Kiki's Reviews > Evermore

Evermore by Alyson Noel
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's review
Dec 04, 2013

did not like it
bookshelves: ya, ghosts, lost-the-will-to-live, lolwut, choking-noises, love-stinks, wash-your-mouth-out-with-soap, books-to-use-as-weapons
Recommended to Kiki by: A douchebag
Recommended for: Douchebags
Read from July 23 to 30, 2010 — I own a copy , read count: 1

Have you ever heard of Mini Pop Kids? You know, those thirteen-year-olds who fit 24 cheap covers of mega-hit songs on to 2 CDs and pedal them on horrifyingly gaudy adverts between episodes of real 70s Scooby-Doo on Teletoon Retro?

(By the way, Teletoon Retro is the best channel on television. Check it out. It's absolutely brilliant. You can watch crappily animated suggestive vintage cartoons like Dexter's Laboratory and Top Cat and The Flintstones at 3 am with short commercial breaks. Love it? Yes.)

Mini Pop Kids is basically the definition of pointless commercialism, and they're so shiny. I was not that shiny when I was thirteen. I had terrible acne and I wore too much eyeliner because I thought I was emo, and I really liked wearing these frumpy ex-nursing shoes to school. In front of people.

See, this book is basically the Mini Pop Kids of the YA paranormal romance genre. It's this awful shiny, cheap knock-off written on really floppy paper. It's like the gas station version of Twilight - and that's assuming that it's possible for anything to be worse than Twilight. Is it possible to be worse than Twilight?

It's not like the plot even makes any sense. Ever and Damen's romance just happens randomly, one night at a party (said party being an example of how aggressively Ever takes advantage of her aunt Sabine). It's pretty formulaic YA fare: smokin' hot Lothario and cloth-eared cardboard cut-out check each other out for a while, do a little stalking, and then Adonis tells Plain Jane how much prettier and smarter she is than all the other short-skirted sluts (!!!) at school and then they kiss and fall in eternal love within about one hundred pages. Blah, blah. And there's this painful "gotta catch the girl" pursuit in which Ever expresses strong disinterest in Damen, but he ignores this and continues to push against her until she gives in. According to this book, "no" means "keep trying".

This is dangerous, and it is bullshit. If you're disinterested in someone, you have absolutely no obligation to pretend to be interested in them. If someone pursues you but you don't want to be pursued by them, it's 200% reasonable to tell them to go away, stop it, or leave you alone.

I could wax on and on about the whole virgin/whore dichotomy that tears through this book like a bull seeing red but that would be a waste of time. We already know it's going to be a sexist, racist, homophobic mess. Why do we already know this? Two reasons. One? It's a New York Time Bestseller, and sits at the forefront of most bookstore YA displays, and apparently the prerequisite for both of these privileges is appallingly offensive content. Two? It was written by someone who lives in a world where it's perfectly fine and acceptable to pat rape culture on the back, fetishize people of colour, ridicule and commodify people within the LGBTQA+ community, and to use a woman's appearance, intelligence and sexual choices to degrade her. So let's not bother with the formalities of "this is why it is offensive". It just is offensive, and that's that. It doesn't take a genius to work out why.

You'd expect a book with such shitty content to at least have some mercy and be properly written. It isn't. It's like fanfiction, all "hel-lo!" and "totally" and with the narrator using "I mean" as a prefix to about 60% of her inner monologue. It's appalling. It's like Marked, because it's not even fun to laugh at. It's just cringe-worthy in it's crappiness. Didn't I say this was a gas station Twilight? Well, it is!

Speaking of the narrator? Ever's a piece of shit. That's basically it. She's a huge piece of shit. She treats everyone around her like garbage and then expects them to paw at her adoringly while she mopes in her hoodie, with no makeup on her face. Okay, okay. So you think you're a wallflower and you think you have some kind of really cool selfless tragic indie life. Cool story, bro. You can do the whole self-centered teenage thing if you want, but don't pretend you're some kind of saintly madonna of a character who doesn't buy into the petty fads of the whores around you because you're just too damn obscure. That's what this book tries to do. It tries to make Ever out to be this sympathetic holier-than-thou Christ metaphor but in all honesty she's just an asshole.

