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Cheerleader Isobel Lanley is horrified when she is paired with Varen Nethers for an English project, which is due—so unfair—on the day of the rival game. Cold and aloof, sardonic and sharp-tongued, Varen makes it clear he’d rather not have anything to do with her either. But when Isobel discovers strange writing in his journal, she can’t help but give this enigmatic boy with the piercing eyes another look.

Soon, Isobel finds herself making excuses to be with Varen. Steadily pulled away from her friends and her possessive boyfriend, Isobel ventures deeper and deeper into the dream world Varen has created through the pages of his notebook, a realm where the terrifying stories of Edgar Allan Poe come to life.

As her world begins to unravel around her, Isobel discovers that dreams, like words, hold more power than she ever imagined, and that the most frightening realities are those of the mind. Now she must find a way to reach Varen before he is consumed by the shadows of his own nightmares.

His life depends on it.

543 pages, Hardcover

First published August 31, 2010

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Kelly Creagh

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 2,673 reviews
Profile Image for Janina.
214 reviews527 followers
October 4, 2010
It's been a while since a YA paranormal truly blew me away. But this book did. It actually made me stay up until 3 a.m. although I had to get up at seven the next morning (and yes, I regretted this afterwards).

Despite the praise it got from a lot of friends here on GoodReads, I tried to keep my expectations low before starting it. Books in this genre have disappointed me many times before. After reading Evermore, Evernight, Beautiful Creatures, Marked and the like, I’ve become careful and a bit picky and stayed away from quite a few novels that received high ratings.

But this one definitely deserved the praise. I found the paranormal aspect fascinating and original. I have never read anything by Poe nor do I know much about his life (and death, for that matter), but Creagh has succeeded in raising my interest and got me thinking about picking up some of his work. I found it amazing how she interwove elements from Poe's life and stories with the mysteries surrounding his demise and developed an eerie and scary, but at the same time awe-inspiring world around them.

But to be honest: most of all, this story lives on the interaction between its two main characters. And I loved those characters. Especially Varen. Yes, I think I might even have a little literary crush on him. He is a refreshing change from all those brooding and mysterious heroes with their sometimes stalker-like obsessions towards the heroine. He isn't a jerk because hey, he’s mysterious and hot and therefore can afford it.
His 'mysteriousness' (if you want to call it so) comes mostly from the fact that he keeps to himself and stays within his small group of friends and – of course – from his outer appearance that clearly says: stay away from me. But once he and Isobel get to know each other better, you can actually see that there is way more to him than his looks and that he isn't as hostile as he pretends to be. I really liked his subtle sense of humour and how you could see that he cared for Isobel without him making grand gestures and declaring his undying love. (Thanks a lot for the lack of declarations of love after knowing each other for one day, I really appreciated it!)

That leads me to Isobel. As the story is told from her point of view, I was exceptionally glad that she isn't one of those whiny and – let’s be honest – stupid heroines I've encountered in the books mentioned above. She might not make the wisest decisions at certain points in the story (seriously, what makes a sensible 16-year-old take the way home through a deserted park at night?), but those moments are scarce and don't make her less likable. I liked that she doesn't give in to peer pressure although it might cost her the place among the popular crowd and how she doesn't hold back her fury when she feels treated the wrong way.

Her so-called 'friends' behave horribly, but Creagh manages to include something in them that doesn't make them all loathsome and therefore they aren't painted strictly in black and white.

Also great: for a change, the protagonist's family plays an important role in the novel. Isobel's parents are strict and some of their decisions seem rather harsh, but they definitely care a lot for her daughter and her problems. I loved the interactions between the family members: how her little brother seems to care about nothing much expect his video games but is always there to cover for her when she is in trouble, and especially how her dad doesn't hesitate to make a complete fool out of himself in front of a horde of teenagers to help Isobel with her class project.

So, in fact, my only complaint here is: Why does it end on such a mean cliffhanger? The story ended way too apruptly, and hadn't I loved the book so much, I might have been less forgiving about that. (Cliffhangers always make me think I'm tortured on purpose and lured into wanting to buy the next book. No bait necessary here, folks!)
Profile Image for Kim.
709 reviews1,717 followers
September 8, 2010
This review is difficult to write because I usually don't have that much to say about books I love. It's mostly facial expressions, gestures and noises when I try to explain why I like something. Oh and it will look like this was written by a 17-year old, not a 27-year old. And I'm sorry, but I just can't help myself. I even wish I could write this review in purple ink, that's how much I'm into this book. And Varen. ♥

If I ever had to describe the kind of guy I desperately want then I think Varen comes closer than anybody else. (minus the eyeliner, I just can't imagine it looks hot on any guy, just emo). You wouldn't believe how much I'm crushing on him. Oh don't give me that look, half the planet swoons over a dead guy whose genitals sparkle in the sunlight, so don't act like this is weird.

So, meet Isobel, your typical cheerleader who lives up to every stereotype that comes with being a girl who waves pom poms around in a short skirt. Meet Varen, your typical... Um... I dunno. Nothing I say will make him look good. So I'll stick with saying he's smart, witty, funny, deep, sardonic and not to mention interesting.

They are forced to work together on a school paper on Poe and I don't think I need to make clear how much both of them are looking forward to working with each other. To make matters even worse: It doesn't go smooth to begin with and Isobel's overprotective (I just say he's jealous and insecure as hell) boyfriend decides to make Varen's life miserable because he wrote his number on Isobel's hand in class.

Isobel didn't want Brad to know because he would overreact but her 'friend' Nikki, who I didn't like from the moment I met her, decided to tell anyway. There was a part about how badly she wanted to tell Brad. I could have punched her in the face.

But waring Varen didn't seem to be enough for Brad and the rest of his gang of idiots. They mess up the ice cream parlor (of all the places a guy like Varen could work...), much to my, and Isobel's disgust.

I won't give away too much of the story, because I want all of you to read this beautiful book but I enjoyed reading this so much.

The pink ribbon on the back... The raven... And the kiss. That kiss. I read those lines 50 times already and thinking about them still gives me chills. I'm in love!

I can't wait to get my hands on the sequel.
September 10, 2016

**I am SO happy to be re-reading this one...My baby Varen-You never got a real review! Hope I can rectify that ♥

Omg this book...it was beyond words spectacular and out of this world amazing. I don't know why I've never read this one before, but for my vacation it has been PERFECT-mesmerizing. Sitting on the beach (even at this moment), not knowing the difference between dream and reality...just breathtaking. Creepy, deep, and addicting, I am officially hooked. This series will consume my whole time in Florida lol.

And Varen...just ugh. What an interesting, complex, and tortured character. I adored this book from beginning to end, and I still haven't decided if I rated high enough. I'll let you know, though ;).

Until I post a mini-review again... Latas ♥

For more of my reviews, please visit:

Profile Image for Kristi.
1,193 reviews2,902 followers
January 1, 2011
I loved this book.

I wanted to love this book, but I was a little apprehensive. I mean... the goth boy and the cheerleader. Haven't I read this story before.... No, Kristi, you have not read a story quite like this one before.

In addition to loving the pages in this book I also love this cover. I wish that B&N hadn't had a little hissy fit and the publisher would have been able to keep Varen's lip ring.... it was so much hotter with the lip ring. But I still love the cover regardless.

The characters are what made this novel for me. Isobel & Varen were extremely well written, well fleshed out characters. They had a depth to them, especially Varen, I haven't witnessed that sort of depth in a while. I find that I often complain about friendships between characters... especially when the main character continues to stay in a toxic friendship. I loved Isobel for standing up for herself and not becoming a doormat for her not so great friends. Their falling out while I thought it was a little extreme at times, worked rather nicely. I have to say that I Isobel's new friends were much more appealing.

I loved the references to the Poe.... the small insights to his life, factual and fictionalized. I actually had to go out and buy the complete works of Edgar Allan Poe after reading the novel. I forgot how much I enjoyed his twisted story that I had read in high school.... The Fall of the House of Usher, The Tell-Tale Heart, The Raven.... I'm looking forward to reading more.

As much as I loved the story, I do have to say that I was a little confused at times durning the last quarter of the novel... when Isobel is in the 'dream' world. Some of the passages required a re-reading to understand exactly what was going on, and often times, I still wasn't 100% sure. But other than that, I loved the developing relationship between Isobel and Raven.... and Isobel and Gwen. How cool was Gwen. She's the best friend I always wanted in high school.

Nevermore is a tale of a dark romance with a wickedly twisted Poe inspiration.

You will definitely want to read this awesomeness for yourself. I can't wait to read book two.
Profile Image for Lisa.
110 reviews382 followers
December 10, 2011
When I picked up Nevermore I was expecting to like it. So many of my Goodreads friends rated it highly as did the overall Goodreads community. Unfortunately after finishing the novel I'm sorry to say that it was barely a two star read for me.

Nevermore tells the story of Isobel Lanely, a popular blonde cheerleader, who is partnered with super goth, Varen Nethers, for an English project about Edgar Allen Poe. This pairing, which was chosen by the teacher, causes outrage among Isobel's friends. Her quarterback boyfriend, Brad, is so enraged at Varen for daring to be partnered with Isobel against his will that he starts harassing him. And this is where Nevermore lost me, during the very first chapter.

I found the characters and plot to be so completely unbelievable that I could never really get into the story. I never understood what was so scandalous about Isobel and Varen being partners for a class assignment. Why would this cause gossip among Isobel's friends, or cause her boyfriend to go ballistic? It makes absolutely no sense.

Brad is a cartoonish villain. There is no depth to his character. He is a jerk, plain and simple. Isobel is shown to be disgusted by him from the very beginning, which begs the question of why she was with him in the first place. Brad has no redeeming qualities, and Isobel is shown to be a nice girl, who lacks the kind of insecurities that would drive her to date someone like Brad. The fact that he's a football player and she's a cheerleader does not adequately explain their relationship.

