Thursday, June 16, 2011

Everlasting by Alyson Noel

This book definitely fits in with the weird need I had to buy Fitzpatrick’s sequel to Hush Hush. In other words, I really don’t know why I felt the need to read this one, when the past few in the series had failed to impress me.
If you couldn’t tell from that vague explanation, this book is part of a series. It’s the last in a series, actually. Thank God. So maybe that “Thank God,” was a little harsh. I did enjoy reading the first book: Evermore, and I also kind of liked the sequel: Blue Moon. However, I feel this author could have maintained a lot more of my respect if she had never written Shadowland, Dark Flame, and Night Star. This last book should have been book 3, and it really should have been a trilogy.
I think the reason I was so bent on reading this one was because I liked that it was the ending, and I wanted to see it’s end. Because, if it wasn’t known to me that it was the last in the series, I would like to think I would have given up on them after three painful mistakes.
Book 1 started with the main character, Ever, “surviving” a car crash that kills her whole family. She goes to live with her wealthy, single aunt in Laguna, CA. And while starting over at a new school, discovers she has some amazing, yet hard to control abilities. She can see her sister’s ghost. She can predict things. She can read minds. And later she learns from her soul mate, Damen, that she is immortal and can manifest anything she wants (except people). There’s a really interesting historical storyline that involves Damen living for 600 years, and a hilarious moment where Ever is certain that Damen is a vampire. It has all the soul mates-at-16-romance that appeals to a lot of YA readers, and definitely readers of Twilight.
However, early in the series, it is discovered that Damen has been poisoned with something that will forever prevent Ever and Damen from being able to physically touch…So yeah, they’re forced to live together forever, without really being together…And for this to go on for some many books of sexual tension and side plots about mean best friends and abandoned orphans, was just a little too much for me. Yet, I kept reading. Finally this poison/antidote dilemma is dealt with in the final book, but I really feel like it could have been dealt with books ago, so I didn’t have to read through all the other stuff, which involves a lot of weird spiritual people, some strange notions of the soul, and traveling different virtual planes.
The books are weird (not exactly motivating) in their spirtual aspect, but I at least give Noel some credit for attempting some kind of spiritual faith at all in YA lit. I just wish it came off as less physic-reading-in-a-tourist-gift shop (literally) and more as something personalized and real.
Any way, stuff I loved in these books: the immortality idea, getting to read about all the awesome things teens living for centuries manifested out of thin air, the magic, the history, the past love stories, the stuff that dealt with death in a completely new way, and the other side characters like her friend Miles and her aunt. Would I recommend reading all these books to get all these things? Maybe if you really loved Twilight and don’t mind some spiritual mumbo jumbo. 
And the last book? I did not hate the last book. There were arguments between Damen and Ever in this book that were also in the past four books. And I did something I almost never do; I did a lot of skimming. I rushed over a lot of repetition. And it still took me a week to get through the whole book. Also, I still don’t think Damen’s reasons for being against almost all of Ever’s decisions through this book were adequately explained. I did enjoy the very end. It just took way too long to get there.
Also, some of the closure Ever got on her journey to the end, was too good (aka: too unbelievable). Too much worked exactly right. I like that it took 6 months for her to finally attain what she needed, but I don’t like the ending a lot of the bad guys from previous books were allowed to achieve. It felt too much like a Disney ending, and not enough like a YA ending. Which is weird because Ever, a lot of the time, I felt seemed like an adult. I liked this about her. It gaver her character something. So it’s weird that the adult/mature Ever should have such a juvenile ending. I give it a 4/10. But, note that my experience with the other books is also influencing my opinion of this one. I can’t help it. Though, I do need to also say that Noel’s side story about Ever’s sister, Riley, is a lot more interesting and it’s definitely worth looking into Radiance by Alyson Noel to if anything, read about her interpretation of what happens when you die.

1 comment:

  1. I am so glad I stopped reading this series after book one. Hurrah for me! I initially added the second to my to read list, but I think you talked me out of it last year. Thanks, friend!

    The main characters not able to touch thing is kind of awful. I mean, it's been done before (see Rogue in X-Men or Pushing Daisies), but, even at the best of times, it's not a great plot device. There's only so far that you can go with it. Ultimately, the condition has to be dealt with or the couple has to break up, and unless it really is not apparent which will be the case, this is just an obnoxious waste of time for the audience.

    Great review!