Some would call Ever Bloom lucky — at sixteen, she’s the sole survivor of a horrific car accident that claimed the lives of her parents, sister and dog. But Ever knows the truth . . . the accident was her fault; she only survived because she made a stupid decision and refused to cross over; and she deserves to feel guilty, guilty, guilty.
And she does, continuously, even after her deceased sister Riley materializes to keep her company. The terrible feelings abate a bit with the unexpected arrival of Damen Auguste, a smoldering new addition to high school who immediately sets out to befriend Ever and her pals Miles and Haven. Damen calms the onslaught of stimuli that constantly assails Ever, rendering her nauseous and exhausted from having to “read” everyone all the time. With him at her side, she feels strangely calm.
Of course, nothing in Alyson Noel’s Evermore is at it seems — especially Damen. While he broods and generally exudes charisma, Ever laps it all up and accepts his countless gifts of bright red tulips . . . all while not quite figuring out why he’s able to comfort her so much. And after her best friend Haven is mysteriously drawn to bad girl Drina, Ever knows she has to get to the bottom of the confusion, filling in the blanks in her memory, if she’ll have any hope of figuring out what’s happening to her.
Okay. Honestly, there was so much I disliked about this story, I’ll start out by talking about what I did enjoy — Ever’s relationship with Riley, the forever 12-year-old, who comes to visit her big sister and shares interesting tidbits about all you can see when you don’t have to worry about walls, distance or exhaustion. I loved Riley’s spunky spirit and the stubborn way she continued to badger her big sister — even if she wasn’t able to do it in the flesh.
But everything else? I just didn’t buy it — especially the simple explanations for so many things that just seem to come up, smack you in the head and shout, “Hi, I’m Captain Obvious!” As far as Ever and Damen’s romantic, consuming relationship? I need to feel a spark, some chemistry, and I didn’t get a sense of anything at all other than hey, Damen is really smokin’ hot, and everyone’s in love with him — including Ever, when she admits it to herself. And to me, Ever isn’t particularly likeable or attractive, making me further question why someone like Damen would be intrigued by her (I share some similarities with the villain here!). We eventually do discover the truth there — when Captain Obvious swoops in wearing his bright red cape.
And it’s impossible to talk about Evermore without bringing up Twilight . . . because the similarities are so glaring. If I hadn’t read Meyer’s Twilight series first, would I have enjoyed this book? Probably not, no. But because I did fall for Edward and Bella and have their storylines running through my head whenever I read a young adult paranormal romance, I just absolutely felt nothing about Ever and Damen.
I wanted another dimension to this book — something without all the tidiness of a “bad girl villain” who manipulates others, and something beyond the strange plotline that comes about three-fourths of the way through the novel. I was waiting for something to happen, wanting to experience Ever’s grief at the loss of her family with her if that’s what I needed to do. But I couldn’t appreciate anything she was going through because I just wasn’t emotionally invested. Nothing really propelled me forward while reading this one . . . except the strong, serious desire to be finished.
2 out of 5!