Actual rating is 4.5 stars, but I'm rounding up because the tears I cried last night told me to.
This review may hint towards what happens in Everboun
...more Actual rating is 4.5 stars, but I'm rounding up because the tears I cried last night told me to.
This review may hint towards what happens in Everbound, so keep that in mind. However, it is spoiler-free for Evertrue.
Evertrue doesn't feel like the end; while final installments in trilogies tend to be the darkest of the three, I found Evertrue's tone to be far different than the two novels preceding it. Obviously, the stakes in Evertrue are high, arguably at the series' highest, and lives are at risk. So yes, the underlying plot of Evertrue is dark, harrowing, and emotional, but it's how the characters react in these times that makes me love this installment and connect to it more than I did the first two; among many other reasons.
For starters, in Evertrue I finally got a feel for both Nikki and Jack individually. For the first two books, while I found their love for each other and dedication towards one another admirable, I never got to connect to anything but their relationship because that was all they seemed to think about. Here, we get a taste of both Nikki and Jack's characters separately (and, of course, together as well), and because of this I was able to connect to them both a lot more.
They're both incredibly witty and likable characters, and I appreciate how Brodi Ashton waited until now for the true, pleasant aspects of their personalities to surface. It only further proved that, in each other's presence, they can only truly be themselves; and I feel that if this character development were in any of the other two novels, it would have felt slightly out of place, if not entirely. And then there's the Jack swoons, obviously.
"You are my peace and home. You are the everything. The pain isn't real. The hearts are."
And then there's Cole, whom I will love forever, despite how much of an asshole he can be most of the time at times. I don't want to say anything about Cole and his involvement throughout Evertrue right here, but all I can say is that if you didn't get a feel for how truly deep his feelings for Nikki go, and vice versa, I think you will in this one. Jack and Nikki are sweet and made an adorable couple; but I believe, and will continue to believe, that the best relationship in this trilogy is the one between Cole and Nikki.
It's not just that Cole is such an incredibly complex character, whose motives you can never, and will never be quite sure of; it's that his relationship with Nikki is the exact same way. Their relationship is the most dynamic, engaging, and emotional one in the trilogy for me; and in the end, it's the most beautiful thing about the novel.
The actual plot of Evertrue may not be very action packed (although it is extremely engaging), and the climax may be a bit quick and anticlimactic (lasting about five pages), but I don't think the quality of this trilogy is or should be measured by the amount of action it contains (unless it's clear the focus is supposed to be action and not much else); the quality of this trilogy, at least for me, is measured by the amount of emotional attachment I have to the characters, even the ones I either knew I shouldn't, or the ones I took a while to truly care about. It's measured by the moments spent cheering for the characters' fights; the moments spent feeling your heart break or feel fuzzy within the span of just a few pages; and ultimately, the moments you spend sharing the same sorrow as the characters as you find yourself crying in the dark of your room at midnight.
And I think that's what all great trilogies or series should be measured by in the end, really. Not just the technical aspects, but the emotional. Evertrue broke my heart, yet at the same time managed to make it feel warm. I laughed at the many hysterical comments made, and teared up at the more emotional. I feel as if I have just finished this great journey as the characters themselves have done so, and I do acknowledge that this trilogy and this installment may have its faults in regards to the pacing; but in the end, my feelings for this trilogy as a whole and its conclusion seem to be as complex as the characters and their relationships with one another. But I do know a few things for sure: I love this book, I love these characters, and I love this trilogy.
(And I also know that I cried a lot, that the last two chapters are absolute perfection, and that I read each of those two chapters, like, ten times since last night. I have many feels.)(less)