The other secondary characters also lack depth and are mainly used as plot devices. Alyssa is your cliché bitchy cheerleader with platinum blonde hair. Her sole purpose in this novel is to be mean to Isobel and side with Brad. Nikki's purpose in the novel is a mystery. She and Alyssa could easily have been combined into one character and it wouldn't have changed anything. Varen's sort-of girlfriend, Lacy, also served no purpose and could easily have been removed altogether.

Gwen is slightly better developed in that she doesn't fit any cliché and occasionally has a backbone, but she is there only as a plot device. Whenever Isobel needs someone to sit with, someone to talk to, or a ride, Gwen shows up. Gwen's life revolves around Isobel and Isobel does nothing but use Gwen. Even in the end when Gwen confronts Isobel about avoiding her, Isobel only reaches out to her because she needs her help with Varen.

Isobel's family doesn't fair much better. Her brother Danny, like Gwen, serves only as a plot device. Her father seems mostly to be another foil for her relationship with Varen. At one point he refuses to let her leave the house to work on the class project with him even though her grade depends on it. He also likes Brad and supports him over his own daughter for some inexplicable reason. Her mother is completely forgettable.

I also found myself unimpressed with either Isobel or Varen. Isobel's actions and decisions are often nonsensical like dating Brad, not telling Varen about Reynolds, and sneaking out to do homework, so I never could see her as a real person. Varen showed promise, but his character wasn't fleshed out enough to be truly compelling to me. I agree with other reviewers that if the novel had been written from his perspective it would have been a much more interesting read.

Another major problem I had with the story was that I did not buy the romance. Isobel is drawn to Varen from the beginning, before she learns that there's more to him than just being a goth, and by the end of the novel, which takes place over the course of a month, she's willing to die for him and risk the lives of her friends and family for him. This was especially unbelievable given that he was a moody jerk towards her for a large chunk of that month. That said, I liked that the love interest didn't follow the typical YA cliché of being super beautiful and talented, and the relationship, while unbelievable, wasn't abusive or controlling.

My feelings about the writing are mixed. While I enjoyed Creagh's writing style in terms of her sentence structure, word choice, and imagery, there was too much description. Very little is left to the reader's imagination and a lot of it was unnecessary. I felt like it ended up bogging down the story. Creagh frequently interrupts action scenes with description, slowing them down, making the story hard to follow at times.

I do give Creagh credit for being original in terms of her mythology. It was very creative to spin a mythology around the life and works of Edgar Allen Poe. Creagh's love for Poe's works is evident in the text, and the novel appears to be well researched, though admittedly I am not the best judge since I am no expert on Poe.

I wish I could say that I enjoyed this book more, but it wasn't my cup of tea. To each their own.
Profile Image for Limonessa.
300 reviews510 followers
January 25, 2012
They say not to judge a book by its cover. That appearances are deceitful.

I say this time you should not judge the book by how it starts off. At first, it very much looks like your garden-variety paranormal YA: jocks, cheerleaders, cliques, mean girls, emo-goths, star crossed lovers, you get the gist. There were a couple of scenes at the beginning where I thought I was probably going to ditch it if it went on like it was.
But it didn't.
First of all, you should be aware that underneath the shallow, clichéd appearance, this book is very dark and oneiric. I don't know if you're familiar with the work of Edgar Allan Poe, but the story is based and heavily influenced by several of his writings, such as The Raven, The Masque of Red Death and Ligeia, among others. Parts of his biography, especially concerning the mysterious circumstances of his death, are also a fundamental part of the plot.

The story starts, quite predictably, with Isobel - blonde, cheerleader, girlfriend of THE football player of the school - getting paired up for an English project with Varen - goth guy, aloof, antisocial, with a mean girlfriend but magnetically irresistible. Despite a rocky start, as Isobel's feelings for Varen change and grow into something even she is reluctant to accept, strange things start to happen. Isobel gets chased by voices, she starts hallucinating, supposedly.
Who is causing all this? The key seems to be a book of the works of Edgar Allan Poe that Varen has given to her her for the project and that appears to have a life of its own.

Nevermore came as a surprise to me, really.
Despite glowing reviews (and some non-glowing), I wasn't expecting much from it. This seemed to be confirmed in the first few chapters, when all the clichés made their entrance, and the mean girls theme put me in eye-rolling mode.
BUT. As the Raven theme crept more and more into the story and the clichés were left behind, the plot turned into something truly and incredibly original. I am sorry for those readers who dropped the book before getting to that part because, really, they missed out on something good.
The second part, which takes place in a sort of dreamland, a story inside the stories, was truly engaging and fascinating for me. The star-crossed lovers got separated, grotesque figures started appearing, Isobel became a dark Alice in Wonderland, right after she fell into the hole.
I'll admit: not everybody will like it. It can be confusing at times and many people won't like the romance being set aside to see other characters steal the scene with their bloody razor teeth. Me, I loved it. I love when a book manages to surprise and frankly, this did it successfully.

As far as I am concerned, a success. I can't wait to read Enshadowed when it comes out in August, 2012.

I'm taking away one star for the name Varen.
First of all, WHY the lame anagram?
Second, unfortunately everytime I read the name, this was the image I had in my mind. Ops.

For this review and more, go to The Nocturnal Library
Profile Image for Whitney.
96 reviews48 followers
October 26, 2011
This. Book.
crying Pictures, Images and Photos

Is nothing like I've ever read before. Sure it starts out in a school, like most cliche books. But then it gets creepy and wicked. And considering as how it's based on Edgar Allan Poe's works...it doesn't surprise me. It excites me. :3 Also, it makes me want to read some of his pieces. And I have The Complete Tales and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe myself, so...*hugs it tightly to my chest*

I really liked loved this book because it keeps me guessing on what will happen, and what/who people are. Usually, when I read books, I sometimes see stuff coming, or be like, "Oh! I know who's been sneaking around on so-and-so's wife." That's rhetorically speaking, just so you know. :P But this didn't happen with Nevermore. It actually made me gasp in a few scenes. And I freaking enjoyed the hell out of it.

Varen. Oh, Varen. How I love thee. You caught my eye right off the bat. And the thing is, this is related to my previous statement, is that I could not, for the life of me, figure out what the fuck he was. And I still don't know. If someone knows, or has an idea, please enlighten me. D: Because it's driving me crazy!

And can I just say that I hate Brad, Nikki, Alyssa, and Mark? Like, I know Nikki apologized, and you'd think it would be for all four of them.. But I didn't really get that vibe. So I still hate them all, not caring either. :D I don't care if He's still a prick. The end. Plus, Isobel is a weak okay character, I dealt with her throughout the book. But in most some of the book, she highly kinda got on my nerves. :3

Anyway. All in all, this was a epic book. And I can't wait until the next one. :D *rips hair out in the process*
Profile Image for Alexa.
351 reviews279 followers
July 30, 2010

My review can also be found on my blog Collections.


That was my reaction, anyway, to the majority of the book. Maybe I had such a strong reaction because I started the book not realizing this was a paranormal. Yes, I read the summary, but obviously it went over my head. This is what I assumed it would be about: The goth boy, Varen, would have some mental issues (like schizophrenia), and the popular cheerleader girl, Isobel, will fall in love with him and find help for him. And they would all live happily ever after.

I mean, yeah, they are opposites, and they do fall in love, but it was not that simple. It's dark and creepy and eerie. A horror paranormal. (Of course, I should have realized that with Edgar Allan Poe involved). Which made it very exciting for me because I had no idea what would happen next and how this would end.

There were some other things I just did not notice before I read the book. Like the length. It is 500+ pages! Which is not a bad thing because Isobel & Varen's relationship and everything in the story isn't rushed. And at the same time, it didn't feel slow. I felt like something interesting was always happening. And I really liked Kelly Creagh's writing. It was like watching a movie.

Now for the other detail I missed. Actually, I just didn't know. I'm pretty sure not much people know, so let me tell you.
This is going to be a series. A trilogy, apparently.
I know! That was really surpring to me. You would think that a book this long would have everything resolved by the end, but nope, not the case. I will not spoil the ending, but let me just say that when I read the last line in the book, I was thinking, There should be sequel. There has to be a sequel. There NEEDS to be a sequel. o_o

So I haven't revealed much about the story. Well, I don't want to repeat the summary, so I will say this: I was very impressed with the book. I thought the story was really unique and original. Isobel and Varen were great and likeable characters. I wanted to hug Varen! I was proud of Isobel (she deserves a hug too), because she worked so hard to save Varen. Basically, it all goes down October 31. Halloween. But it's not over. Just wait till January 19, the day of Poe's birth.

Seriously can't wait! >.<
Profile Image for Amelia, free market Puritan.
349 reviews34 followers
September 30, 2012
What I want you to know about this book: Of all the 2010 releases I've read this year, NEVERMORE ties with Tyger Tyger as my favorite. The only drawback to it is the length of time we have to wait for the second installment! So just be prepared to take up chewing your nails, pacing, and crawling up the walls once you finish this...

The basic setup for the story - loner, reclusive goth boy and Miss Peppy cheerleader are paired for an English project - just really doesn't begin to cover this epic 500+ page saga. I was so curious as to how the author would incorporate Edgar Allan Poe and his works into a modern high school drama setting. But boy howdy, she did. I saw so many Poe references brilliantly and cleverly inserted into the story, and that made reading so very, very enjoyable. Watch for scenes from Cask of Amontillado, a glass-eyed dude bearing strong resemblance to the old man from The Tell Tale Heart, a raven or two, and more! Also, one of the chapter titles is called "Ulalume," which is one of my all-time favorite poems. What I'm trying to say is that this book doesn't just name-drop Poe a few times or make vague, random references to the poet or his works. Instead, Kelly blends Poe's masterpieces with her own incredible imagination to create an original, engaging and highly addictive story.
The characters, too, were so amazing. First off, the main character, Isobel, is not really what you'd expect: she is a cheerleader, but instead of being an overly-cheerful, hyperactive airhead, she actually is really smart, witty, and well-spoken. Varen, too, is not quite what you'd expect either. He was definitely likable, but his cold and aloof personality made him very peculiar - he was actually kind of the mean one in the relationship. While maintaining a steady pace throughout, the first 400 pages gave me a chance to really see the characters interact and get a good understanding for them. Everybody, this is how to portray well-rounded, dynamic characters. And at the same time, Creagh subtly built up the suspense: something's not quite right with Varen, and his peculiar "gift" turns out to be quite a curse. The last 100 pages *BAM* accelerate you into a fantastical-but-creepy dreamworld that Poe himself would probably enjoy. And oh, the ending! How it will make you desperate for the next installment!

