Review : Isobel is paired with Varen for a school project in which they have to research an American author. She really doesn't want to do it with him, mainly because of the rumours surrounding him and his attitude. And because it's coming up to Halloween, the teacher decides that they have to be dead. Varen decides himself that they are going to do theirs on Edgar Allan Poe. And so they work on it together and so on. Meanwhile Isobel is lying to her friends in order to spend time with Varen, who isn't as horrible and scary as she thought he was. She also ventures into his journal, in which there are strange drawings and words where Edgar Allan's stories are brought to life. Finally, guided by Reynolds, she learns about dreams having power and so on and ends up with the task of getting to Varen before he goes insane/dies. Because that's how every cheerleader's life plans out, right?
The concept of this I love. Edgar Allan Poe, stories of which come to life, dreams? Great by me.
The story was good, with various different plots weaving together. One of them being Isobel's relationships with friends/boyfriends and the way she treats them and gets treated back etc, and then making friends with the slightly weird girl who she's never really noticed before. Another one being her relationship with Varen which involves her realising that despite rumours of his sleeping in a coffin and drinking blood that he's not too bad. And then there's the main story in that he leaves, because his dreams/realities may drive him to insanity, and Isobel is determined to get him back despite the Nocs(the creatures). The way they fit together worked well for the story.
The characters were slightly stereotypical: the amazing cheerleader, her friends, her possessive boyfriend, the quiet and tormented goth, and so on. However they were believable and worked well in the story.
The romance was only subtle, which is suprising considering the blurb. I'm glad it didn't completely take over the story, instead just being a reason to do things underneath the story.
I liked the writing style. There's nothing particularly that makes it stand out, but it was easy to get through. I'm not sure if a first person perspective would have worked better, but the third person view worked ok, even if it did make me feel slightly detached from what was going on. However it was easy to read and I got through the full book in a few hours as I was reading it without stopping.
I love the way the chapter titles, most of them anyway, are related to Edgar Allan Poe. I also like the cliffhanger ending, which does make you want to read the sequel, if only to fully understand what is going on at the end, as the storyline becomes a bit hard too complicated to follow at the end.
Overall: Strength 3 tea to this original book with Edgar Allan Poe, a good story and a lot more.