Evernight, by Claudia Gray

(Buy from Amazon.ca)

Summary: (Taken from GoodReads) Bianca wants to escape.

She’s been uprooted from her small hometown and enrolled at Evernight Academy, an eerie Gothic boarding school where the students are somehow too perfect: smart, sleek, and almost predatory. Bianca knows she doesn’t fit in.

Then she meets Lucas. He’s not the “Evernight type” either, and he likes it that way. Lucas ignores the rules, stands up to the snobs, and warns Bianca to be careful—even when it comes to caring about him.

“I couldn’t stand it if they took it out on you,” he tells Bianca, “and eventually they would.”

But the connection between Bianca and Lucas can’t be denied. Bianca will risk anything to be with Lucas, but dark secrets are fated to tear them apart… and to make Bianca question everything she’s ever believed.

Thoughts: There are few things positive that I can say about this book, and even then they’re positive with a side-order of negative. The book started off dull, stayed dull until the last quarter, and only then picked up in pace and got interesting. It had a few funny moments, which were islands amid a sea of blah. The writing was lackluster, and could have stood a fair bit of polishing.

The concept for the novel was interesting enough. A school where young-looking vampires go to try to keep up with the changing world. But since it also allowed a few humans students, no real explanation was given as to how they kept both sides of the school so very isolated from each other. I’m fairly sure that any modern humans hearing a student in Modern Technology ask what spirits animate an iPod, and the subsequent attempt of a teacher to legitimately explain the device, would start to notice something was odd.

Also, the author seemed, on occasion, to forget what she’d previously written. Like Bianca thinking, in the meetinghouse-on-fire scene near the end, that she had never thought she would ever say goodbye to Lucas. Except that she’d spent the previous three chapters constantly thinking that soon she’d be saying goodbye to him!

A fair way into the book, the reader learns that Bianca is a vampire, and so are most of the rest of the students. This is presented interestingly enough at first, as though it’s so normal to her that she didn’t even think to think about it, but this is at odds with the fact that after the fact is revealed to the reader, Bianca now starts mentally analyzing the actions of the vampire characters and how vampirism applies to them. Girls dieting before a dance isn’t unheard of, but only after Bianca’s revelation is made does she start thinking for us (since the whole book is told from her perspective) that their diet involved abstaining from blood, and now some of them barely have reflections because of it. These things are revealed for the benefit of the reader, but they don’t flow very well from the first person perspective.

Also, obsessive love seems to be in vogue these days, and it bothers me. Yes, this is how teenagers act when they first fall in love, but that doesn’t mean it makes for good reading. Characters who can’t stop thinking about each other ten minutes after they first meet, and who make one-sided plans to be together forever after they’ve known each other for 5 months are dull, shallow, and uninteresting, and the fact that this sort of relationship is normal and even to be hoped for is just setting a whole lot of people up to be both creepy and disappointed.

I’ve seen a lot of reviews that recomment this book for fans of the Twilight series. I agree. The only reason I rate this book higher than Twilight is because I actually forced myself to sit through Evernight, and I couldn’t even manage that for Twilight.

I don’t expect to be reading the rest of the books in this series. They may be good, but the fact that it took three quarters of this book for the story to actually get going really doesn’t inspire me to give the others a chance.

In short, I recommend this if you’re a fan of obsessive love and vampires, and/or are a fan of Stephanie Meyer’s novels. Otherwise, give this one a miss.

One comment on “Evernight, by Claudia Gray

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