Quick say: Everybody, NEVERMORE is an exceptional debut by an amazingly gifted author. You will not want to pass this up. I have a new favorite! And Kelly Creagh has definitely set the standard and raised the bar for exceptional Young Adult paranormal fiction. THIS is what creativity and originality looks like. THIS BOOK RIGHT HERE!
Profile Image for Ari.
940 reviews1,314 followers
March 20, 2015

First read in September 2010:
Even though I am not usually into this kind of paranormal stories, and the goth things are not my type either, Nevermore had something really special that kept me reading from the first page to the last one (and wanting for more).

The story seems simple in the beginning: Isobel is paired with Varen in an English project and, as different as they are (she - a cheerleader, he - a strange goth boy), they get to know each other better and slowly fell in love one for the other.
NOTE: If you think that this is the typical american story, then guess again because the book is anything but typical, and it is not as predictable as you might think.

What I liked the most about this book was the way the author handled the relationship between all the characters (Isobel and Varen, Isobel and her (ex)boyfriend, Isobel and Gwen, Isobel and her (ex)friends, etc.) and how the action took place step by step.

In this book, as long as it is, K.C. took her time for all little details as the story unfolded, and the characters started to grow on me slowly, making me feel like a part of the book, feeling like it was my own journey and not Isobel's only. At the same time, it never felt slow because there was always something interesting about to happen.

Another thing I love about this book is the fact that it fells 'real' - the connection between main characters, the dialogue, the action, even the paranormal elements were made to feel real, possible. Also the incorporation of poetry, of Poe was great (amazingly well done) and it played such an important role into the story.

The writing was impeccable, the plot complex with so many turnarounds, the characters are unique (and smart), the suspense makes you keep reading almost without breathing. I just can't wait for the second one to come out :)


Re-read it in July 2012 and still loved it!
(some additional thought to come soon)


PS: I definitely have to say one more thing: the English project was NOT just a way to start the story, but it turned to be a great moment in the book too.. just wait for it!

See, this is what i like about this author, nothing is there just to fill in the blanks, everything has a reason in this book, and after reading this novel I got the feeling that I need to read it one more time.

This review can be found at ReadingAfterMidnight.com

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Profile Image for Keli.
126 reviews85 followers
January 16, 2012

No seriously, I am like obsessed with this book. So, let’s see, it’s around 543 pages, I started this last night around 6:30 PM and it’s 11:47 AM the next day. I have never read a book this thick THAT fast. I am crazy, but holy shit that was a great ride. Woot!

This isn’t going to be a full-front in detail review, because it would just be rants of love. But this is the reason I truly adore the story: It’s so original. Oh, and yeah, Varen.

I think you-- yes you reading this-- understand that when I say I’m sick of the perfect boy that’s all beautiful, sparkles or glows in the dark (whatever's in right now I guess) etc etc, that you agree. Varen is the total opposite. Sure, I mean, he wasn't described as completely disgusting or anything, but the way he was described was just so uniquely done and….oh Varen I love you so much! Marry me!

Basically, you need to go pick this book up right now. It has a dreamworld and everything, and awesome people. You know you want to read it.

Throughout high school, I was obsessed with Poe. I took his poems and wrote my own versions, I love his utter creepiness, and how dark he is. So, this book really drove me into getting back into Poe, because I truly love him!

This is one of those books I got so lost in that I wasn't worrying about page numbers or the length of the chapters, well actually I wanted them to be super long so I could get more of the story but you know what I mean.

I am afraid to read another book, because I know it won't be nearly as good as this.

Profile Image for Tutti Dolci.
222 reviews36 followers
March 2, 2012

I've been sucked in by this book for the last two days - ignoring my family and my life (yes, it was THAT GOOD) - only to come to the uber-shocking, frustrating, non-ending ending. So, as a result, I'm going to walk away from it and give it NO RATING until I can make peace with where things were left (because, I feel that the ending completely skews my opinion of the book as a whole).

And no, while I didn't expect a happily-ever-after ending or to have all the loose ends nicely tied up in a neat little bow, I do feel as if the rug was pulled out from under me unexpectedly. For the record, let me just say that Nevermore was gearing up to be a 4.5-star read, but the end just left me feeling cheated.

Yeah, I get that the ending is a cliffy meant to leave me panting for the next book, but DAMN, that was just plain mean. I despise NON-ENDING endings.

That said, would I recommend that you read it? Yes. Do I think you'll be surprised (if not mad) at the ending? Yes.

Okay, okay, this may be a mixed-message non-review review , but hell, I need to rant about this book somewhere.


Alrighty...after much thought - and despite the ending - this book was lovely and well worth a 4.5-star rating.
Profile Image for Mizuki.
3,000 reviews1,210 followers
May 9, 2017
For book 2 Enshadowed, see my review here: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/...

I've decided to take some time to pimp my Nevermore's fanart here:

“Lady Ligeia," he began again, "is a woman in the literature who returns from the dead, taking over another woman's body to be with her true love."

"Oh, yes. Lovely" Isobel blanched. "I guess the other chick didn't mind at all?”

Being a Poe's devotee ever since I was a secondary school student, I was excited to come across Nevermore which takes us to an adventure through the Poeland (hahaha).

Before reading Nevermore, I have my fair share of Poe-related produces, like Matthew Pearl's The Poe Shadow: A Novel, the eerily attractive Spirits Of the Dead -three tales of the macabre- which was co-worked by three legendary directors (Federico Fellini among them), and Jan Svankmajer's highly imaginative film Lunacy, which is a hallucinating crossover between Poe and, surprise surprise, Marquis de Sade.

But some of the encounters aren't as pleasing. For example I once watched a gay soft-core porn/horror movie in a Poe's disguise: Edgar Allan Poe's The Raven (I didn't realize it's a gay porn when I bought it), for your own safety please avoid this low-budget film like plague! As a gay porn there's nothing sexy and exciting about the pseudo-porn scenes (they didn't even have the decency to make a worthy smut scene damnit), as a thriller the plot makes absolutely no sense, and I suspect none of the actors knew what they were doing. That's just awful.

Back to Nevermore itself, I agree that the book is a page-turner, also an enjoyable story to read. Whenever there's a scene of suspense, of dark shadow lurking, or intensive plot-twists, Miss Creagh always delivered. The author cleverly and skillfully weaves many known facts about Poe's life and his mysterious death (e.g. The Poe Toaster) into the plot, then related Poe's works with the mysteries of a haunted 'dreamland' (a parallel world outside of the real world) and the highschool plot which takes place in 'reality'. I'd say the characters setting is also quite unusual. First we get Isobel, a popular cheerleader as the main character. Well, a cheerleader is probably the last person I'd have expected to appear in a Poe-related story, but I appreciate the author's nontraditional choice. Isobel is being set up as a girl who knew next to nothing about Poe and his achievement, so through her point of view, we can get some non-fan's opinions on Poe's works. And I think it's quite an interesting setting.

We also have Varen as the male lead, Varen is a typical gloomy, unpopular Goth teen, whose name seems to be purposefully familiar with 'Raven'. So who is Varen's favorite author? Edgar Allan Poe. There isn't much of a surprise. For it's pretty difficult for a reader who's drawn to the dark side of life and the beauty of death and decay, not to be fascinated by Poe's writing.

So when Isobel and Varen were paired (unwillingly) to do a Eng Lit. project together, it also wasn't a surprise for Varen to decide they would base their project on Poe's life and works.

So far, we got two characters whose characters are pretty much opposite with each another, who came from two entirely different backgrounds, neither of them like each other much at the beginning, and they must cooperate to finish a project together, while Isobel knew next to nothing about Poe (saves the scandalous fact that he married his 13 years old cousin) so she must start from the basic and begin her journey through the gloomy Poeland as a newbie. Okay, so far we have a very interesting setting. Good job, Miss Creagh.

Even though I'd looked forward to Isobel's exploration through the Poeland, but it turns out the progress of Isobel's learning more about Poe is a rather rushy one, Isobel's own opinion on neither the author nor his works, is largely missing. We only got to see her read through The Masque of the Red Death then commented on it and there's no more mention of her opinion on Poe's works. For starter, I want to know what Isobel would think when she comes across Poe's romance-focused poems and novellas, e.g. Annabelle Lee and Ligeia. Hell, Poe got so many stories which are heavily romance related! So as a young girl who was currently in a relationship (with a popular boy in her group), wouldn't Isobel have came up with some opinions on Poe's expression of romantic, dark love?

While reading the book, I noticed Nevermore is clearly its author's labor of love, by someone who adores Poe's works of art. Miss Creagh as a newcomer novelist has brilliant ideas, however some of her ideas aren't particularly well excised. For example, Varen and Isobel were forced to spend time together to do their project, but it turns out they spent far little time doing the actual researching and studying for said project, at least it looks this way in Isobel's case, far too little time is spent on the project to my liking. (Varen is being set up as a Poe's fan, so I'll let his lack of time spending on the project pass)

Still, I must point out I enjoy how Isobel made it through their project's presentation, it's a very interesting part of the story.

Plus comparing with Isobel, Varen is pretty much a vague character, there are so many things about him we don't know, e.g. his family's background, the reason why he had such a bad relationship with his dad, how he discovered Poe and became the way he was now, etc. After finishing Nevermore I'd very much love to learn more about him, therefore I seriously hope Miss Creagh will write more about Varen in the sequel. Yes, I already learnt enough about Isobel, so next time it should be Varen's turn.^^

*slight plot spoiler warning*

Also, it is never explained whether it was Poe's powerful imagination created the dreamland and the demons in it; or did the dreamland had always been in existence before Poe and later Varen stumbled upon it and got trapped? Again, I hope more detail will be revealed in the sequel.

