Sunday, February 20, 2011

Nevermore by Kelly Creagh

Published: August 2010
Publisher: Atheneum
Pages: 543
Copy from: Library
Summary: Goodreads
And the raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting
On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door;
And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon's that is dreaming,
And the lamp-light o'er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor;
And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor
Shall be lifted - nevermore! --from "The Raven" by Edgar Allan Po

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.

Nevermore is a wonderfully creepy journey through the mind of a troubled teen, and a troubled author perhaps. Ok, sorry Ms Creagh, you're not troubled, just very obviously a Poe fan - it was Poe that was troubled! This book was quite unlike anything I have read in a while. A little hard for me to get into, but it sort of got under my skin and I found myself really enjoying it.

Set in a fairly typical US highschool, the story unfolds slowly, but takes place over only a week or so. Isobel and Varen are forced together because of a school project and end up connecting in unsuspecting ways. I loved the way the layers were peeled back on both of them and the reader comes to understand that they are much more than appearances would suggest.

'He enfolded her hand between both of his, and she felt the silver bands of his rings press into her skin. she turned her head slowly in his direction, though she dared not meet those eyes." (291)

As far as minor characters, Gwen was brilliant. I would have loved her as a friend. She was non-judgemental and so genuine. Brad, Isobel's ex-boyfriend was a typical jock. I found myself wondering if we don't help create people like him because of the way we treat athletes. After a continuous diet of adulation, why are we surprised they lose their tempers' when they don't get their own way? Anyway, Brad, Nikki, Alyssa and the others were well fleshed out and believable.

Ms Creagh's writing was beautiful and captured the atmosphere of Poe so well. Dark colours, wispy fogs, scary birds, creepy strangers - all of them combined to fill in the background so successfully.

'A deep, bold sound arose from behind, halting her steps. The noise vibrated through the carpet, strong enough to stir the curtains. It rolled through Isobel's shoes and through the solid black walls. Dread, like a poison, spread its way through her and she turned toward the source of the noise.
Like a dark sentinel, an enormous ebony clock now stood in place of the door she'd walked through not a moment before. The clock's face, like that of an unforgiving god, glowed white in the surrounding blackness while the chimes sang out a discordant melody.' (417)

Doesn't that just send shivers up your spine? So I have to ask - am I the only person who did not realise this is the first book in a trilogy? Right up until about 15 pages before the end - that 530 odd pages - I was convinced everything was going to turn out fine. (Oops, sorry if that's a spoiler.) Ms Creagh, you're killing me. Having pulled me in completely with this story, you've left me hanging - I WANT TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENS! Ok, hissy fit over. In a nutshell - wonderful characters, wonderful story. I hope you enjoy it as much
as I did.


  1. I fell in love with this book! I literally could not put this book down. I love how you say that it got under your skin because that is exactly what it did. Great review (love the book quotes!). Here's my review on this book:

    <3 Patricia @ Patricia's Particularity

    P.S. I'm hosting a giveaway! Hope you can stop on by:

  2. this may be humour ..thank you.. for paperback at