Saturday, 11 April 2009

Evernight / Claudia Gray

Summary - Bianca is starting school at Evernight Academy‚ a prestigious boarding school deep in the countryside‚ and from the first day‚ she can′t wait to escape. Her parents‚ who are teachers there‚ are sure she′ll be happy‚ but Bianca has a feeling there′s something seriously wrong with the place. Something evil lurking in the shadowy woods at the edge of the school grounds ...

As she settles in‚ Bianca′s sense of unease grows. Her classmates are impossibly perfect‚ her teachers are slightly sinister‚ and the new boy‚ Lucas‚ continues to send out mixed signals. Is he attracted to her or not? Meanwhile‚ another classmate‚ Balthazar‚ is definitely interested ... and he′s totally gorgeous!

Things come to a horrifying climax on the night of the Autumn Ball‚ where Bianca makes a shocking discovery about herself and her feelings for Lucas that will affect their lives forever.

Review - I thought I had this novel pegged from the beginning and then BAM, what I thought was true was flipped. I was duly impressed from that moment on and it assist me in overlooking some of the more cliched developments. One quibble would be Bianca's labelling of herself as 'shy' yet that instantly disappears in Lucas' company. I never buy that for an instant in any literature.

You are expected to buy into the love that develops between Lucas and Bianca and I did to a degree, but it was impeded by two aspects - 1) swift falling in love where the basis of adoration isn't really established (typical of YA) and 2) Balthazar. I really like Lucas, he's complex, flawed and the kissing scenes were delightful but I am intrigued by good old Balty. I wanted to see more of him and was disappointed when Bianca didn't give him a chance. What can I say? I am a sucker for those with a bad case of unrequited love (or Pacey Syndrome as I choose to call it.)

It's a fresh take on a genre that is swiftly becoming stale. I loved the concept that Evernight Academy was established to help teen vampires keep up with the technological advancements of society. (Ranulf's adamant conviction that there are spirits trapped in iPods was hilarious). More than anything I respect the fact that Gray has presented a star crossed couple but provided an equally attractive and respected third to their triangle. All characters are well rounded and their actions are understandable. I am waiting on tenterhooks for the release of Stargazer in the next few months.

Published: March 2009
Format: Paperback, 327 pages
Publisher: Harper Collins Aust.
Origin: USA

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Claudia Gray's Official Website


Liyana said...

Yes, another Balthazar fan! I just don't really like those star-crossed lover/vampire stories. Like you said, it's getting quite stale.

prophecygirl said...

Great review, I'm glad you enjoyed it!

Amy said...

agreed. I almost gave up on the vampire genre 'till I read this.
It has a major plot twist too

Unknown said...

I just read a review about this book that and the blogger had the same problem you do, that the main character labels herself as shy, but never actually acts like a shy person. The only book I remember where a shy character actually acts it is Curtis Sittenfeld's Prep. That character's shyness was sooo awkward to read about!

I also wanted to let you know that your book descriptions are some of the best that I've ever read. You definitely have Amazon beat!

So Many Books, So Little Time said...

Great review! I'm really looking forward to reading this.

Elizabeth said...

Yeah, I definitely had the problem with the shy label. Must check out the book Taren recommended above. (I might be the blogger she's referring to since I recently posted a long complaint about this, but I could also see it being something that annoyed many of us.)

I'm also with you on Balthazar being potentially very promising (much more so than Lucas, in my opinion -- I found him creepy, which kind of ruined things for me) and Ranulf being the funniest part.

But I have to say that all in all, I just really didn't like this one. Lucas was a lot of the problem.

Lenore Appelhans said...

I really don't know how I'll react to this. I haven't read any vampire romances, so it's new to me.

Jen said...

Nice to see fresh takes on this vampire-y romance genre!

Great review <3

LisaMay said...

Haha I loved all the Ranulf/technology jokes, they cracked me up.

Tess said...

this book was crap. I mean the writing itself was actually pretty good, but it still felt like a cheap twilight knock off. sure lucas and bianca are cute together - but its no where near as intense as edward and bella.

plus, the book is pretty effing confusing. One minute bianca is a completely normal, if timid, high school girl - and the next (after she realises that she is actually half vampire)she's telling us all about how she drinks a cup of blood with every meal and how her parents have been telling her that something like this would happen eventually. Seriously, what is that? it goes from her mentioning absolutely nothing about vampires and being all shocked when she turns into one and then suddenly she announces that she's actually been drinking blood on a daily basis her whole life... but had no idea what it meant.. def. weird.