Friday, January 27, 2012

Everneath by Brodi Ashton

Everneath by Brodi Ashton
Release date:  January 24th, 2012
HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray
Reviewed by: AmyG (Big Sis)
Sister's Say:  Enticing, Eloquent, and Eerily foreboding

Last spring, Nikki Beckett vanished, sucked into an underworld known as the Everneath, where immortals Feed on the emotions of despairing humans. Now she's returned- to her old life, her family, her friends- before being banished back to the underworld... this time forever. 
She has six months before the Everneath comes to claim her, six months for good-byes she can't find the words for, six months to find redemption, if it exists. 
Nikki longs to spend these months reconnecting with her boyfriend, Jack, the one person she loves more than anything. But there's a problem: Cole, the smoldering immortal who first enticed her to the Everneath, has followed Nikki to the mortal world. And he'll do whatever it takes to bring her back- this time as his queen. 
As Nikki's time grows short and her relationships begin slipping from her grasp, she's forced to make the hardest decision of her life: find a way to cheat fate and remain on the Surface with Jack or return to the Everneath and become Cole's... (-goodreads)

First off, I need to thank HarperCollins for sending me this gorgeous ARC.  I've been eyeing if for months with that beautiful red dress surrounded by those spooky clouds.  I would love to frame this book cover and hang it up on my wall!  Who needs art when there are book covers like this out there!

Everneath isn't just a book with a pretty cover though.  The writing, the imagery, and the characters make it as beautiful on the inside as the out.  We at the YA-Sisterhood all share a deep love of Greek mythology.  Call it having an English teacher as a mom or just a love of classical education, but throw in some Greek Mythology and it's hook, line, and sinker for us!  Greek mythology has been slowly routing out a place for itself in YA literature, and I couldn't be more happy about it!  Everneath is just the right amount of Greek mixed with just the the perfect touch of modernization!

The most profound thing about Evermeath was the imagery.  Brodi Ashton has a way with words that brings the story to life.  The tunnels, the shades, and the animation of the emotions were tangible.  I can still close my eyes and see them as if I were actually Nikki.  There is this scene at a dance in which the Everlings are feeding off the emotions of the crowd and all at once it was both horrifying and beautiful.  Part of me wishes I could have actually seen it while the more sane part doesn't agree.  From the opening pages to the last page Everneath oozes these fantastic images.  They are hauntingly gorgeous and will leave you breathless and wanting more.

For those of you asking, "where's the romance?" Never fear, there is a love triangle to rival all love triangles!  First off, there's Jack, the dreamy boy next door that encompasses everything that Nikki desires.  On the other hand, there's Cole the epitamy of the broken bad boy that is oh so redeemable.  While reading this book, I was sadly that "love the one you're with" girl.  I cheered "Jack, Jack, Jack" during his scenes and "Cole, Cole, Cole" through his pages!  Please don't make me choose!  You will be hard pressed to find 2 more different characters with the same amount of dreaminess!  I would love to see a showdown between Jack and Cole in the Crush Tourney with all cards laid on the table, and see who would come out the victor!  Maybe that would help me choose!  Umm, yeah, probably not!

Most of the time, I am not a fan of the disrupted or broken timeline that appears in Everneath, but it worked perfectly here.  So much of the novel deals with time that the broken sequence of it, helped develop parallel emotions between the characters and the reader.  Nikki's time slowly ticks away at the beginning, but as the book proceeds the time gaps get smaller and time slips by faster.  I found my heart rate increasing and actually felt anxious for Nikki as time seemed to drain quickly away.  This was actually a brilliant way to pace the novel!  It was like watching the sand run out in an hourglass and there was absolutely nothing I can do to stop that last grain of sand from slipping to the bottom.

I cannot give this book or Brodi Ashton enough praise.  Everneath needs to be on every YA lovers bookshelf, especially those that adore Greek Mythology.  Brodi creates a story that at first seems familiar with the allusion to the Greek myths only to throw you for a complete loop.  At the exact point that I thought I knew what was about to happen, she completely knocked me off my feet.  Brilliant I tell you, brilliant!  It's all the Greek mythology I love with twist of her own that left me completely speechless and crying on the floor with the knowledge that it will be a whole year before I can read book 2!