Monday, January 16, 2012

Review: Everneath

EVERNEATH (Everneath #1)
Brodi Ashton
Paranormal Young Adult
384 Pages
Available January 24th
Received from publisher for review

THE STORY (from Goodreads)
Last spring, Nikki Beckett vanished, sucked into an underworld known as the Everneath, where immortals Feed on the emotions of despairing humans. Now she's returned- to her old life, her family, her friends- before being banished back to the underworld... this time forever.

She has six months before the Everneath comes to claim her, six months for good-byes she can't find the words for, six months to find redemption, if it exists.

Nikki longs to spend these months reconnecting with her boyfriend, Jack, the one person she loves more than anything. But there's a problem: Cole, the smoldering immortal who first enticed her to the Everneath, has followed Nikki to the mortal world. And he'll do whatever it takes to bring her back- this time as his queen.

As Nikki's time grows short and her relationships begin slipping from her grasp, she's forced to make the hardest decision of her life: find a way to cheat fate and remain on the Surface with Jack or return to the Everneath and become Cole's...

Eerily beautiful and haunting, Everneath is a story that wraps around us like the folds of a blanket, providing us something tangible to which we can hold on tight, but at times we find the edges of what should be comforting pulled so tight it causes our chests to constrict in vicarious pain and our breath to catch, and we are left swaddled in a cocoon formed of love, loss, and sacrifice. Each page turned brings us a little closer to the end of Nikki’s time on the Surface, the soft whisper of paper on paper echoing loudly in our ears as though trumpets were blaring to announce the imminent arrival of her dark fate in the Everneath. The countdown of days left in the present combined with flashes from before the Feed keep us intrigued and on edge, trying to sort through the pieces of a broken life granted a brief period of time in which to repair all damage caused by her abrupt departure. Our trust is fragile in this story, made so by a gloriously muddled before with both Jack and Cole and an exquisitely executed after where everything between the three of them changes, and we hurtle forward at a devastating speed toward an end where past and present meet to create a future never anticipated.

Nikki has been stripped of her emotions thanks to Cole when we first meet her, a shell of a girl driven to drastic actions by the influx of more pain than she’s able to bear. Her decision to Return seems like an obvious and simple one until we see the destruction left in the wake of her unexpected absence, and suddenly we find ourselves wondering as Nikki does if staying in the Everneath might have been more of a gift to those around her than her temporary reappearance to say goodbye. She tries so hard to make things easier for those she loves, but as so often is the case, succeeds in making them more difficult instead. Her story resonates through every fiber of our being, the inexorable ticking of the clock a spectral presence always felt though never seen, and our hearts shatter a little more each page as we draw closer to the moment she’ll disappear forever.

Though the synopsis for this book gives the impression we'll find ourselves in the middle of an all-too familiar love triangle, the reality is a far different, far richer experience that floods us with more emotional intensity than just an attraction to two young men. We understand so little of either Jack or Cole initially, knowing only that Nikki chose a century with Cole willingly after something with Jack drove her to make the decision to do so, and so we read feeling like we are standing outside in a world that’s uncomfortably quiet–ears straining to pick up even the slightest rustle to help us gather information, but the harder we try, the quicker the wind carries those sounds away. Slowly, bit by bit, those whispers find their way back to us though, and the truth of one character is revealed in all its agonizing glory, while the other remains a bit in shadow with only select facets of himself illuminated for our gaze. Both men captivate and intrigue, but one leaves us with a piece of our hearts missing, washed away in a deluge of tears and heartache.

Everneath is a truly outstanding debut, a memorable tale that earns itself a place on that special shelf for books that are destined to have pages crinkled and worn from having been read so many times.

Rating: 5/5


  1. You absolutely understand how I felt about this book, and I love that.

    I love anything having to do with mythology -- like, I eat it for breakfast -- so I jumped at the chance to read this, even knowing the myths inside very well. Despite knowing the story of the classic myths, I still hoped...

    Brodi Ashton did something to my heart with this story and it was so amazing. I love it so much. What I think I loved most of all, though, was that she not only used classical mythology as a basis on which to build a story -- she included her own mythology, which gave so much depth to this tale. It also showed me the true talent of this author. The ending broke me, as I knew it would, and in some strange way, I loved that.

    I love reading your words because you say exactly how I feel about the books that I read. This case in particular. I really just want to go around hugging this book so tightly for so many reasons. Thanks for sharing your thoughts so I can read them, Jenny!

  2. I am so insanely excited for Everneath and to hear everyone say how much they love it excites me.

    I have to say, of all the reviews I have read that yours is my favorite -- it makes me even more excited for this book.

    Jac @ For Love and Books

  3. I'm SO excited for Everneath, I'm glad to hear it's as good as I hope it'll be.

  4. This was one of the best books this year. It was haunting good and loved the mythology behind it.

    Loved this book

  5. Oh *claps hands* I'm glad you loved it so much!!! I really loved the way the story was told with going back and forth in the timeline.
    And I agree, both both are alluring a I loved that there is no clear cut black and white - good and bad here. I even fall for the bad guy here and I can't wait to see how the story goes ont!