Much to my surprise, Nevermore offers us no happy ending in the end, and that's why we're left to wait for the sequel. Still.......given the nature of this story's inspiration: Edgar Allan Poe, I can hardly object the lack of a typical happy ending.

*end of spoiler*

The Final Words: Miss Creagh's Nevermore is a very ambitious Young Adult novel which manages to bring its mystery and dark fantasy to life, even though being a YA, part of story feels a little bit tamed and a little too 'safe', plus the length of the story can be trimmed a little. Still as a whole, Nevermore is a worthy read for Poe's and/or Goth's fans. I'm looking forward to the sequel.

PS: If you still want more Poe's inspired stories, I suggest you to try out Poe : 19 new tales of suspense, dark fantasy, and horror inspired by Edgar Allan Poe. Not all of the stories are brilliant, but I strongly recommend outstanding stories like Kim Newman's hilarious "Illimitable Domain".

Edited@09/06/2016: thoughts after re-reading:

To be honest, after this re-reading I found it is getting harder to ignore or tolerate the high school romance parts of the story, I found those high school scenes over-the-top and melodramatic, and it also takes up about 2/3 of the story! As to the male lead Varen, some fans view him as some kind of Gothic-dark-prince-dreamboat but I definitely don't view him as such. Don't get me wrong, I think Varen is okay as a friend and a classmate, but his brooding and emotional nature and his sometime-over-the-top mood swings can be annoying at time (although in this book I can see where he came from, but still). I mean, he should have been an even-better-written character to justify Isobel's obsession with him.

Before I make it sound like I hate this book...now let's get to the parts that I enjoy! The surreal/nightmarish scenes are superb and spooky, all the Poe-references are finely used and each of them had been planted nicely into the plots, and the ending is suspenseful and super spooky! I still love the scenes with the ghostly villains showing up! (e.g. Pinfeather! He is such a cute, murderous sweetheart!) I will definitely re-read the sequel: Endshadowed ASAP!


It's the third time I read this book! Surely I can see the weakness of the story and characters even more clearly now, still the ending part of the story does save this book!

Pimping: my drawings for Ligeia: http://vampirekiki.deviantart.com/gal...
Profile Image for Afton Nelson.
931 reviews22 followers
May 24, 2011
Problems with this book:
Way too long. I can't imagine what this tome must have weighed pre-edit. The descriptions went on and on and on. I got to the point where I'd just read the first sentence or two and start skipping ahead till I got to the action.

Plot Insanity The whole plot hinges around the fact that main character Isobel's entire crew (don't get me started on how annoying it is that a HS senior would refer to her group of friends as "her crew.") ostracizes her for something completely out of her control: her English teacher assigns her a partner for a project who they don't like--creepy, emo, monotone Varen. Even her father, a seemingly really cool guy, is mad she's paired up with him and has problems letting her meet with him to work on their assignment. Really? That just didn't fly with me.

Character Inconsistencies The dad seems nice. Cool even. But for some reason Isobel can't confide in him that her boyfriend is a jerk? That doesn't seem right. His freak-out at seeing Varen in his home--not consistent with his character at all.

Plot Insanity Take 2 The supernatural element is superconfusing. She should have been told what was going on sooner than 500 pages. I should have been told what was going on sooner than 500 pages.

Cliche-orama Every high school cliche is crammed into this book. Including the no-brainer "how the lunchroom is divided into cliques" explanation. I believe when our planet is invaded by aliens, even they will not need to have this phenomenon explained.

Plot Insanity Take 3 The emphasis on "this girl can save herself" was overdone. It was all Isobel. Would it be so bad to have a boy help out? I got the feeling that the author was trying to distance herself from the "Twilight Model" even though the rest of the book follows it quite closely.

Ending Ugh! Really? You are forcing me to read Book 2?

Good things about this book:
Varen Very interesting guy, would have liked to have known more about him. Which, unfortunately, is why I will pick up book 2. This book left him seeming weak and tortured, but I know there is more to him. (See Problems with Ending)

Gwen Liked her a lot, even though the quirky friend is a little cliche. (See Problems with Cliche-orama)
Profile Image for Morgan F.
512 reviews469 followers
January 10, 2011
This is one of those books I was reeaaally hoping to love. All my friends did. But, honestly, I don't see how. It wasn't anything special.

For one thing, I found it unrealistic. Yes, I know its a paranormal, but that should make it illogical, not unrealistic. In real life, at least at my school, there is very little open hostility between goths and jocks. Sly commentary, maybe but straight out violence? Nope. And truthfully, there are few goths anymore. Most of them turned either emo or scene. And of course the main character had to be a cheerleader (the stereotyped opposite of gothness) and her boyfriend had to be a quarterback because thats just how the world works, dunnit? It just didn't seem true for me. I don't know. Maybe things are different in the South.

I didn't like the writing. I prefer first person. I dislike third person that wants to be first person. There were sentences like: "Isobel tried the door. There was no one there. Duh". Who is the one duhing? Isobel or the narrator who thinks like Isobel? And I didn't like the random quips. I found them a little cheesy and unfunny.

I wasn't a big fan of either Isobel and Varen. They were stereotypical, and Isobel annoyed the heck out of me. I kept wanting to call her Brittney for some reason. She was very rash, sort of immature, and quite cheesy. She didn't quite make it on my annoying characters shelf, but she was close. Varen, I'm sorry ladies, but he was boring. He did nothing. If he was a girl, everyone would call him out for being bithcy, but since he is a guy that is somehow sexy. And besides, there is only one goth boy in my life: Erik Derenksi. Hear that Erik?! We are gonna get maaaaaarried!! Aw, don't run away! *shrugs* He acts like he hates me, but he loves me. He does. And guess what, Kim! He hates babies too! You guys can sit on them together. Oh whats that in the distance? Hmm, I believe it is my point, running far far away from here........Anyway, Varen did not make me swoon.

Oh, and Gwen? A totally obvious plot device. She appears out of nowhere at the most convenient times. I wish I had a friend that was willing to drop everything to deal with the drama in my life.

And I felt the end was inconsistent with the rest of the novel. The beginning was slow-going, a crazed raven here, a funky dream there, but the end was like WHOOSH. Kind of like the Incredible Hulk coaster at Universal Studios. Here you are just cruising along the track, chugga chugga chugga, then KABMLAM! You are being shot of cannon and taking an upside-down plunge. The ending was just some crazy paranormal hodgepodge. I nearly got whiplash. The pacing and content didn't match, and that bothered me.

Overall, meh. Nitpicks aside, I liked it but I never got the OMG THIS IS SO GOOD feeling. It was a solid three stars, but I'll give it a virtual half-star more because I think the cover, particularly Isobel, is gorgeous.
Profile Image for Liz.
600 reviews504 followers
October 19, 2015

“There is no exquisite beauty… without some strangeness in the proportion.”

When Isobel is paired with Varen for the English class project, she is horrified. Varen is dark and cold and sarcastic and there are lots of rumors about him that make being around him quite uncomfortable.
Firstly, she only wants to recieve a good mark, but soon it is not about the project anymore. There is something about Varen and his piercing eyes and Isobel does not know what it is, but she cannot resist being with this gloomy Goth.

“When there is no way, you must make a way.”

I was immediately in love with Varen and his piercing eyes and I loved him even more after he said that Sir Edgar Allan Poe is a literary god.
I love this poet and all his works and I loved all the poems that were mentioned. I loved the way Varen felt about these poems and how he treasured them.
Just because I wear black and keep a private journal, that doesn't mean I'm going to blow up the school. Or terrorize mindless cheerleaders, for that matter.”

Varen was a very deep character with his own skeletons in the closet and dark secrets. He was far more than he pretended to be and he controlled his actions and words perfectly. Furthermore, I loved his gaze and his inner strength and determination.

Isobel was nothing like she seemed. I generally have a problem with the sunny, perfect-girl characters, but Isobel was definitely different.
Firstly, she was rather open-minded and though she had a problem with Varen being a Goth at the beginning, it soon changed. She was ready to listen and to learn. To ask for forgiveness and to forgive. Besides, she always said what was on her mind, even if it was embarassing and uncomfortable. She was a very strong and refreshing protagonist, intelligent and authentic.
“Hands quivering, she reached toward him.
"Don't." He turned his back to her, facing the door.
That word had stopped her once before. But not now. Not now that she had glimpsed through the funeral front of Varen's own eternal Grim Facade. Despite all the dark armor, the kohl eye liner, the black boots and chains, she saw him clearly now. She peered through the curtain of that cruel calmness, through the death stare and the vampire sentiments and angst and, behind it all, had found true beauty.”

I loved Gwen, she was absolutely a kick-ass friend and I loved Isobel's family. The write style of the author was fluent and intriguing, it was absolutely impossible to put this book down after picking it up.
And another aspect I loved about this book was the relationship between Isobel and Varen. It built up rather slow and became stronger and stronger until there was a deep and bittersweet connection between these characters.

The final part broke my heart. Finally, all the questions were answered and the situation escalated, it was thrilling and creepy and heart-breaking at the same time. I loved it, but I thought I would die when I read the last page...
I loved this book from the first until the last page and I loved both Varen and Isobel.
“My beautiful, my Isobel. My Love. You ask me to wait. And so I wait.
For all of this, I know, is but a dream.
And when, in sleep, at last we wake,
I will see you again.”
Profile Image for Anzû.
238 reviews1,106 followers
July 1, 2023
I’m not the biggest fan of the cheerleader trope, it doesn't always portray a character too nicely. The MC is a cheerleader. Dating the highschool’s football star. Not a good student. The usual. I didn’t think I would like Isobel. Hell, I hated her at the beginning of the book. But Kelly Creagh managed to make Isobel evolve into an admirable character.

The story revolving Poe was interesting enough. We get even some nice quotes from his works. Even though the story mostly goes around the school assignment, it did not get boring. The other part went around the dreamworld, which could get confusing.

And last but not least, Varen. This goth baby won me over fair and square. He’s deep, he’s an artist. He writes and draws. The author wanted us to fall for him and went all in.

