tuesday, January 24, 2012


My rating: 4 of 5 stars

They say not to judge a book by its cover. That appearances are deceitful.

I say this time you should not judge the book by how it starts off. At first it very much looks like your garden-variety paranormal YA: jocks, cheerleaders, cliques, mean girls, emo-goths, star crossed lovers, you get the gist. There were a couple of scenes at the beginning where I thought I was probably going to ditch it if it went on like it was.
But it didn't.
First of all, you should be aware that underneath the shallow, clichéd appearance, this book is very dark and oneiric. I don't know if you're familiar with the work of Edgar Allan Poe, but the story is based and heavily influenced by several of his writings, such as The Raven, The Masque of Red Death and Ligeia, among others. Parts of his biography, especially concerning the mysterious circumstances of his death, are also a fundamental part of the plot.

The story starts, quite predictably, with Isobel - blonde, cheerleader, girlfriend of THE football player of the school - getting paired up for an English project with Varen - goth guy, aloof, antisocial, with a mean girlfriend but magnetically irresistible. Despite a rocky start, as Isobel's feelings for Varen change and grow into something even she is reluctant to accept, strange things start to happen. Isobel gets chased by voices, she starts hallucinating, supposedly.
Who is causing all this? The key seems to be a book of the works of Edgar Allan Poe that Varen has given to her her for the project and that appears to have a life of its own.

Nevermore came as a surprise to me, really.
Despite glowing reviews (and some non-glowing), I wasn't expecting much from it. This seemed to be confirmed in the first few chapters, when all the clichés made their entrance, and the mean girls theme put me in eye-rolling mode.
BUT. As the Raven theme crept more and more into the story and the clichés were left behind, the plot turned into something truly and incredibly original. I am sorry for those readers who dropped the book before getting to that part because, really, they missed out on something good.
The second part, which takes place in a sort of dreamland, a story inside the stories, was truly engaging and fascinating for me. The star-crossed lovers got separated, grotesque figures started appearing, Isobel became a dark Alice in Wonderland, right after she fell into the hole.
I'll admit: not everybody will like it. It can be confusing at times and many people won't like the romance being set aside to see other characters steal the scene with their bloody razor teeth. Me, I loved it. I love when a book manages to surprise and frankly, this did it successfully.

As far as I am concerned, a success. I can't wait to read Enshadowed when it comes out in August, 2012.

I'm taking away one star for the name Varen.
First of all, WHY the lame anagram?
Second, unfortunately everytime I read the name, this was the image I had in my mind. Ops.


  1. Great review Lisa. I have been wanting to read this for awhile because the Edgar Allen Poe aspect. Ugh I will wade through the mean girl and cliche parts and take your word for it...wait for the good stuff. I am glad I am not the only one who hates the whole mean girl theme!

  2. great review lisa
    i can't wait 2 read it

  3. Awesome review, Lisa! I'm glad you were able to keep going till the good stuff kicked in. This book came as a pleasant surprise to me, too. I'm really looking forward to the next book now. :)

  4. I read this one back in October, and liked it well enough. It started out slow for me, but once the paranormal elements starting picking up, I really enjoyed it. However, I thought the dreamland was a bit over done. I was intrigued enough to want to read the next book though.

    Angie @ Pinkindle Reads & Reviews

  5. I wonder if I'd enjoy reading this even if I'm not familiar with Edgar Allan Poe's writing (for shame!)... I've heard good things about the book but hesitated in getting in when I saw how thick the hardcover is.

  6. THAT was the image in your mind? Well, that certainly explains a few things... :P

    This is the best tired-out-of-your-mind review you've ever written, hon. Very detailed.

  7. Also, I just figured out that I comment on everybody else's blogs all the time, but I almost never comment on my very own. Seriously, slap me twice. :D

    Are we taking each other for granted? Are we getting a divorce? *sobs uncontrollably*

  8. Yaaaaaaaaaay!!! You don't know how happy I am that Nevermore was one of those books you didn't expect much from but ended up loving anyways -- this book was just SO sweet and surprising to me too that it definitely made my favourites list!! :) And I love how you described the last half because that's exactly what it was like: dream-like with a sort of nightmarish quality, all adding up to a sort of Alice in Wonderland feel! (I just love that comparison you made! <3)

    Awesome review, Maja! :) And LOL to that horse picture -- that's so funny!!!! x)

  9. Oogf I've heard raving and hating reviews on this one it's very intimidating! I still have it on my reader though I guess I should see for myself. Maybe I'll love it since I expect to hate it! haha

  10. There! First heaps of likes for one-liners on GR and now credit for reviews she NEVER wrote! I smell a coup here... I'll shoot that bird if you do!

  11. ♥ This was one of my favorite reads last year. I definitely was a little hesitant to read it (between that horrible cover and the cheerleader/goth premise...) but once I started, I couldn't stop. The friends were awful and their actions toward a SCHOOL PROJECT were completely unnecessary, but overall, I adored the book and cannot wait for more.

  12. Glad to hear you enjoyed it! I honestly didn't love it as much as you did but I did enjoy it. I found Isobel irritating and Varen super goth...well anyway great review! If I hadn't alredy read this book I totally would have picked it up :)


    Tempest and The Eternal One's Giveaway!

  13. I like when a book surprises you, I'm sure so many people would have given up but by sticking with it you got to read a great book.

    I'm going to add this to my to-read list right now!


  14. Nevermore has to one of my favorite reads of the past year. I agree with your comments - classic YA, with an unexpected, dark, and lovely turn, I'd say! The Alice in Wonderland comparison is perfect, too :) Enshadowed was originally going to be released now, in Jan, but it got pushed back due to revisions and rewriting... Argh! I can't wait for the sequel to be out!

    Thanks for sharing the review! I'm adding your button to my own blogroll too, by the way ;)

    Ron @ Stories of my life

  15. I loved this one Lisa. I read a bunch of the short stories referenced in here by Poe after reading this and it made more sense to me. Seriously, THAT image was on your mind? Maybe you're a little more twisted than I thought Lisa. Lol! :)


Thank you for stopping by and commenting. If you're a fellow blogger, I'll visit and return the favor as soon as possible. If your're using Google+ to comment, please make sure that your blog link is clearly visible on your profile.

Unfortunately, this is now an award and tag free blog, but I do thank you for your consideration.