(I also want to add that absolutely zero research was conducted into the world of psychic mediums. Psychic abilities are very specific, and you can't just lump them all under the title of "psychic". Ever can read auras and see ghosts and read thoughts and...yeah, it lost me. Reading thoughts? That's not a psychic ability. Psychics don't get their information by reading your thoughts. Telepathy is in a completely different ballpark, and it's just shit like this that proves how few fucks the author gives about authenticity and integrity in her writing. And not to mention the total lack of continuity surrounding the whole thing. Ever says she sees spirits everywhere and they wave at her and stuff, but she isn't at all bothered by this? What about people who died in horrible accidents? What about angry spirits? What about the mere fact that supposedly, everywhere she goes she sees these dead people walking around like they're at the fucking carnival? She literally mentions it once, and then never again. The fact that she can see ghosts wandering around doesn't even factor into her daily life. How can this even be?)

Listen, because here's something this book won't teach you: you aren't better than anyone else because you've had hardship in your life. Yeah, that sounds harsh, doesn't it? But it's true. Because you can't ever know what other people have gone through or had to deal with. And even if they haven't had any hardship, so what? Everyone is deserving of happiness. People who have average, painless lives aren't less "street" than you and they don't deserve to be shit on from a great height by people who've been through the wars. If you've had pain in your life and you know how it feels to be truly unhappy, then where the hell is the logic in wanting to inflict that on some content stranger?

Needless to say, Ever doesn't get this. Does she have to scorn Haven and Miles? Does she really have to invade other people's privacy using her mediumship and then proceed to critique their character based on their private thoughts? What goes on silently in someone else's head is seriously none of your business. Does she have to be a huge brat to Sabine, who has also lost family members? Sabine is grieving too and Ever is old enough to realize this. She has lost her whole family and she has survivor's guilt, and you can't expect someone to be whole and cheery with this sort of weight on their shoulders, but Ever's not a little kid. She's not a tiny child who doesn't know what death and grief is. She's big enough to be able to empathize with other people.

Back to no means no: if your friends try to force you into a relationship with someone, or try to force you to confess to being interested in someone that you are not interested in (like Haven does to Ever) make some new ones. If someone scares you and makes you uncomfortable, get away from them. This is an actual problem that this book normalizes - women putting up with shit. Ever puts up with being badgered into acknowledging Damen constantly. This is pretty much a phenomenon within YA. In fact, it's a phenomenon within society in general. This is what we're taught: don't be a bitch, or a prude, or the angry girl. Just humor him. Smile, be a lady.

No. Fuck that. Listen - this is serious. If you are not interested in someone, or someone is making you feel uncomfortable, you are not obligated to be polite to him. If some dude comes and sits next to you on the bus and badgers you to talk, you do not have to put up with it. You do not have to talk back. You do not have to "be a lady" and let him enjoy frightening you.

If a dude sits next to you in class and makes comments about your body, you do not have to sit there, silent and ashamed.

If a dude asks you for your number and you don't want to give it to him, you do not have to pretend to forget it, or give him a fake number to avoid an argument.

If a dude touches your body or your clothes in a way that makes you uncomfortable, you don't have to make the effort to move or pretend not to notice it.

If your dude boss calls you "crazy" you don't have to laugh it off and take it on the chin.

If your dude friend fetishizes your sexual preferences, your clothing and your body size, you don't have to try and twist it into a joke or pretend to enjoy the attention even though it makes you feel sick.

(I have experienced all of the above scenarios and more.)

Say "fuck off". Say "leave me alone". Say "I don't want to give you my number". See, this is the fucking problem with so many YA books like this one. "No" is being muddied. It's being replaced with "maybe". YA is telling young women that "no" means "try again later".

It's this whole predator/prey formula that prowls around YA like a fucking snake in the grass, etching the gender binary in stone. What's it telling young women? Be pursued. Even if you don't want to be. That's what you're there for. To be looked at, to be touched, to be courted. To be prey. And the vice versa is what it is telling young men - you're the predator. Push, shout, beat her down. She's yours to look at, to touch, to court. If she says no, don't respect that. Don't respect her at all. Just keep pushing. Eventually, you'll wear her down.

That's not consent. That's coercion. But hey! Talkin' 'bout those "blurred lines"!

And the cycle goes around and around, getting tighter and tighter, more and more ingrained in society, until we don't even know it's happening. Until we don't think twice about sitting on a bus silently and passively while some guy stares at us from across the aisle, licking his lips and make obscene gestures with his hands. Until we don't say no for fear of being the bitch who broke the binary.

