Annalisa's Reviews > Everneath

Everneath by Brodi Ashton
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Dec 12, 2011

it was ok
bookshelves: cover, young-adult, fantasy, romance
Recommended to Annalisa by: Crystalyn
Read from February 17 to 20, 2012

2.5 stars

I really wanted to love this one. I had high hopes for it, but it didn't quite live up to its hype. Most of the book felt like a stall to get to the climax, which is probably why I couldn't quite suspend my disbelief. I found myself out of the story most of the time, picking apart its inconsistencies, instead of pulled into Nikki's story. Little things like Nikki sitting at her desk and then several pages later getting up off or bed or Jack stacking chairs but then he's turning them over on tables. Minor flaws that should have been picked up somewhere in the editing process but were a distraction to me.

My biggest issue with the book is the timeline. In one flashback it's February and one month before Nikki disappears and the next it's April and two weeks before she does. I spent most of the book trying to figure out when exactly she came home. From the cold and lack of holidays, my best guess was January, until four months into her ordeal when Christmas rolled around. Which means she came back in August, when it should have been warm, and nowhere near six months from the sometime between March and May that she was supposed to have left. My best guess is that she was supposed to have disappeared in spring, come back in the fall, and stayed until the following spring, although the dates don't quite match up. A good editor and/or copyeditor should have picked up the mistake.

There were also larger flaws that bothered me. Like for someone grieving over her dead mother, I didn't catch much of Nikki's grief. I understand that everyone grieves differently and she didn't want to face her grief, but for months all there was there was happiness about Jack and she seemed to hold it together a little too well. I also didn't understand how when she came back Jack would know that she didn't remember anything. Why would he even suspect that she would forget him? She was ignoring him and acting weird around him, not acting like she had no idea who he was. It was beautiful that he asked her what she remembered and she said everything, but it didn't make sense that he would question that. And speaking of Jack, he had some elements of a great love interest, but he was a little too conflicting for me to buy into. (view spoiler)

Nikki said she came back mostly to make her goodbyes easier this time, but she didn't do anything toward that effect. For as much as she loved Tommy, she didn't seem to spend any time with him. For a best friend, we should have seen more of Jules. As it was, she seemed rather pointless to the story. And if her dad thought poorly of her and she wanted to change that, why didn't she talk to him (like explaining that she was pushed at the dance) or help do the dishes or do something other than ignore everyone? I could see how she didn't want to mess with Jack's heart again, but she could attempt to resolve the unresolved or want to leave him with a better memory or watch him from a distance and feel sad. Something other than hiding by the drinking fountain to knit, just waiting until her time ticked away. Why even come back if that was all she was going to do?

Sometimes I wanted to shake Nikki and tell her to get mad. I've read characters like that before, that always do the right thing and sympathize with people who are doing them wrong, so Mary Sue-ish. I gave Nikki some leeway because of her connection to Cole, but it wasn't just against Cole that she took a beating and didn't stand up for herself, or at the least get frustrated. It was just the most frustrating with Cole. I wanted her to break down in front of him (view spoiler) or play his own conniving games back at him, instead of seem so... resigned to him. I think the passiveness of her character could have worked better if she were struggling against Cole's control and fighting to figure out the right goodbye, instead of just being there, doing nothing.

I had some questions with the Everneath world that I wanted answers to (and maybe they're answered later in the series). Like, if someone is being used as a Feed, how did they owe a debt? They were being drained, not given anything. Maybe it was the opportunity to be an Everliving? I would have also liked to know more about the interactions between the Everlivings and their royalty, more about life in the Everneath beyond the Feed. I also wondered about the chance to Return. At first it seemed like Nikki got a chance because she was different, but she wasn't the only one. Why were they offered the six-month stall? What was the point of it, other than being a great idea for a story?

I love the story of Persephone and think it's a great twist on an old tale, but I think this one could have used a few more rounds of editing first, more encouragement from her editor to go back and delve deeper into the story, the characters, the Everneath. I also think some of the plot twists, or revelations, should have come sooner. By the time Nikki figured things out, it was old news. (view spoiler) On a positive note, Cole kept it interesting. And I loved the cover.
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03/06/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-10)

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Molly Lee I completely agree! Funny I just wrote my review and then read yours and we have similar problems with the book! I agree with you about Cole too...he actually was the reason I kept reading, he was the only consisting character in the book and he ends up getting the shaft in the end.

Annalisa Yeah, I think Cole was my favorite character. I was starting to think something was wrong with me since everyone loved this book, including people who are typically very harsh. I guess some books aren't for everyone and this one wasn't for me. I'm glad other people liked it though. I've recommended it to people who I know will love it.

Molly Lee I know I thought I was crazy too cause everyone seemed to love it-but that is the book world, not everyone will love everything :)

mythomagic So true :)

message 6: by Angela (new) - added it

Angela S Everything you've said is so spot-on. I've heard so many people say that this book is fantastic and so unique. While the Persephone angle was a fresh take on it, I didn't feel connected at all to Nikki. She comes back to say good bye to her family and yet hardly sees them? And I too was confused for half of the book. Some things just didn't make any sense at all.

TheSaint Agreed. I think that the odd time-shifting had something to do with the suspension of disbelief issue. That and I just couldn't bring myself to like any of the characters.

Mandy I liked your review, I agree with a lot of the things you said. I still gave it 4 stars, though, because I think I am very forgiving when I read, and since the story kept me hooked and I liked it, and because this is YA and I don't expect as much from them, I really liked it. But you do make very good points. I didn't really even notice the inconsistencies and unanswered questions until you pointed them out, but you're quite right. Great job. It's nice to see someone with a "negative" review that actually tells us what is wrong with the book rather than bashing the author or just calling people names and using foul language. :-)

message 3: by Em (new) - rated it 4 stars

Em UGH! The thing that bothered me most in the book was Jack saying something "could have happened" with Lacey, simply because it seemed so damn contradictory! He says that, and then we're supposed to believe that he's so devoted?? It wouldn't have bothered me if it made more sense with the way he's portrayed. It just didn't make any sense at all.

Mandy I tend to interpret things in a way that goes along with what I think about the story. I didn't take that comment from Jack to mean if he had had more time he would have slept with her. I just took it to mean it was putting him in a situation where the potential for something to happen was there. Yeah, I guess you're right, though. He's not saying absolutely nothing could have happened. Then again, we know he was a "player" and has been with a lot of girls. Idk, I guess I just "ignored" it. haha.

message 1: by Nancy (new) - added it

Nancy Wow, I get 'pulled out of a story' by those kinds of inconsistencies, too. My book group friends kind of look at me funny when I bring them up since they didn't notice them. Glad to know I'm not the only one. (I haven't read this, nor do I plan to.)

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