  6. You're right I thought it'd be like any other book with a love triangle when I read the synopsis! BUT.....
    The book was so well written and I loved the complexity of all the characters!

    Krazyyme @ Young Readers

  7. You are making me think that I should read a few more YA books, but I do get so easily burned

  8. Your review makes me want to cheer and jump up in down -- because that's EXACTLY the same way I felt about it!!!! :) Brodi Ashton created a gem with this one, and I loved every second of it! The intense emotions, amazing characters, and perfect not-really-a-love-triangle made me fall head over heels for this story, and the countdown felt super intense! There are a lot of people who say they were disappointed by the story, but I honestly don't think it could've impressed me more!

    Absolutely AMAZING review, Jenny! I can't wait until my finished copy arrives on my doorstep -- your review makes me want to re-read it ASAP! :) <3

  9. I can't wait to read this book! Your review was so well-written and if the book captures even half of the emotions your review claims, I'm sure it will be an amazing read!

  10. Oooh, 5/5! I'm still waiting on my first 5/5 of 2012, and I'll be reading this one soon, so hope I feel the same way as you! I've been hearing some great things about this one!

  11. So glad you loved it! You know I fuss about love triangles but you're right, this is not your traditional triangle and for that I was very grateful. This was a read that kept me on the edge of my seat, waiting to see what tasty secret would be revealed next. An amazing debut.

  12. Oh wow- I was super excited to read this when I saw the cover forever ago. Know Im over the moon to read this with your review and everyones comments....

    Cant wait!!

  13. I'm really glad that you enjoyed this one. I have it on my tbr list, and hope to read it soon. Great review!

  14. Asheley - I love all things mythology too and I just couldn't have loved this book any more if I tried. Her mythology I thought had such a stunning darkness to it, that's what always draws me to the Greek myths in the first place, and she just wrote such a fabulous story. Glad you loved it too!

    Jac - Thank you so much! This was one of those stories that stuck with me for a long time after reading. I just adored it:)

    Chantaal - I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

    Julie - Agreed! I loved every second of it and I thought Jack and Cole were such an intriguing pair, I can't wait to know more about them in book 2.

    Danny - Usually back and forth like that drives me crazy, but I thought it worked so well in this case! I liked being just a little confused, it kept me on my toes trying to figure everything out:)

    Krazzyme - YES! Loved that the synopsis screamed LOVE TRIANGLE but that the story made things very, very different.

    Blodeuedd - Mission accomplished then ;-) I think this one is really well done:)

    Mimi - YAY! I was a big, emotional mess while reading and I couldn't get enough of it. I love when a book has that kind of effect on me. I was super impressed by it as well, and I'm sure there will be plenty of people who don't see the appeal, but for me this is a new favorite.

    Aliyah - I hope it affects you as much as it did me, I was all over the place and a complete snotty mess by the end:)

    Leanna - I hope so too! This one just got to me, loved it:)

    Mary - I loved that she made the triangle so much more than the word implies. It could have so easily been just that, but Jack and Cole were so layered and interesting, and I loved how Nikki handled everything:)

  15. Firstly, such a lovely review, Jenny! So well written,

    Secondly, I so want this book now! *adds to TBR list*

  16. Tina - I hope you love it, I thought it was fantastic. Clearly:)

    Jennifer - Yay, I hope you pick it up soon!

    Lea - Thank you very much! I had a hard time writing it since I adored the book so much. Can't wait to see what you think!

  17. The love triangle being not what it typically is sounds intriguing enough, but also Nikki's awaken of the destruction she left behind. Wow! Yes, this book is definitely one I'll pick up. Thanks for the stunning review, Jenny.

  18. Oh. My. Gosh. I seriously thinking I'm blacking out my day to read this book. It sounds so amazing, Jenny! I had no idea this is what I was missing. It's been sitting on my Kindle for a month. I think it's time to bust it out and meet Jack and Cole. It's nice to know the triangle isn't what it usually is and there is a definitive point to it that leaves us, it seems, quite emotional. I love books like that and I don't. I don't because they hurt, but I love them because they make me hurt. Hopefully that makes sense, but when a book makes me hurt, it's because the author did their job and without the hurt I couldn't appreciate the wonderful. Excellent review, Jenny!

  19. Oh Jenny, you always write such lovely reviews! I envy your way with words.
    I didn't connect with this one the way you did, but yet I did liked it quite a lot. And the ending was absolutely amazing. Epically tragic I guess.
    So glad you loved it!

