Friday, April 16, 2010
Review - Evernight by Claudia Gray
Rating: 4 bookcases
Summary 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.
When I picked up Evernight, I wasn’t really sure what to expect. Other than reading a review or two, I didn’t know that much about the book or the author, so I didn’t have any expectations. In a way that was the best thing, because halfway through the story I wanted to throw the book across the room. At one point, I did put Evernight down, not because it was a bad story but because I couldn’t believe what Ms. Gray had done.
While reading the first half of Evernight, it felt like the narrator, Bianca, had forgotten to mention an important piece of information or maybe took for granted that the reader might not know everything. The plot was definitely not awkward or lacking in any way, it just felt like I was missing something. Then all of a sudden there is this major revelation - that’s when I put the book down - that pretty much twisted the plot on its side. It was just genius. Ms. Gray lays out all the information (everything really is there, it just depends on your interpretation) and then surprises you. After the important scene, I went back and looked for the clues I had either missed or misinterpreted and there were quite a few. It really was a clever twist.
The characters were all wonderfully written; you really got a sense of who they were, this was true for the main protagonist all the way to the secondary characters. I loved how Bianca dealt with the “in crowd” by pretty much ignoring them, and focusing on what was important to her. She did manage o end up with a group of friends that included both outcast Raquel and very popular Balthazar.
Of course, not all the relationships were of the friendship variety, there was also a bit of romance. Bianca and Lucas were a great couple, as soon as they met each other; I wanted them to be together. It’s not that they needed another person to make them complete, because they were great on their own, but together they just shined. Lucas drew Bianca out of her shell and Bianca gave Lucas something to really care about. They have become one of my favorite book couples.
I enjoy reading books with twists and in this area, Evernight did not disappoint. Ms. Gray gives the reader not one, but two huge story changing twists. The ending leaves room for sequel (of which there are two, Stargazer and Hourglass). I can’t wait to see what happens next for Bianca and Lucas.