Saturday, October 11, 2008

Evernight, by Claudia Gray


A treat from HarperCollins and my fourth book of Carl's RIP III Challenge, Evernight was a huge surprise. When I first heard of the book on various blogs I thought, "Oh, look, more vampire fiction. Helloooo Stephenie Meyer wannabes!" However, I'm woman enough to admit when I'm really REALLY wrong. I owe Claudia Gray an apology and I'll even throw in my first born if HarperCollins will send an ARC of the next book in the series, Stargazer.
Before I gush any more, here's a brief synopsis:
Bianca Olivier is uprooted and plunked down in the middle of an odd boarding school, Evernight, when her parents get jobs teaching there. They feel it is to Bianca's advantage to branch out, meet new people, and generally step outside of herself a bit. However, the students at Evernight are an otherworldly sort of beautiful, stuck up, and more than a little strange. Soon enough, Bianca begins to feel at home as she falls in love with the far more down to earth, but similarly enigmatic, Lucas Ross.
Admittedly, this review will be somewhat vague because there's a big twist about 150 pages in. I'm sure if you read other reviews they will certainly give it away, but this twist actually shocked me and left me with mouth all gapey. Maybe I'm off my game, or maybe I'm just slow, but I really didn't see it coming. What a wild ride!
I realize you're probably wondering what sets it apart from other vampire fiction--especially the most visible of them all, Stephenie Meyer's Twilight saga. I venture to say the writing is much better. I never cringed. Gray has a gift for using true-to-life teenage lingo in a way that doesn't make the reader's butt pucker (maybe that's just me). I felt that the teens were sincere without annoyance. What an idea! There's also far less angst in this book than the Twilight series. Well, I take that back, there must to be hormones and angst in some regard or there'd be a striking lack of conflict, but on the whole I felt like these characters possessed a far more pronounced ability to pick themselves up and just get on with it. Of course, the book is far shorter than any of the Twilight saga, so it was far tighter writing in general.
Bianca and Lucas were both very likeable and conflicted, and I just fell in love with both of them. You've heard me yammer on endlessly here about my favorite vampire series of all time: The Vampire Diaries, by L.J. Smith, and this series is certainly good enough to take up space on the "keeper" shelf right next to them. In fact, L.J. Smith provided a blurb for the back of the book!
If you don't have it in your hot little hands, this book is a great choice for the RIP III challenge, so hop to it!

11 comments:

  1. Andiloo,

    Thank you for the lovely review. I just haven't been able to convince myself to go on with Stephanie Meyer's series because I've heard too much I don't like about what happens (and it wasn't compelling enough that I felt obligated to read on), but I kind of like the idea of finding a substitute. I'll have to look for this one. I'll betcha HarperCollins will oblige your request.

    BTW, only you could come up with a comment about a book like, "doesn't make your butt pucker." LOL

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  2. Great review. I had my eye on this, but I am so hesitant about vamp books being Twilight clones lately.

    OMG I read the Vampire Diaries in Jr. High but I had forgotten all about them - they are awesome! Now I have to find them again :)

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  3. another vampire book - yay! It sounds wonderful and I'm definitely adding it to my list.

    Your review made me laugh girl :)

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  4. "Gray has a gift for using true-to-life teenage lingo in a way that doesn't make the reader's butt pucker (maybe that's just me). I felt that the teens were sincere without annoyance."

    Both of these things are hard to accomplish, and it always makes me happy when an author manages to pull them off. This sounds like a very enjoyable series. Thanks for the review, Andi!

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  5. This sounds good! I'm adding it to my TBR list so thanks for the review!!

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  6. I read this one and loved it, too. I didn't see the big twist coming either--and I think that's what helps set this book apart. Like you, I can't wait for the next in the series and I'll prostitute myself non-sexually to get it. :)

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  7. Nancy, I hope they'll oblige! I might chew my own leg off if I have to wait toooo long. LOL I hope you enjoy it if you give it a try. Oh, and "butt pucker" is one of my family favorites (only in a family as warped as mine). I use it on my students at some point every semester, and they all want to die of shock. lol

    Joanne, I know what you mean. I was really hesitant, too, but it was tooootally worth it. As for LJ Smith, her Vampire Diaries have been re-released with sexy/snazzy new covers! The four books are collected in two volumes--pretty easy to find. Enjoy!

    Ha! Thanks, Iliana! I have to throw in the butt pucker sometimes, ya know. :D

    Nymeth, it sure is hard to pull off, but I thought she handled it beautifully!

    I hope you like it, Samantha!

    Tammy, I was seriously shocked, and I'm never shocked! I was humbled. LOL For at least 15 minutes...

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  8. New vampire book! I will have to check it out. Yum.

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  9. I've picked up this book a bunch of times and never read it. Must add it to library list, assuming they have it.

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  10. Jen, it's fantabulous!

    Do it, Sassy! You could polish it off in a few hours.

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  11. Working on this book currently, thanks to your recommendation/review. So, thanks! LOL.

    Also, you might want to change your link to my blog -- you still have me listed as "Solely Books" in your sidebar, and I haven't used that one in almost a year. It's now Should Be Reading. ;)

    MizB

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