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I Belong

Review: Nevermore by Kelly Creagh

NevermoreTitle: Nevermore

Author: Kelly Creagh

Genre: YA Paranormal

Series: Nevermore (Book #1)

Publication Date: August 31, 2010

Format: Hardcover, 543 Pages

ISBN-10: 1442402008 (Atheneum/Simon)

ISBN-13: 978-1442402003 (Atheneum/Simon)

Reviewed by: Kristie


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.

Quick & Dirty: A dark, horror young adult novel that felt like a cross between Edgar Allen Poe stories and Labyrinth!

Opening Sentence: Edgar opened one eye to a slit.

Excerpt: Yes

The Review:

Nevermore is a young adult, horror love story about a cheerleader who falls in love with a *gasp* goth boy. The first half of this novel kind of plays like a contemporary love about two people who couldn’t be more different yet like each other and the people around them who keep telling them they shouldn’t be together. The second half holds the horror and paranormal showcasing Poe’s work in a dreamscape setting.

Isobel Lanley is teamed up to work with Varen Nethers in English class. They have to work together outside of class because their lame teacher won’t give them class time to do the project. The project must focus on a great American writer/poet with Poe being the obvious choice. Isobel is not happy with her partner. Varen is the crazy goth boy who has terrible rumors saying that he is a vampire and drinks blood among other things. When Isobel actually meets Varen for the first time she is drawn to him. She can’t quite figure it out. But Isobel’s boyfriend, Brad, has to be an utter Neanderthal/psycho/little man that he threatens Varen every chance that he can get. He doesn’t want Isobel doing a project with Varen. Isobel begins to realize how terrible Brad is and feels for Varen.

Strange things begin to happen to Isobel, things that are tied to Varen. She just thinks she’s going crazy or at the very least daydreaming. Her feelings toward Varen begin to grow into something that she just didn’t think was possible, but everyone keeps seeing the outside layer of Varen and warning her away. They don’t see the quiet, soft-spoken boy who has captured her imagination and her heart. Varen actually takes care of Isobel and pays attention to her unlike that jock of a boyfriend. Varen ends up getting drawn to deep into another world where Isobel must find him and hope that she can save him.

For the most part, I did like Isobel. She parted ways from her friends when they were just awfully rude. No one should have to go through the stuff her friends put Varen through. Or the language used. Isobel stuck to her guns even though she ended up losing her IN crowd, but because of this she made new friends that she probably wouldn’t have otherwise. I did have a little bit of a hard time believing in her feelings for Varen but by the end I really believed in her desperation. (Plus, I imagined Varen as the lead singer in a band I listen to so that help me with her feelings.)

Varen was pretty much what I would expect of his type of character, quiet and soft-spoken unless he’s talking about something he is passionate about. He has a bit of desperation about him but he is a little rude trying to warn Isobel off of him because he doesn’t want to get hurt by her spurning him.

I may have been a bit presumptuous likening the story to The Labyrinth movie but I really got the vibe from Isobel and Pinfeathers during The Grim Façade scene with the music, the dancing and the strange creatures.

I would definitely recommend Nevermore for fans of Poe and for readers who want something a little more different about their paranormal reads. I already can’t wait to see how this series will go on and can’t wait to pick up my copy of Enshadowed. Nevermore is told entirely through Isobel’s third person point of view, except the Prologue which is Edgar’s.

Notable Scene:

He spun her before she could wrench away, and they coiled in a tight circle. The world blended into a mesh of chaos, color, and noise.

“Stop!” she shouted, but he ignored her, throwing her into revolution after revolution, almost swinging her into another pair of masked dancers who scampered aside, laughing.

“Where’s your mask?” he asked. “Everyone is wearing one but you, cheerleader. Are you trying to say you have nothing to hide?” He dragged her through the steps.

“Let go of me!”

“You know, I’ve been chatting with your friend all evening.”

“Varen? Where is he?”

“Really, cheerleader. I’m beginning to think you have a one-track mind.” He pushed her away violently, and Isobel stumbled onward, nearly toppling into a pair of courtiers dressed as what she thought must be a pair of black spray-painted toucans. She stared at them confused, and in return, they glared at her until Pinfeathers yanked her once more into the dance. She crashed flat against him and he spun her again.

“I meant your other friend,” he said. “Then again, you have so many. It’s been hard to keep them all straight! I wouldn’t exactly say he’s much of a conversationalist, though. Kind of the strong, silent type. At least until he screams. You look beautiful tonight, by the way, have I told you yet?” He smiled.

Nevermore Series:

1. Nevermore

2. Enshadowed

3. Oblivion


FTC Advisory: Atheneum Books for Young Readers/Simon & Schuster provided me with a copy of Nevermore. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.


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