If you're into the opposites attract emo boi cheerleader trope go for it.
Profile Image for Arlene.
1,164 reviews639 followers
January 23, 2011
Rating Clarification: 4.5 Stars

Absolutely I.N.C.R.E.D.I.B.L.E!!!

I have so many great things to say about Nevermore, but I’d rather you read the book than hear me ramble about what a great YA paranormal read this is, so I’m just going to choose a few things that really stood out for me. By no means does this cover all of the great things I have to say about this book that I finished in two short days because it was absolutely unputdownable!!

First, the paranormal aspect of this novel was perfectly executed. However, when I say paranormal, I have to warn you; you won’t find any vampires, werewolves, faries or witches in this book, but that doesn’t stop it from being one of the better books out there IMHO. What I loved was that the author didn’t rush into the paranormal aspect of this story, so as the storyline was transitioning, my mind was ready for a reality suspension, and it just happened naturally. And, holy PINFEATHERS what a ride!!

Next, I’ve read a few of Edgar Allen Poe’s works when I was in high school, and I’ve always liked his gothic, creepy style. So to see Creagh use Poe’s tales and mysterious death as the engine to kick start this ride was refreshing, creative and perfectly done. After reading this book, I’m motivated to dive into his writing again because the author did an absolutely POE-fect job blending his style with her imaginative story to take the reader on a mystical, gothic adventure. Loved it!

Lastly, what a refreshing take to offer up a story where the MC has a healthy, positive relationship with her family. Nice to know they actually exist out there. I loved it! I liked Isobel’s relationship with her mom, dad and younger brother. I also loved how the relationship between her and Varen wasn’t shoved down the reader’s throat in the first few chapters. The author developed that part slowly and ultimately made it feel real and genuine.

Yet another book that’s been sitting on my shelf when I should have picked it up a long time ago. I’m so glad I was challenged to read Nevermore because I had no idea how much I was going to LOVE this book!!

The only reason I’m removing ½ a star is because the ending has a hellava painful cliffy and second Varen kept going missing every time I wanted more of him. Other than that A.W.E.S.O.M.E! L.O.V.E.D I.T!!! Read it N.O.W!


Once again, thank you Flannery for challenging me to read this book. You are the bestest challenge book chooser! :D
Profile Image for Samantha Young.
Author 101 books25.7k followers
June 17, 2011
Well they say never judge a book by its cover. ‘Tis true. ‘Tis true. I would not have picked up Nevermore if it hadn’t been for an extremely well-written review that absolutely raved about it.
I am so glad I picked it up.
Kelly Creagh has created one of the most vivid worlds I have ever discovered. If a book could be described as IMAX then Nevermore is that book; the characters and scenes sprang from the pages of the book to play out in front of me in striking clarity. In a word, it was wonderful. I don’t know what I was expecting. Perhaps a run-of-the-mill supernatural teen romance. But Nevermore is so much MORE. It’s gothic and creepy as all hell sometimes, but there is also a perfect blend of realism and social drama. I loved how Creagh highlighted the cliques at high school and the way certain people are seen for the way they look and act – goths, jocks, cheerleaders etc. She does this without being cliché, and actually brings attention to the often dangerous consequences of making people feel ‘other’.
As for the characters of Nevermore… I fell in love with them all. Isobel is the perfect teen girl’s voice. She cares about school and cheerleading and what her friends think about her, but the slight shallowness of what she deems important is offset by the strength of her character. And Isobel is definitely a strong character with an ingrained sense of right and wrong. Best of all she has the courage to go against the grain and stand up for what’s right when she sees wrongdoing.
Varen is that guy in school I would have had a crush on; dark and broody with the soul of a poet. He can be sarcastic and cold but he has a vulnerable side and a great backstory, and who doesn’t love that in a hero?
Other characters that really shone for me were Danny – Isobel’s annoying and hilarious little brother (the sibling relationship was beautifully described, I really believed in it) – and Gwen, who is quite possibly one of the funniest, quirkiest and likeable sidekicks in YA fiction.
The supernatural element of Nevermore is really different; Creagh’s use of Edgar Allen Poe’s works to build a storyworld is so original and fantastically done, and having not read everything by Poe there was probably some great subtleties I didn’t even pick up on. As I said, this is gothic YA, and there are some very creepy moments, all of which kept me hooked and intrigued.
I can’t believe I have to wait until 2012 for the next book. Not fair.

Darkly beautiful and utterly captivating.

Five Massive Massive Stars!
Profile Image for Annabelle.
470 reviews915 followers
April 10, 2011
Oh my God.

This was the best book I have ever read in my entire life. At least, way, way up there.

I'm speechless. It was amazing.

It's better than so many books.

It is, without a shadow of doubt, one of the most amazing books I'v ever laid my hands on.

I love it so much.

It was just perfect. I loved every moment spent devouring it.
Profile Image for Laura.
575 reviews330 followers
September 27, 2015
Is all that we see or seem
But a dream within a dream?

This was my second time reading Nevermore and it's safe to say that I loved it just as much as the first time around. I stayed up until three last night to finish it because I just couldn't get enough of the sinister world Kelly Creagh created. Also, I couldn't for the life of me remember some very important details which is why, at times, it felt like I was reading it for the first time. Thanks, brain, for forgetting almost everything that happens during the last 150-200 pages!

Now, for this review I thought I'd just make a recipe sort of thing and present you the ingredients that made Nevermore such a spectacular read.

Ingredient #1: Edgar Allan Poe

Because whose tales and poems would make a better foundation for a gothic and slightly creepy book about disappearing into otherworldly dreams? I can't think of anyone suited better than Mr. Poe. His stories and verses were so seamlessly woven into and intertwined with this story and added just the right amount of literature and grotesquerie.
I never even read any of Poe's tales or poems before I was introduced to his genius through this book and actually bought a special edition of his complete collection, just like the one Varen has in Nevermore. So not only did his stories enhance this one in the most beautiful way, but it also introduced me to a writer whose works I might never have bothered with otherwise.

Ingredient #2: Likable Heroine

“Just because I live in the sunlight, enjoy being blond, and wear a cheerleading uniform, that doesn't mean I'm stupid. I'm so sick of that.”

Yes, Isobel Lanley is a cheerleader, and a pretty good one at that. And yes, she's also dating Mr. Popular, football player Brad in the beginning of the book. So yes, I must admit Nevermore starts out a little cliché, and while that never bothered me, it might some people. But really, don't let that deter you. Give the book a chance and wait it out because later there'll be no trace of it. And Isobel, while being a cheerleader and all that, is actually a great heroine, albeit at times a bit clueless. She doesn't let others pressure her into unhealthy relationships and actually recognizes them as such. She stands up to bullies and isn't afraid to do her own thing. I really enjoyed that. All in all she came across as a pretty realistic 16 year old.

Ingredient #3: Interesting Hero

“Just because I wear black and keep a private journal, that doesn't mean I'm going to blow up the school. Or terrorize mindless cheerleaders, for that matter.”

Yep, Varen Nethers definitely belongs to the gothic crowd of Trenton High and with his lip ring and dyed hair he couldn't be farther from Isobel's world of pom poms and meatheads *cough* Brad *cough*. I was intrigued with Varen from the moment he first showed up in the story. Everything about him kind of fascinated me. His beautiful handwriting, always in purple. The little black notebook he always carries around. His obsession with everything Edgar Allan Poe. His cool and scowling demeanor. Because who doesn't like some teenage angst? I wanted to know more about him, find out how he became the way he is. You could say I was a little obsessed myself. And firmly stayed that way throughout the book. I loved seeing him warm up to Isobel! When he started to become a bit playful or when he actually smiled I nearly died. I love all sides of his character and can't wait to read more about him in the sequel, Enshadowed.

Ingredient #4: THE CHEMISTRY ♥

Varen and Isobel, how much I love them. In spite of some other clichés, their story is in no way one of insta love and for that I am forever grateful. When the two of them first have to interact with each other - yes, I admit, they're partnered for an English project against their will, but WHO CARES. Those things happen all the time in school - well, they don't like each other. As I already mentioned above, they're from different high school worlds. He thinks she's some dumb, blond bimbo, and she thinks he's slightly okay very creepy. But because of that their chemistry has time to evolve slowly and perfectly. As the reader, you barely notice how their feelings change because of the subtle way it's done, and next thing you know you're shipping them so hard and you don't even know how it happened. The pace is restrained and beautiful and just the way I like it.

Ingredient #5: The Sidekicks

Because let's be real, they are so important to every story! Gwen, the girl who saves Isobel from a depressing friendless existence after the fall-out with her former clique, is my absolute favorite and gives the otherwise dark read some truly needed funny scenes. She's straight-forward, honest and has an outgoing, slightly crazed demeanor. She provided some laugh-out-loud moments and is the best friend every YA heroine needs.
There's also this other guy who will remain nameless in this review because you need to meet him yourself. He's in the habit of talking like a fortune cookie and only showing up when it pleases him, which just made him even more mysterious and interesting. I can't wait to find out what odd things he'll say or do in the next book.

Ingredient #6: The Atmosphere

Kelly Creagh really knows how to take some Victorian horror lit and a few good old high school kids and turn that into an absolute page-turner. I loved the creatures she added to Poe's gory stories and how she created a nightmarish dreamworld out of it. Reading Poe's tales and poems, and then finding bits and pieces in this book was so much fun. And even if you don't read them, Poe's verses are included where they're needed.
Creagh's writing is extremely beautiful, especially when it comes to describing the scenes in the dreamworld later on. The way she makes Poe's stories come to life is magical and enthralling.

Deep into that darkness peering,
long I stood there wondering, fearing,
Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal
ever dared to dream before.

- Edgar Allan Poe, "The Raven"

I definitely recommend you give this book a try. Especially next month around Halloween would be the perfect time to dive into the world of Varen and Isobel.
For me all that's left now is impatiently waiting for tomorrow, when the sequel will finally be in my hands. (It better be, Amazon, or else!)

Find me on the blog:

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Profile Image for Jen.
248 reviews207 followers
September 1, 2010
Disclaimer: This review will contain badly-structured paragraphs and thoughts that are erratic and have nothing to do with one another, other than the absolute incoherant fangirlness I'm experiencing at this time.

