Genre: YA Fantasy
Series: Amber House Trilogy (Book 2)
Publication Date: January 7, 2014
Format: Hardcover, 320 Pages
ISBN-10: 0545434181 (Scholastic Press)
ISBN-13: 978-0545434188 (Scholastic Press)
Reviewed by: Candy
“I was sixteen the second time I had my first kiss….”
At the end of AMBER HOUSE, Sarah made a choice that transformed everything–and now she must choose it all again.
Things are very different–better–for Sarah and her family: her Aunt Maggie grew up; her parents are happily married; her grandmother died after a long, productive and respected life. But other things are different too, and not for the better.
After growing up in the free country of the Pacific Northwest, Sarah Parsons has settled in at Amber House, the stately Maryland home that’s been in her family for generations. But the world surrounding the House feels deeply wrong to Sarah. It’s a place where the colonists lost the 1776 Insurrection, where the American Confederation of States still struggles with segregation, and where Sarah is haunted by echoes of a better world that she knows never existed.
Her friend Jackson shares these visions of a different world–and together, they manage both to remember the way things ought to be, and to plan a daring mission that will reset the universe once again. Sarah must figure out what has changed, and why, and how she can fix it–how she can find her way to another otherwhen.
Quick & Dirty: Sarah Parsons has once again returned to Amber House, but this time things are very different. Some of them for the better, but others are much worse. It is up to Sarah to once again fix things and make the universe right. With some help from her little brother and best friend Jackson even the impossible is possible.
Opening Sentence: I was sixteen the second time I had my first kiss.
First I have to mention that this is the second book in the Amber House trilogy and as such those who have never read the first one need to go and read that first because this review contains spoilers to the first book. Also, if you do not read Amber House there are parts in this story that may confuse you. Plus, the first one is just worth reading, so read it first.
Neverwas follows Sarah Parsons as she once again finds herself at Amber House. Sarah changed history at the end of Amber House and was able to save one of her great-grandmothers, along with her little brother and her aunt from dying. When Sarah saved her family members she changed the future and her whole life. Some things she changed were for the better like her aunt living to be an adult rather than dying as a child, but unfortunately not everything was better. Some things were very bad. One such thing was that blacks were still segregated from whites in many places, including Maryland, where Amber House is located. Sarah must find a way to fix what went wrong in the past because she changed things to make the world so wrong. If she does not the world she lives in could take another turn for the worst.
Sarah relives her entire life over again and does not remember her life where her parents were split up and her aunt had never lived to be an adult. Instead she grew up in a home where everything was almost perfect. I think because of this the Sarah in Neverwas is softer and less brave than the Sarah from the first book. In the first book Sarah never seemed scared of anything and marched onward even after being bitten by a poisonous spider and almost dying. The Sarah in this second book was harder to like because I know her true bravery. “Sarah two”, as she starts to think of herself after she remembers the other past, is not so brave and balks at having to change the future once again. She just cannot see how she can possibly do it and wants to just give up. She has been sheltered by the love of her family and it has made her into a very different person. Of course, I still did find good qualities in this Sarah eventually. She is still strong when it comes to protecting those she cares about. Jackson, her best friend, is black and as such is treated differently. So when people treat him badly Sarah is there to defend him, even if he would rather she didn’t. The other thing I like about this Sarah is that even though Richard is a better man in this one her heart still belongs to Jackson, who I just love.
I loved this book just as much as the first one. That being said, the beginning confused me because this new time was very different than the old time and it took me a moment to realize what was going on. Do not let that discourage you. KEEP READING!!! After I figured out what had happened to make things so different, I couldn’t stop reading this book. The farther into the story I got, the better it got and I couldn’t wait to find out what would happen. There were things that really shocked me but I cannot say what they are without giving away major plot points. Just be prepared to be shocked, amazed and wowed by the second book in the Amber House trilogy. I thought it would be hard to follow Amber House but Kelly, Larkin and Tucker have outdone themselves in this book and I am anxious to read the third book in the trilogy. I recommend this book and the first one to everyone whether you are a young adult or just an adult, this book is for everyone. It is a trilogy I could read over and over again.
I understood what Jackson meant to do. Put that freight train between us and our pursuit. It was almost on us, a wall of moving noise. Its engineer had spotted the two mad teenagers trying to outrace his locomotive and started yanking on the whistle. Its shriek went on and on. “No, no,” I sobbed, but did not slow.
The Amber House Trilogy:
1. Amber House
FTC Advisory: Arthur A. Levine Books/Scholastic Press provided me with a copy of Neverwas. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.
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