Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Evernight by Claudia Gray

Series: Evernight Book 1
Genre: YA Fantasy
Copyright: 2008
Pages: 327
Book Source: Own purchase

When the story begins in Evernight, Bianca has just left the small town where she's spent her whole life. She's a new student at Evernight Academy, a creepily Gothic boarding school where her classmates are somehow too perfect: smart, sleek and almost predatory. Bianca knows she doesn't fit in.

Then she meets Lucas, another loner, who seems fiercely determined not to be the "Evernight type." There's a connection between Bianca and Lucas that can't be denied. She would risk anything to be with him—but dark secrets are fated to tear them apart... and to make Bianca question everything she's ever believed to be true.

My thoughts on Evernight are quite conflicted, and before I get booed off the stage or egged, let me try to explain. I loved the concept, star-crossed lovers, Romeo & Juliet style feud, dark, gothic setting casting a menacing, edgy aura, interesting characters and some pretty suspenseful writing. So what you ask was my problem?? The first 100 pages or so are a little slow, lots of teen angst and striving to fit in, then a surprise development. Now there's nothing wrong with surprise developments, I actually love them, but I was shocked by the author's execution. When reading a first person narrative I expect a degree of transparency to that character's thoughts and feelings, and for me to suddenly believe something that the narrator knew all along was just not ... believable. I have a feeling that the author has done this with intention rather than poor writing as there are hints along the way but I just wasn't convinced by the 1st person rendition.

I don't think the above mentioned issue will be a problem in Stargazer or subsequent novels, simply because it's already done. After the 'reveal' I enjoyed the rest of the book, the new twists were entertaining and there is plenty of plot potential. The vampire mythology is a mix of traditional and new ideas which I thought worked well and and despite the growing number of vampire books centred around academies, Evernight is actually quite orginal as the boarding school was established to help teen vampires become savvy with modern technology.

Bianca is likeable enough, she's a little awkward and while she constantly makes mention of her painful shyness, there wasn't really much evidence of it. Lucas is a complex character, he's secretive, protective, hot-tempered, abrasive and not at all conventional which I really liked but he's not without a certain vulnerability. There's an immediate connection between Bianca & Lucas, their friendship develops into love but the road to true love is not without some major speed bumps. The secondary characters are all quite interesting but the character I wanted more of was Balthazar. I have my fingers crossed that Balthazar will be a character in the forefront of Stargazer.

The ending, while not a cliffhanger leaves many unanswered questions obviously setting the scene for Stargazer and I for one am keen to find out where this series is going.

Next books in the Evernight series:
  • Stargazer (March 2009)
  • Hourglass (March 2010)
  • Afterlife
Visit Claudia Gray's website to find out more.

To celebrate my 1st Blogoversary two lucky readers can take their pick from a choice of 6 books in this month's spookalicious competition. Check this blog post for details. International entrants welcome.


  1. I really loved this one,Teddyree. It was the ywist that cemented it 4me.

  2. I am going to have to read it now, because I am eager to know what the big reveal is.

  3. When are you doing your next review? I'm dying to read the next review about Cat and Bones!

    I will get to this book eventually, a little turned off it now.

  4. Diane ~ I really want to start on Stargazer, I think I'll enjoy it a lot more!!

    Viv ~ let me know, I'll be interested to hear what you think.

    Alaine ~ LOL I promise to have it up by umm ... Friday

  5. I am not so keen on this one! I don't know. I am so not in the mood maybe.. but eventually someday i might read it :)

  6. Hm I am conflicted about it. Sounds interesting but not enough for me to rush out.
    Anyway great review :)

  7. The reveal got me - I have to admit. I was like - HUH? OOOOH I see.

    I kind of liked the reveal - I had issues with the ending..kind of anti-climatic..I understand it is a series, so hopefully we more action in the next one!

  8. Teddyree,

    Wonderful review. :) I have this one on my wish list.

    Have a wonderful day.


  9. I hadn't heard of this one before. I will have to check it out.

  10. I havent heard of this book, sounds interesting enough for me to check it out at the bookstore during my next visit.

  11. && yet another series I've been meaning to start. I'll definitely keep your thoughts in mind and not be so hard on the first half of the book =)

  12. Your review helped me to decide on this book...decide to take a pass at this time.

    Cat and Bones...what book are you on at this point?

  13. I am completely on board with your review. Bianca could get annoying and the beginning was slow.

    But my biggest complaint? I couldn't believe it when she dropped the V-bomb (as I call it.) I mean come on, this is first person and she never mentions it? I felt cheated. Yes, I like the concept and I'll read the sequel but it's coming from the library. I'm still a bit irritated about being duped.

  14. I HATE it when they leave me questioning things!!!!! Good review, hun.

  15. Veens ~ I'm going to read Stargazer and decide from there whether to continue with the series.

    Blodeuedd ~ will let you know what I think of the next one, but I know plenty of people who loved this one

    Mandi ~ yeah, the next one will be the decider for me, there's apparently 4 in the series!

    Michelle G ~ let me know what you think if you happen to read it :-)

    Andrea & Ms Ulat Buku ~ thanks for stopping by & commenting.

    Mishel ~ from what I've seen of reviews, it's divided, half loved it and half were really annoyed by the execution so can't wait to see what you think lol

    Deanna ~ lol, this series gets one last chance with Stargazer.
    mmm Cat & Bones, I've finished book 2 One Foot in the Grave (loved it) & I'm starting At Graves End.

  16. Alyssa ~ thanks & I'm so glad you agree about the first person
    'stuff.' I know I can be a little harsh & I know others loved that particular twist but it really annoyed me. I already have Stargazer so that will be the decider for me :-)

    Sarbear ~ thanks for stopping by

  17. Like your review. I'm still wondering on whether i want to read this one. Most of the reviews i read really liked this book and too my hype of that kind usually scares me away.
    So now that you've bought it down to earth a lil bit..maybe i'll give it a go

  18. Friday, that would be tomorrow! I'll be waiting!

  19. I've been thinking about reading this one. It's good to know I shouldn't get discouraged if I find it a slow starter

  20. Thanks for your honest review. I really want to read this book!

  21. If you are willing to continue on than that is good enough for me!!

  22. Wasn't this the book Alaine & I were supposed to read together?

  23. K ~ lol glad I could help :-)

    Alaine ~ hmm it's friday, hopefully I'll have it done tonight!

    bookmagic ~ the slow start I can handle, it was the first person fiasco that bothered me, but lots of readers didn't have a problem with it. Let me know what you think!

    Kate ~ Thanks for stopping by, I'm glad I haven't turned you off reading it lol

    Staci ~ yeah I guess that says the author did a pretty good job, I do want to continue. Thanks I'll let you know.

  24. J.Kaye ~ I have no idea, I don't remember Evernight being mentioned. Are you sure it wasn't Evermore and then you did Blue Moon together??

  25. Hi Teddyree!

    I have this on my reading list, but haven't gotten around to it yet. I see that I'm missing out!

    If only there was a few more hours to the day....I guess I could give up sleeping....

    Dottie :)

  26. Teddyree, it was when we were reading BLUE MOON. There was another book suggested. I thought you suggested it...I think I have it written down, but my office is a mess.

  27. Now I am a bit conflicted. It looks good. It sounds interesting. But how is it that much different from everything else out there at the moment? I guess I will have to sit on this one a while.

    Well-Read Reviews


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