From the first time I laid my eyes on this book sometime in 2009, when Amazon recommended I check it out, I knew this would be a special relationship. The blacks and the purples and the guy on the cover with his brooding stare. I didn't even know what this book was about and I needed it. Then I found out the story was heavily influenced by Poe. *dies* I've been intrigued by Poe since I was 10. My parents bought me the complete works for Christmas, at my request, and I loved it. I couldn't understand most of it, but that's okay. I knew what I liked. And the macabre was definitely something I liked.

So in this story, we have Poe lore. We have a story involving the mystery that is Poe. We have a story incorporating the mysteries written by Poe. We have the macabre. We have some SERIOUS tension, anticipation, and one of the most heartfelt romances between yummy, brooding Varen and sharp-witted Isobel. We have a sexalicious cover. All of this equals a 540ish page piece of YA awesomeness.

This story was not long enough. I did not feel at all that it was 540 pages. Never once did I get bored. The way that the romance between polar opposites Varen Nethers and Isobel Lanley was slowly and realistically crafted seriously almost made my heart burst with butterflies. I hate to say it, but I've not felt this much anticipation and sexual tension between two characters since Twilight. Do not let that steer you away, anti-Twilight people. I can't even count how many times I was internally doing backflips because I thought, "this is it. They're going to kiss and make out and be in love forever and ever because Varen is perfect and I heart him." Only to have that hope snatched away by some unforeseen circumstance or another. If this book wasn't so pretty and I didn't love everything about it so much, I would've crossed out some words and improvised a little making out every single paragraph. But I'm not an author, and with good reason.

Anyway, Varen. Oh, Varen. What can I say about you that would possibly describe you the way you deserve? Who would've thought a Goth boy could be so enticing? I will say that he is in my top 3 true book loves, though. That's kind of serious. I think the best way to describe the way I feel about him is this: I can has?

Isobel was a peppy little spitfire. She was snarky and had quite a temper, which I love. She's not afraid to go against the grain of her stupid popular friends. Speaking of stupid popular friends, I hated Brad. HATED HIM. He's the epitome of douche bag. Read this book and I guarantee you will agree with me. Then there are the Nocs, who will probably haunt my nightmares for coming weeks. Pinfeathers was especially creepy. And yet I still felt a pinch of enjoyment whenever I read his name. Very intriguing characters! And to put Reynolds in the story, after knowing the story about Poe calling for "Reynolds" on his death bed, just adds a whole different level of excitement for me.
And Gwen. I want a Gwen for myself. She's like the never-shut-up, tactless, overly inquisitive, "OMG take your Adderall" version of Alice Cullen. She has some of the best lines in the book, which I will go back and re-read plenty of times when I need a laugh.

Kelly Creagh has done a wonderful thing with this novel. By far one of my top 5 for 2010. I want to read it all over again to make sure I didn't miss anything, which I'm sure I did. I love this novel. I might want to marry it.

Please, for the sake of humanity. Go buy this book. I don't care how and I don't care where. Just do it. You won't be disappointed. Except for the fact that there's an extremely painful cliffhanger and there's been no confirmation of the release date for following books. Another source of potential nightmares for months to come :( PLEASE, KELLY CREAGH. I know it's only a day after the release, but I'm dying here and I need more Varen!!
Profile Image for fiona ✨️.
249 reviews108 followers
October 8, 2020

Creeper - Misery
My Chemical Romance - Interlude
From First To Last - Emily
AFI - Silver and Cold

I made a full playlist on my spotify @fionamatilda !! (sometimes the links work and sometimes they don't lol)


actual rating: 4,5 stars

This is me trying to bring my review schedule back on track once again, wish me luck lol

🌹 A (more or less) quick recap on the turbulent lovestory between me and this book 🌹

I read Nevermore for the first time when I was 17 and I fell in love with everything about it, from the subtle and not-so-subtle nods to Poe, to the characters, to the deliciously dramatic romance, to the fact that this was just so much more unique than all the other paranormal romances I've read before.
In fact, I was so obsessed with it that I immediately ordered the sequel, but then put it off, because I wanted to read it during the fall, so the vibe would be just perfect (yes, I am that extreme type of mood reader lol).

You can guess what happened then.

Exactly. I never picked up the sequel.

In fact, I pretty much forgot about this series alltogether, because I discovered so many new favourites over the following months that this underrated gem got kind of pushed to the back. And there, it stayed.

Until about a month or so ago, when I was in the process of moving and stumbled upon this book and its sequel and got flooded with beautiful, bittersweet memories, and then on a whim decided that I would finally, after all these years, continue the series.
But first, I had to reread book one. See if it holds up. And, admittedly, I was not just a little scared that it wouldn't. After all, my reading taste had matured quite a bit since 2016-ish, and reading the synopsis, it sounded even more cheesy than I remembered it to be.
I dared it though. I went to the huge, forest-like park near my new apartment where there are tiny pathways you can get lost on and little, almost-hidden stone bridges, seemingly leading into nowhere, and mysterious-looking old fountains and the most intense fall vibes you can think of, armed with a bag of cookies, my playlist of favourite autumnal emo jams and this book.

And I devoured it.
It's been over 3 years, this book is still angsty as hell, and I still ate it up like chocolate.

✉ Reasons to pick this book up despite its very bad cover and questionable blurb ✉

This books' first couple of chapters read pretty much like every other YA paranormal romance ever. Average girls meets mysterious and Dark and brooding guy who obviously has some Dark supernatural secret, dislikes him first, then falls in love with him, then angst ensues because for some reason they absolutely CANNOT be together, yadda yadda. Sounds yawn-enducingly familiar, right? Ha. You'd THINK.

Because pretty soon the novel makes it clear that, while it still is all of the above, it's also going places that by far exceed the realms of Twilight and suchlike, and for the longest time, the reader has no idea what these places are. Not only is the supernatural element in question something that I still consider fairly unique in comparison to other books in this genre (no vampires, no wherewolves, but something else entirely, pinky promise!), but Kelly Creagh also managed to put almost every single cliché there is in her book - and still made them not only somehow interesting, but sometimes even challenged them. Of course, now there are much better examples of trope defiance in newer YA, but everything needs a start, right? Also, I very firmly believe that all the vampire jokes in this book are definitely intentional.


Speaking of defiance, one thing I loved loved LOVED when I first read the book, and that still stood out to me the second time around, was the way both (!) main characters had to overcome their mutual prejudices against one another in order to get to know each other. I've always loved highschool stories of kids from different social circles teaming up and breaking the habit, of not "sticking to the status quo" (yes, that was a halfhearted High School Musical reference), and this book is a beautiful example of that.


You know what I also love? Enemies-to-lovers. Aaaand no instalove. And guess what? This book has that, too !! Okay, maybe it's more like mutual-dislike-to-mutual-respect-to-lovers, and their declarations of love towards the end of the book might be just a tad too dramatic to be realistic, but still. Watching them slowly open up and starting to see each other in a different light is just such a wonderful experience, especially with Varen. Also, their relationship kickstarts because they're paired together for a school project. Which is a trope I'm also such a sucker for, and I barely ever see that in a book. Instead I get love triangle and chosen ones. Why, authors, why? And can we take a moment for the fact that while there might sometimes be a certain awkwardness to some of their interactions, but it's still always sweet and genuine and, most importantly, it is never. creepy. And I very much appreciate that.


And then, there's, of course, the characters in general. Who are all so much more than it seems in the beginning, just like the book itself. Well, most of them.
There's Isobel, full of energy and determination and glorious stubbornness, who's always been goal-oriented, but who only now discovers how selfless and brave she can be. Isobel, who's definitely not the one who needs saving, but the one who saves. Despite loving the color pink! Gasp! Shock!
There's Varen, who's wearing his goth outfits and piercing gazes and cool sarcasm like armor, but has a mind and imagination sharp as a knife, full of phantoms and poems, and who's also heartbreakingly lonely. (Varen, who also wears a lip ring and eyeliner, which, yes, is very important to me).
And Gwen, my actual favourite, who's so much more than a sidekick, wearing hippie skirts and masses of bracelets before it became cool again, who's as charming as she's smart as she's loyal and who I'd honestly love to have coffee and talk schemes with.
There are Isobel's parents, whose actions I might not always have understood, but who are definitely not absent and clearly care about her daughter very much.
There are Reynolds and Pinfeathers, who are many things, and I can't put my finger on most of them, but what I can say is that I absolutely want more. Of both of them.
And let's not forget Danny, Isobel's 12-year-old brother, also way more than a sidekick, an icon of support and loyalty towards his sister (if he wants to be), and most definitely secretly plotting world domination.


Another big plus of the book, at least to me (and another thing that sets it apart from many books of that era): Instead of immediately throwing around weird and confusing worldbuilding, the book takes its time to introduce its supernatural element, and instead uses that time to focus on the characters, only to turn into a breathtaking and terrifying feverdream for the last 100-or-so pages. And while I love that part of the book, the slowly unfolding first half of it, when everything is still mysterious and new, just as the fragile, yet growing bond between Varen and Isobel, is still my favourite.


Aaaaand, last but not least, let's talk Poe and athmosphere !! Because Poe's work plays a massive role in this book, and while it might occasionally be a bit on the nose, I still loved all the hints and new interpretations of his works woven into the story, and of course the beautifully vivid gothic vibe it creates. Also, this book was actually the reason why I decided I wanted to read Poe, which I now have, so there were many many tiny details I didn't even notice the first time around.