I am almost done with YA, especially paranormal YA. It's just the most problematic shit. How can we all be putting up with this? This is fucked! This whole genre is fucked!

I need a drink.
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Comments (showing 101-110 of 110) (110 new)

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message 101: by Kiki (last edited Sep 21, 2013 08:55PM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Kiki Kyle wrote: "Thinking about this book makes me want to scream. I read it in middle school ages ago, and even then I wanted to punch the author for Miles.

It's people like her giving teenage girls the idea that..."

All I can say is that I'm sorry you have to put up with such heterosexist objectifying bullshit, Kyle. It's such an enormous slap in the face. Straight people who commodify and use LGBTQA+ people can seriously go and fuck themselves.

"But I'm an ally".

No, bullshit. I cannot stand people who display the kind of behaviour you described calling themselves "allies". I actually dislike the culture of "ally" immensely. I find that a heck of a lot of allies are (a) are self-proclaimed and (b) talk over people who are actually a part of the LGBTQA+ community, drowning out their voices. It's why I boycott campaigns like Ally Week and NOH8. They centre around putting allies on a pedestal and giving them a Jesus complex just because they dare walk among the LGBTQA+ riffraff. I just feel like screaming NEWSFLASH! IT'S NOT ABOUT THE ALLIES! IT'S ABOUT THE ACTUAL OPPRESSED PEOPLE!

Ugh. I could rant about this for an hour.

message 102: by Jinx (new) - added it

Jinx King Kira wrote: "Kyle wrote: "Thinking about this book makes me want to scream. I read it in middle school ages ago, and even then I wanted to punch the author for Miles.

It's people like her giving teenage girls ..."

You just hit the nail on the head.

I used to be friends with this girl who always introduced me as "My gay friend" and I ended up just having to stop talking to her because she couldn't understand why it always made me so angry no matter how hard I tried to explain.

message 103: by Kiki (new) - rated it 1 star

Kiki Kyle wrote: "Kira wrote: "Kyle wrote: "Thinking about this book makes me want to scream. I read it in middle school ages ago, and even then I wanted to punch the author for Miles.

It's people like her giving t..."

I'm glad you stopped talking to her. She's not the kind of person who deserves your friendship.

message 104: by Peter (new)

Peter Foote Thank you from saving me from the prospect of actually having to wade through this.

I try to pre-read anything my son might stumble into and while he's not into this age level stuff yet, content, not reading level, I know the time is coming...

So now, if I catch him with any of the books in this series I know exactly how many discussions we'll have to have as we read it together.

But my guess is that he'll stop reading it before finishing as he has other brainless twaddle before, because he's already outspokenly critical of the type of behavior that leads to the behavior both the young men and women in this book apparently exhibit.

message 105: by Katie (new)

Katie I read the entire series when I was 13-14- and looking back on it now, I totally agree with you on this review. And, as I recall, this series just gets progressively more weird, sexist, and fucked up as it goes on... Also, on a mostly unrelated note, you might be my soulmate. (Not the immortal kind though. And not in a creepy way, I just meant in that you seem really smart and know about feminist issues and like Death Note.)

message 106: by Amanda (new) - added it

Amanda Nichols Horrible. Chapter 3 and it went back to the library with its sequels. What terrible writing. I like the drinking game that was made from this book tho. *drink every time you roll your eyes* was enough of the rules for me. I didn't even need to others to get hammered. I think my IQ dropped from this. I only finished a couple chapters of twilight but I knew this was the same bs before I got to chapter 2.

message 107: by Maya (new) - rated it 1 star

Maya AWESOME REVIEW, Kira! I completely agree with all the things you said-I can't believe that people actually enjoy this crap! It makes me sad.

message 108: by Carmen (new)

Carmen I love your review, it's great.

message 109: by Erin (new)

Erin This review deserves a standing ovation.

message 110: by Μαρία (new)

Μαρία Ντόρβα I agree with you on the subject of paranormal YA romance.The entire genre is problematic.It promotes relationships in a abuse way and the characters are two-dimensional jerks.Of course,the blame should be placed on Twilight as it is a "commercial success" and so most writers copy it in order to become famous.I admit that I wanted to read a paranormal romance book,but it seems that will never happen as the stories are actually a rip-off of Twilight.By the way,great review!Also,I loved your Jane Eyre reference,it made me smile.

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