  20. I loved Everneath! Glad to see that you did, too, Jenny. I was pleasantly surprised with Nikki and the lack of a love triangle. Beautiful review, as always! :)

  21. My review seems pale in comparison to yours. I loved Everneath too. And it broke my heart.

  22. Missie - I loved that too. I was hesitant to pick this one up based on that part of the blurb, but I was really glad I did:)

    Jen - DO IT! It's not going to be for everyone and there will be plenty of people it won't resonate with as much as it did me, but I just loved everything about it. And everything you said made sense to me, I feel the same way. I love books that hurt, but I don't at the same time because, well, they hurt:)

    Candace - Thank you! The end was definitely epically tragic. Maybe the second one will appeal to you more:)

    Lauren - Yay! I really liked Nikki, and I loved flipping back and forth before and after the Feed and trying to figure everything out.

    Celine - I'm sure you're exaggerating, but I really appreciate the compliment! This book definitely broke my heart as well, but I loved every minute I was in that world:)

  23. I love this review, Jenny! You sum up my feelings to this perfectly! Perhaps even better than I did in my own review. :P I lost myself in this book, too, so I'm so happy you enjoyed it. The ending did kill me a little but I am definitely more eager now to pick up the next book and find out what Brodi has in store for the characters. Brilliant review! :)

    Sam @ Realm of Ficton

  24. Yes! You loved it too. I can see why some people are on the fence with this one, but it really pulled me through this world as well. Oh and couldn't you just die with that ending (pun intended... lol)? I wonder how we will feel about Cole if he truly ends up loving Nikki? O.o However... Jack!!! *sigh*

  25. I just skimmed this review just to see your rating and now I have to bump this book higher up on my reading pile. I've been hearing the hype for this book since the beginning of last year and very curious to see if I'll enjoy it as much as you and the other readers.

  26. Whoa, you gave it a five hearts?! I love anything to do with mythology so I was going to read this anyway, but now I'm bumping it up to the top of my TBR pile.

    The only thing that made me wary about this one was that it seemed like it had a love triangle. I like that that's not the case with this one.

  27. Sam - Thank you! This one felt like it took forever to write because I couldn't adequately sum up my reaction to it:) Glad my love for it came across! The ending killed me too, but I'm so ready for book 2 and more drama:)

    Melissa - I did! SO GOOD.

    Rummanah - I hope you get to it soon, it's really fantastic:)

    Zahida - I know, a 5 is super rare for me. This one just really impressed me and I loved that the love triangle wasn't what I thought it would be:)

  28. Eeek! I'm also impressed that you gave it a 5, Jenny! That definitely says a lot about the book!

    I was also a little hesitant about the love triangle, but I know you mentioned in the comments that it wasn't what you thought it would be (in a good way). I'm willing to give this one a shot, especially since you gave it such a high recommendation. Glad you enjoyed it!

  29. Hi Jenny! Wow, a 5 star review. This sounds really interesting: "immortals Feed on the emotions of despairing humans". Yikes!

  30. Oooh I so should've had this read already!!! I'm starting it tomorrow!!!! Everyone seems to love it so far dude!!!!! <3

  31. Oh wow, your review is perfect! You describe everything the way it felt. Love it! I still haven't found words enough to write mine after finishing. I really loved it, even though it ended quite heartbreaking! Amazing review, Jenny!

  32. Jenny this was an extraordinary and beautifully written review. Just lovely! I have been curious about this book sounds like one to definitely check out. Mad props to you for writing such a fabulous review!

  33. What a wonderful review. I also really loved Everneath and what an emotional ride!

  34. I'm currently reading this book. I must admit I'm having trouble understanding it. The prologue and the first chapter are extremely confusing and it's taking me time to warm up to the characters and know what's going on. I'm glad to hear you liked it! I think once I get a handle on the lingo and world, I'll be okay...crossing fingers!

  35. This book does sound very interesting - it sounds quite painful, so probably not something I'll buy, but I would definitely read it from the library.
    Beautifully written review!


  36. Ahh! I have been dying to read this one and the fact that you gave it 5 out of 5 stars and said it's an outstanding debut has me even more excited! I will have to get my hands on a copy immediately. Thanks for the great review.

  37. I don't think this books is about what I thought it was, but I am dying to read it! I love your review!! It gives me more of an idea of what to expect and now I know my anticipation is well placed.


  38. So glad you love this book! I loved it too! Lovely review Jenny :)

  39. Love the mythology behind this one. And glad the love triangle is atypical. Amazing review!

  40. Your review completely sold me on grabbing this, and this was one that I'd kind of purposely turned a blind eye too. I can't wait for my Amazon box to arrive - come to think of it, I think all but one of the books arriving were chosen based on your reviews.

  41. I feel like a booger- in almost every review I have read of this book the reviewer has stated how much they LOVED it and I thought that it was only "Ok". I think that the main reason is because I wasn't familiar with the Greek mythology prior to reading the book? Anyways, I gotta give Nikki props though- she is by far one of the strongest emotionally/ mentally YA heroines I have eve read of before!

  42. Absolutely beautiful review, Jenny! If Everneath can create as much emotion in me as reading your summary of it does, then I know I will love it.