Of course, not Everything with a capital E holds up. In fact, there where a couple of instances that most definitely turned my face into an image of confusion and irritation - here are a few examples of that:

✉ The things that made me go ???? ✉

🌹 Why is everything Isobel's friends say or do complete bogus ???? Like, I know this is a highschool in a YA novel from 2010 and the drama is guaranteed to be a bit over the top, but come on. They absolutely lose their shit about Varen writing his phone number on her hand (which, uhh yeah, dramatic much? but still, not necessarily something to freak out over) - because that means he's now officially stalking her/trying to murder her and that justifies literally threatening him and vandalizing his workplace ?? Mmmhh, 'kay.
🌹 Why, in the name of all that is good in the world, did the love interest, as much as I genuinely love his character, have to be named VAREN ???? (I mean, I get why, but that doesn't make things any better.)
This is a thing that genuinely didn't bother me when I first read it, but now I literally can't look at that name without having to stifle a tiny laugh of despair.
In case you didn't notice it yet and wonder whatever the hell I'm on about: This whole book is basically a huge reference to Poe's 'The Raven'. The love interest is named Varen.
Raven. Varen. Raven. Varen. Just let that sink in for a minute.
🌹 Why does Isobel keep trying to find excuses for Brad, when he treats her and everyone around him like shit from the start ???? And also, yes, he might not deserve to die, and yes, Isobel is a very bighearted person, but w h y is she still so hellbent on protecting him after he was the absolute worst during that porch scene (and also very much kissed her without her consent, mind you, and who knows what else if he hadn't gotten interrupted) ????
🌹 not necessarily a '????', but more of a trigger warning: there is also the occasional use of homophobic slurs (by Brad, of course, because who else would it be), and while it's never under a positive connotation, I think might be still good to know before going in.

Apart from these little moments of irritation however, I still had such a good time revisiting this and relishing in the delicious angst this novel provides. And also listening to lots of AFI and MCR in the meantime (there may or may not be two very small nods to MCR in this, but my inner fangirl might as well just interpret too much into everything lol). If this sounds like something you'd vibe with, don't let the hideous cover fool you !! This book is so much more than it seems.
Profile Image for ~Tina~.
1,092 reviews159 followers
September 13, 2010
Confession time...*pause for effect* I have never heard of nor read anything by the obviously legendary Edgar Allan Poe before, till I read this book.
*inserts gasps here*
However, this book had me fascinated by his work and will quickly proceed to the nearest book store/library to remedy that fact.

Moving on...

How the hell do I even start this review? Seriously I'm at a lost of words to describe the greatness that is Nevemore.
OMG, WOW, HOLY SHIIIIT? Nope, it doesn't do it justice, in fact, nothing I say will give this book the justice it deserves, so I'll just be rambling on from here on in.

I loved every.single.word etched on these pages, Kelly Creagh has captured a dream like escape and made it feel so vividly real that it shocked the hell out me once I closed this book. I mean, dammme is this some seriously sensational story telling!!

I'm just going to start with Varen Nethers, cause lets face it, he's the soul of this entire epic story.
Varen is probably with out a doubt the most complex and intense character I have ever read, that's right Edward Cullen, push over, your not complex enough me no longer.
Everything about him is enticing and intriguing, his look, his mannerisms and his voice. It's not necessarily the words he says (or lack there of) but how he holds every scene with the way he delivers ever calculating vague riddle-like line that makes it some how go right through you. He gives a whole new delicious meaning to the word mysterious. So freaken hauntingly beautiful.
If Varen is the soul of this book, then Isobel Lanley is definitely the heart. Her faith and everlasting strength to be a good person, stand up to what she believes in while going through a wide range of unimaginative things and attempts to save the man that she loves from his own escape, merit an 'your totally awesome' in my book. I only cringed once during that whole apology cheer, but then again I've never been for the whole pom-pom-go-team-go thing. Altogether she made an excellent well defined character.

The relationship between Varen and Isobel is a strange one. Not your typical hook-up. It never really escalated more then a few conversations and meetings. But, you could feel the pull, the obvious attraction and heated chemistry, but there was always something looming above them, bigger then both and totally in the way. No dramatic declarations, just the underlining understanding of affection that seeps out from every moment that they shared. This annoyed and thrilled me at the same time. I'm a selfish reader and I wanted so much more. Although, there were a lot of moments that just dripped sexy. Who knew getting handed a tub of ice cream could melt me and when he read to her? So romantic. And dear God that heart-stopping, heart-pounding kiss? The ribbon? There are no words. And yet I still wanted more. I understand why it was written this way and in it's own right it's perfect, but yeah, I'm still gonna pout.

Hated Isobel's (so called) friends, they all sucked (save for Nikki, Stevie & Gwen) and were annoyingly immature and nasty. That's pretty much all I got for them.
I liked Isobel's parents but Varen's dad is an ass and I can totally see why he became Oh-Dark-One cause of him. I'd would have needed the escape too.
Pinfeather was amusing in one of those awesome sadistic ways, I know I'm suppose to hate him and all, but he made me laugh.
Reynolds adds nicely to this warped story, I hope we see him again in the next book.
The plot of the story is mind baffling crazy, taking Varen's self-made escape and balancing it on the tips of reality. It kept me spinning right till the very end of this massive 543 pg book. It never slows down, continuously entertaining making it captivating and unsettling at the same time.
Totally creepiness laces through out the story, very shutter worthy giving me the proper heebeejeebees chills and nightmares, but, dammmme, do I want more of where that came from! Can't.wait.for the.sequel.need.it.NOW.

I can go on and on and on about the awesomeness that is Varen Nevermore, but y'all get the point. Remarkable-Remarkable writing, well crafted imaginative plot and characters who will have you on your hands and knees begging for(never)more!!

Read this book it's an amazing rush!!!
Profile Image for Holly.
510 reviews514 followers
April 14, 2015
5++++ stars

It has been so long since I was this excited about a book. Since I was so caught up in a story that all I wanted to do was read. All I wanted to do was be in that world, as creepy and unsettling as it may have been. I wanted to be there....and Creagh totally made me feel like I was right in the middle of all the nightmarish beauty that was Nevermore.

There have been countless reviews detailing the plot (which is beyond brilliant and original, especially in the YA genre), so i will settle on just giving you a quick rundown of what I thought of the book as a whole.

The world building was perfectly done, and Creagh's gorgeous, almost lyrical writing style is perfectly suited to this gothicly nightmarish fairy tale.

As for the characters. Holy hell. Where do I even start? I went into this almost expecting Isobel to be this perfectly blonde Barbie doll, and was just hoping I would be able to read the book without her annoying me too much. Imagine my surprise when I realized within the first few pages, that Isobel was so much more than just a pretty face. She was a strong, kick ass character that I ended up loving deeply. And Varen...well, I am not exactly sure what it is about him that made me fall under his spell, but he also ended up capturing my heart.

One of the BEST aspects of Nevermore, were the shadowy Dreamworld characters. I will freely admit to my unexplanable love for Pinfeathers. He has to be one of the most memorable and strangely endearing (???!!!) villains I have ever come across. I don't understand why I ended up loving his creepy character so much...but there it is. Also, I will own up to a slight fangirly crush on Reynolds. He's a badass who has a lot to answer for...but a badass nonetheless.

Bottom line, this was one of the most incredibly imaginative, and obsessively readable books I have found in ages. Definitely one of the best books I have read all year, and in fact one of my all time favorites as well.

It is fitting that Nevermore, much like the characters of Isobel and Varen, ended up being so much more than I expected. I can't wait for the sequel.

My YT Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/Bookgasmic
My blog: http://ravingbookaddict.blogspot.com/
392 reviews334 followers
September 13, 2010
At last he stopped, and she stared down at the printed column of words, unable to comprehend a single one. His hand, warm and steady, wound its way around hers, wrapping it like a spider would its prey. She surrendered it to him, unable to watch even as his thumb traced the place, just above her knuckles, where he had once written his number in deep violet. Isobel ceased to breathe. Her heart pounded in her chest, her thoughts shattering into senseless fragments. All the while, her eyes remained trained and unblinking on the open page. Lines without meaning stared up at her, little more than black sticks in an otherwise white world.

I hope that quote incite you to read this book. Because really you should. Nevermore is a breathtaking read from start to finish.

The plot it refreshingly different from other YA paranormal reads. I don’t want to say to much, but I will say - no vampires, no werewolves, no angels and mostly importantly no love triangle. It is mysterious, dark and will have you guessing right until the end. The romance in this book is beautifully done, never rushed.

They are so many wonderful characters in this story Isobel, Gwen, Reynolds, Danny and of course VAREN. One word for him WOW. I also agree with other reviews that Pinfeathers is entertaining and kind of likeable for a bad guy. They was only one thing that kind of annoyed me. Isobel’s ex friends and ex boyfriend. They really couldn’t have not been stupider. I just wanted to knock their heads together and hopefully some sense into them.

The ending major CLIFFHANGER that will leave you begging for more! But don’t let that put you off reading this book because this is one of the few books you shouldn‘t miss. I suggest you run out and get it right now!
Profile Image for Lissa.
Author 19 books176 followers
September 26, 2011
I wanted to read Nevermore ever since I heard of it. It sounded so totally awesome. I mean, a book called Nevermore that has something do with the great Edgar Alan Poe? A romantic interest that is also a writer as opposed to not having any hobbies? How totally rocking does that sound?

The writing is just exquisite. I loved every single sentence. I loved that there was a very nice dose of description of everything as well, especially colours. Some people might say there were too many adjectives, but quite frankly I've had enough of YA books with minimal description and lazy storytelling. I could tell with this book just how passionate Ms Creagh was, and I fell in love with it, too.

But as I was reading it, I slowly came to realise that is must be a satire. There's no other way to describe it. The entire first two thirds of the book is just so hilariously satirical that for most of the time I was thinking, "Poor Isobel! She's trapped in a satire and it's getting spooky!"

Allow me to elaborate.

For a class project, preppy, happy blonde cheerleader Isobel gets partnered with Varen, who dresses like a goth and is a total outsider non-conformist and hangs out with people who look just like him and listen to the same music and enjoy going to the same events (they're all totally non-conformists). Everyone immediately assumes she's, like, dating him or something. Her friends totally freak out just because now that she’s paired with a goth she’s going to catch a disease or something. Her friends make Isobel’s life miserable because they are Not. Nice. Friends. They overreact, go behind her back, and then stab her in the back like the two faced bitches they are, all in the first 80 pages. Isobel, despite being extremely observant about the way Varen looks (and never affords the same lingering looks to her actual boyfriend, Brad… I think he might be blonde and he smirks a lot) never gives any indication whatsoever in the first 80 pages that she’s at all interested in him. Her friends treat him like he’s a demonic soul stealer. Why are they so weird about it all? It’s JUST a class project, people. Everyone acts like he lusts after the blood of dead babies. He never gives any indication that he's interested in Isobel beyond their class project, yet around him swirls this whole panic about them spending time together. And all that time they spend together? They never get any work done. Isobel is too busy staring at him and he's too busy being a non-conformist.

