Evermore (The Immortals #1) by Alyson Noel
Paperback, 1st Edition, 301 pages
Published February 3rd 2009 by St. Martin's Griffin
ISBN: 031253275X (ISBN13: 9780312532758)
literary awards: Goodreads Choice Award Nominee for Favorite Book & Young Adult Series (2009), Abraham Lincoln Award Nominee (2011)
The first book in Alyson Noël's extraordinary new Immortals series. Enter an enchanting new world, where true love never dies...
After a horrible accident claims the lives of her family, sixteen-year-old Ever Bloom can see people's auras, hear their thoughts, and know someone's entire life story by touching them. Going out of her way to avoid human contact to suppress her abilities, she has been branded a freak at her new high school — but everything changes when she meets Damen Auguste.
Damen is gorgeous, exotic and wealthy. He's the only one who can silence the noise and random energy in her head - wielding a magic so intense, it's as though he can peer straight into her soul. As Ever is drawn deeper into his enticing world of secrets and mystery, she's left with more questions than answers. And she has no idea just who he really is - or what he is. The only thing she knows to be true is that she's falling deeply and helplessly in love with him.
I read this book a couple of years ago, but after noticing all of the negative reviews on Goodreads about it, I decided to write my own review of it. I first considered writing one review of the whole series, but decided against it because I didn't feel the same way about the entire series.
In the beginning, one may think that Ever’s abilities are just crazy delusions of a grieving girl. She lost both her parents and her sister in an accident and was uprooted to a new town to live with her aunt Sabine (her father’s twin sister lawyer who is single and has no experience raising children). These changes are hard enough for any teenager, but Ever also has to deal with her sudden ability to see aura, read others thoughts, and of seeing and talking to her sister’s ghost. She also claims to have gone through a near death experience, where she witnessed the aftermath of the accident outside of herself and to have watched her parents and sister cross a “bridge” to the afterlife, but was unfortunately unable to join them. So she goes through her new school in hoodies, listening to an Ipod, and avoiding all contact with others except her friends Haven and Miles, causing the popular girls to call her a freak, tease her, and make her life even more miserable. As depressed as all of this makes Ever, she has accepted it because she lacks the strength and desire to do anything about it in her grief.
Speaking of Ever’s “abilities”, aren't they a bit radical? How does one have an accident and then suddenly wake up and be able to do these things?
Given all of Ever’s troubles, however, one can’t help but deem Ever a little ungrateful. Her Aunt Sabine didn't have to take her in, even though Ever thinks through family and moral obligation she had no choice but to. Even if that were so, Sabine definitely did not have to purchase a huge house and provide Ever with a room with luxuries such as a flat screen TV, a walk-in closet, a bathroom with a Jacuzzi, a balcony, and a private den. I don’t know of many recently orphaned children being provided with even half these things, let alone all of it. A private den for cry sakes! How many teenagers do you know have their own private den!! Yet, Ever can’t seem to allow herself to be grateful.
It’s funny how before I would've given anything for a room like this.
But now I’d give anything just to go back to before.
--p. 24, epub
Instead, Ever analyzes Sabine, assuming that because she works so much that she felt she needed to make up for it with all of these material possessions. She also analyzes why Sabine never had children. Was it because she works so much and “can’t schedule it in”? Was it because she just hasn't found the right guy? Or was it because she just didn't have the desire to? Not very nice things to think about someone who saved you from foster homes and provided you with things most teenage girls dream of.
If things weren't complicated enough for Ever, Damen’s arrival in town adds even more questions. He’s gorgeous and although Ever tries to avoid it, she can’t take her eyes off of him. He’s also very mysterious, whenever he speaks to her or touches her, not only does her skin tingle, but all of the buzzing of conversation from the thoughts of those around her seem to disappear, allowing her to only focus on him. He runs hot and cold, one moment he is having lunch with Ever and her friends, trying to get to know her, presenting her with red tulips practically out of thin air and the next he’s flirting with Stacia Miller. The oddest thing of all is that he doesn't have an aura. For Ever, the only beings she’s ever encountered without an aura were dead.
One character I had mixed feelings about was Haven. On the one hand I feel sorry for her. She comes from a home with parents who are hardly ever there and who pay little attention to her, so she is eager for any love or attention she can gain. Ever calls her a “anonymous-group addict”; she goes around attending different twelve-step meetings for alcoholics, cyber addicts, overeaters, gamblers, shopaholics, codependents, and so forth even though she has none of these problems. She has a tendency to copy the personae of whomever she is trying to gain attention from and has gone through several phases (i.e., ballerina, J-Crew, goth). It is sad to see a girl who is so starved for attention go to such lengths to get it. On the other hand, there are instances where her desperation for attention turns her into a real witch and I can no longer sympathize with her. It’s almost like she adores you as long as she can gain something from you but the second she find someone better you’re beneath her. For example, as it becomes clear that Damen has eyes for Ever and vice versa, Haven treats Ever like she’s the worst friend and betrayer ever, while also playing it off like she doesn't care. Although they are friends, Haven is very much jealous of Ever’s blond hair and good looks (although it’s hard to tell through Ever’s hoodies, baggy jeans, and lack of make-up). Deep down she knows it’s only natural for a girl with Ever’s looks to bag the hottest guy in the school, but she hopes that Ever’s antisocial behavior will give her more of a chance. Also, when she makes friends with Evangeline and Drina and their vampire crowd, Haven is all of sudden too cool for Miles and Ever. When Haven needs help, however, who does she instantly turn to and expect immediate sympathy…Ever and Miles.
As I mentioned previously, when I first read this series I was very much into it, mainly because I’m a sucker for the romantic aspect and because I was curious to find out about Damen. I still liked this book and most of the series looking back on it, but I can’t entirely say that I’m in love with it. I've read better (i.e., Fallen) but I've also read way worse (i.e., Fated).