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Stranger Than Fiction

Evermore

Evermore - Alyson Noel Evermore is stuck in a strange place for me. While not the worst start to a series I've read, it's far from the best. Very far. Ever and Damen aren't the worst characters I've read in a cesspool of YA Lit,
things could have been handled so much better. Evermore had me believing most of the time if you weren't Ever, you were pretty much the most forgettable character in existence, only serving purpose to move the plot forward when the story deemed it necessary. That's the problem with Evermore though, it's mostly forgettable. Nothing really stood out as ground breaking or noteworthy or brought anything new to the genre. The only way I feel like I could review this book is if I broke it down into parts; the plot, the heroine, the hero, the villain, the side characters, because talking about this book as a whole would leave for a very short review.

The Plot:
After an accident takes her family, Ever develops powers that allow her to see a person's aura and make her psychic. Avoiding contact with people in her life in order to control her powers, have left her with the title of 'Freak' among her peers but that changes once she meets Damen Auguste. Honestly, the plot to Evermore is so shallow; Girl has troubled past and meets boy who soothes her soul. Forces try to keep them apart and they win with the powers of true love that transcends time and space. There's minimal character interaction and development that makes the reader wonder if it's really worth reading. We get pages, chapters even, of info dumps that make me wonder if this series should have really been stretched into 6 books. Needless to say, we're given vague answers to big questions or sometimes no answers at all. At the root of it, Evermore echo's the teachings of Twilight and every series similar in the genre; in order for a woman to be happy, all she needs is a sexy, rich man. A man who gives her space and understands her temperamental mood swings because if she says 'NO', she's just having a bad day, needs space and that 'NO' will eventually turn into a yes once she's come around.

The Heroine:
Ever Bloom is like every other heroine in Ya Paranormal Romance released between 2005 and 2010. She's plain, ordinary, doesn't have any talents beyond her psychic ability but can accessorize a large hoodie with an ipod like nobodies business and loves the classics. Once popular, Ever prefers the way of the freak since the death of her parents and younger sister in an accident that should have killed her as well, the events giving her something akin to PTSD but the author wrote it more as teen angst than anything else. What bothers me most about Ever is that she spends more time wallowing in how she thinks of herself as a 'freak' with her new found powers than she does mourning the loss of her parents. The other students hate her, she feels like a burden on her aunt and she barely understands her friends. While she misses her family, she makes it clear that the worst thing to come from the accident are her powers. Her whole characterization, wardrobe included, is designed to keep others away so she doesn't have to get intimate, having the chance to 'read' them through touch. It's bad enough she has to read their minds and they all think so poorly of her anyways. Ever constantly brings up the fact that she could have EASILY been one of the popular crowd, I guess she misses the life style of being top of the food chain at school with the amount of times it's brought up. Her relationship with Damen ranges from 'not at all' to 'barely there' and when the two go out, she considers him an adequate fill for 'boyfriend'. Once he leaves she realizes that she knows nothing about him, a fact that pleases her because she can't read him at all but leaves her unsatisfied because he'll exit her life for days at a time with no explanation.

She does have some positive moments. Towards the end of the novel she realizes that she has to control her powers without relying on Damen, her sister or alcohol around and takes it upon herself to get a mental shield in place with the help of a psychic. That's good development considering Ever spent the majority of the book complaining how the powers ruined her life and that seemed to fix the problem because soon after she started reverting back to her pre-accident self. She reacts rather well to Damen when finding out his history. It's too much to handle and she sends him away, clearly afraid of what this means to her and to him. Towards the end of the novel, Ever says goodbye to her sister, makes Damen leave her alone and drops her 3 day drinking binge. Life went on. That, however, was quickly ruined on Valentines day when she recalls the words of the psychic, Ava, that Ever was wrong about the person she kept close and the person she said goodbye to. If she kept her sister around for too long, but had the heart to send her away, that means Damen must be the one she shouldn't have said goodbye to. So Damen, who said he's always watching, materializes, takes away her shield and the two live happily ever after.

The Hero:
Damen Auguste, like Ever Bloom, felt largely forgettable. He's sexy, is secretive about his past and is talented in almost everything he touches. Not to mention he stalks ever, ditches her for days on end and throws her to the wolves far too often. At one point he lets a fight between Ever and Drina go on for far to long just to see if Ever had become immortal like he suspected. She's rightfully pissed and sends him away, but he assures her that he would have stepped in if she wanted him to at anytime, telling her that he's always watching. He fails to tell Ever the most important details of their history together under the guise that it's for her own protection and allows this to happen for almost a year, letting Ever suffer in misery. Damen uses this as manipulation because Ever cannot survive alone with her powers so unstable, it's either she gets a shield for her mind or goes to Damen for help. Naturally, every other character pushes her in that direction and this is largely seen as okay because Damen is 'young', hot, sexy and rich so it doesn't matter that Ever says 'No'. Since Damen isn't a priority in this book, he's so one dimensional so I'll leave it at that.

The Villain:
Drina is much like Damen and every other character who isn't Ever. She's just kind of there. She shows up at a Halloween party dressed up like Ever as Marie Antoinette and instills this feeling of 'There's something not right with this girl' in Ever. Drina has a very possessive and vindictive personality as shown many times as she's killed off Ever in all her reincarnations making her the typical 'all other girls are jealous bitches' girl. The only thing that makes her different from the other vindictive bitches is that she's been doing this for over 600 years. When she finally confronts Ever at the end of the book, she dumps her plan on her and lets her run, giving chase when she's satisfied with the distance. Wouldn't you know? Drina was easily beaten TWICE by the power of True Love. I don't mind the first book in a series starting out with a simple throwaway villain so long as they make their time and efforts count. Drina never got that, but I didn't feel any sort of relief or triumph over her death.

The Side Characters:
All of them were clearly purchased at "Stereotypes 'r' us" as not a single one is memorable or their own character. Haven is run of the mill goth whose only quirk is liking cupcakes and goes to support groups for the attention. Miles is every gay cliche presented in YA lit. Drinks vitamin water, drools over hot guys and loves theater. Sabine is Ever's single aunt who prefers working to fleshing out any sort of relationship with her peers.Riley is somewhat more fleshed out but is the typical bratty preteen who idolizes her sister. Ever only really mentions the other girls in her class as being vapid whores.

What could have been a decent novel about a girl going through the motions of grieving is bogged down by true love, teen angst and shallow plot.