Isobel’s parents ground her for not answering her phone and coming home late after a game, but because Isobel is a successful cheerleader for a successful football team, you’d think this kind of thing happens more often. AND they’re totally suspicious because Varen was the one to drop her off. I mean… everyone’s simply PANICKING because Isobel is being forced to spend time with Varen. OMG A GOTH! How DARE he unwillingly spend time with the preppy cheerleader! EVERYONE PANIC! And Isobel makes it worse by keeping it a secret and hiding everything from anyone. Just tell people, for god’s sake. “It’s for a class project, everyone settle down. We’re not secretly dating. Mom and Dad, for god’s sake don’t ground me because I came home with a different boy. Just be glad I’m not a homeless junkie, drunk and pregnant. I need to go to the LIBRARY to do some HOMEWORK. Don’t make me sneak out because I want a good grade.”

THAT, ladies and gentlemen, is why the first half of this book is complete satire. I suppose I have to give credit to the author for never actually stating what the hell everyone's problem is, anyway. She leaves it up to us to figure out why everyone has such a problem with Varen. Which is why I decided Varen secretly lusts after dead baby blood. Or maybe he raped a girl. I don't want to sully his Dark Lord reputation but that's the response he gets.

I really enjoyed the first half of the book. I found all the panic over Varen, and Isobel's friends and family's totally unrealistic response totally hilarious. I kept shouting at Isobel when she kept everything a secret and was simply flabbergasted and everyone's response to Varen just because he's smart and dresses differently. I suppose that's to create the conflict within the pages, because the goths I know are totally awesome people who are actually really friendly if you take the effort to not actually judge them based on their appearance.

The last third of the book was a lot more confusing. Isobel is drawn into Varen's Poe-inspired (or did it inspire Poe?) dream world and I had trouble focusing on all the weird shit that went down there. Isobel was kind of a cool protagonist: she had the guts to leave her friends when they were dicks, she fought for what she wanted (to stay on the cheerleading squad) but when it came to the last third of the book, she spent the majority of it running around like a headless chicken and not doing anything anyone advised her to. She blunders through mishap after mishap, but she redeems herself by fighting back.

However, I can not bring myself to forgive her for

I don't normally talk about book covers because covers change from edition to edition, but I heard there is a controversy because Varen's lip ring is missing on my version and Isobel isn't very blonde at all. But it is a really pretty cover nonetheless.

Also, I liked Gwen. A LOT. She was cool and snarky and kind of a bitch. Not that Isobel didn't deserve it. She only tried to make friends with her locker neighbour once she's lost all her other friends. And Gwen seemed really cool in an excitable nerd sort of way. But I can't figure out why she was so eager to help Isobel when Isobel wasn't a very good friend in return.

I was hoping this book would grab me and not let go but quite frankly the first half was so unbelievable and the second half, which was by contemporary fiction standards unrealistic was more believable than before all the weird stuff started happening. That's why it's only getting 4 stars. I will read it again one day, I'm just not sure when. When I need another good laugh, I suppose.

I think this book would make a really awesome film. Bring It On meets Freddy Kruger.
Profile Image for Alkyoni.
111 reviews169 followers
May 7, 2015

Original review 2011 *3 stars*

A Goth and a Cheerleader become partners for an English class project (you've got to give it to Creagh, that was original... It wasn't biology for a change...) and that's it. They write a paper about Edgar Alan Poe, they get an A, and then he gets back to his goth girlfriend, she gets back to the quarterback dude and they never speak to each other again.

Naaaaaaah, I'm kidding.

They fall in love, but then strange things start happening to Isobel - Poe related things that make no sense to her. Could they somehow be related to Varen?

80% of this book has a contemporary feeling that was lovely executed. Regardless of what I said earlier, Creagh is very original in her writing and her world building.

Izzy is a wonderful character, and what do you know? A cheerleader! When was the last time that you read a YA book where a cheerleader was even remotely interesting? Well Izzy is that and so much more.

The romance is one of the sweetest things out there, her and Varen getting to see past their appearances, getting to understand each other, respect each other, falling in love in the process.

I was honestly going for 5 stars. Then, I don't know what happened.

It was like it was a different book. The dream world replaced the real world, endless descriptions of rooms, people and landscapes replaced the action, conclusions that I couldn't follow were drawn, I lost it.

It's not that I didn't like that part, it was beautifully written, but it was not what I had been reading (and liking) up to that point!

I'm looking forward to the next one anyway, since this is the first book in a trilogy and it ends on a cliffhanger. Oh how I love cliffhangers...

Once more with feeling, 2014 *4 stars*

Well, what do you know. There really is such a thing as a 'right book/wrong time' thingy. Who knew?

Reasons that contributed to my reading experience being much more enjoyable the second time around:

1. I was mentally prepared for the endless descriptions, yada, yada part.
2. I was able to enjoy the above mentioned descriptions by actually reading them instead of skimming through them... (Yeah, yeah, I know, I shouldn't have done it, but c'mon! I wasn't prepared for them at the time and I was anxious to find out how things would turn out!) And guess what? They were interesting.
3. The fact that I read it in the quiet of my room this time, instead of the deck of ship, surrounded by 500 tourists, was probably a plus.

So, book, I still think that you were a bit uneven and quite confusing towards the end, but I apologize for not giving you enough credit the first time around.

Profile Image for Ashley Marie .
1,300 reviews394 followers
January 1, 2019
Monthly Group Read with YA and Beyond!

Solid 4 stars.

If you mashed together Edgar Allan Poe, Alice in Wonderland, and a typical YA contemporary novel, you'd wind up with this fantastic book. It's a bit wordy (my edition has 543 pages) but it reads very easily and doesn't feel like a slog. I don't get the vibe of insta-love either (le gasp), which seems to be so common in YA nowadays.

I'm a fan of this book because I've been a huge Poe fan since high school. I'm a fan of this book because I know these characters. I went to school with these characters, ate lunch with these characters. In high school, I was that kid who could say hi to anyone in the hallway and sit at anyone's lunch table. Sure, I had my own table and group of friends to sit with, but I wouldn't have felt out of place at the goth table or the band geek table or the Christian table. In my experience, the goth and hippie tables were basically meshed into one, which is why I totally love Varen and Gwen (NOT as a pairing) but they both make me laugh and I just adore them both. I had a similar relationship with my locker buddy that Isobel and Gwen had -- that not-talking-until-the-day-you-realized-they-were-cool thing. Speaking of that, need to go make sure old locker-buddy has read this, because if not I know she would love it too.

This just really gave me the high school flashbacks though -- I was never popular or sporty, and I totally would've hung out with someone like Varen. I had my own car payments, for one thing. (And I love his cat.) I always admired the goths. We had one girl, Heather -- I think she was a year or so older than me, but sh always wore a floor-length cape to school and I wanted it SO BAD.

I love the characters in this book -- Brad and Mark aside, and Alyssa because she's a snot. The boys need to understand boundaries, and they just reminded me of my exes and how macho they were when they got jealous. Nevermore feels like a better version of Twilight because, hello, the main characters are the SAME AGE. Also, Varen isn't a creeper. Yes, he's different. But he doesn't creep into her house and watch her sleep. Gwen is awesome. Isobel is surprisingly spunky (I expected to hate her on my first read and actually ended up liking her). I love her brother, Danny. I love her relationship with her dad, because it reminds me of me & my dad. Reynolds is fantastic, and Pinfeathers is creepy as heck. Lilith or whatever you want to call her... she gives me the heebie-jeebies.

Probably gonna pick up the next book on Saturday from the library :D ahhhhh I'm so glad to have reread this!!
Profile Image for Krys.
749 reviews170 followers
March 6, 2014

Well, I've had to abandon several books this week. At best, this is totally my fault. My brain has been reduced to mush due to some goings-on in my personal life. Very few books are sticking just now, nothing over-complicated, conceptualized, or long-winded.

I want to say it's because I needed light-hearted fluff, but I'm reluctant to call this book fluff. It was really...damn...good.

Nevermore by Kelly Creagh was exactly what I wanted to read this week. It had it all. It starts out as a high school teen book with a burgeoning romance between two people completely ill-suited for each other. Throw in a project about Edgar Allan Poe and the book takes on a Gothic overtone that pleases this cryptic girl to the hilt.

Added to this mix is bad/goth boy... Varen... Oh, Varen.Varen, Varen... Varen makes this whole book insanely readable, especially when paired with good girl cheerleader, Isobel, as a potential love interest. Varen is the new Patch (and Patch is the new Jace, soo...). Varen and his black clothing and his elegant hands and his green-eyed gaze... Varen is so sensual to read. That. It. Hurts. Varen is the character you read because you need to read a sexy delightful scamp. Besides the physical description of this gorgeous goth there is a plus side... he has a brain. Good goth this beautiful man has a brain!

He's sublime to read. Especially if you are in the mood to fall in love with a new character.

But, Varen aside, there is much more to this book. There is a creepy, mysterious plot that builds up for a large chunk of the book. In truth, I loved and hated that the reveal to this world took sooo long to get to. It was frustrating that I didn't know through a large chunk of the book what was going on, but I didn't completely hate that either. What did get to me was the large portion of the book spent in the dreamworld. It was convoluted and disjointed, exactly what I don't want to be reading right now. That said, it didn't detract from my enjoyment of the book. I suppose dreamworld is supposed to be weird and confusing. In that case it works. Well.

I am in love with this book. Fervently. But, I have to give it a 4.5 of 5 stars because of the confusing dreamworld bits. I'm sure that part of the reading is just me.

- review courtesy of www.bibliopunkkreads.com
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