Author: Kelly Creagh
Pub: 2010; Antheneum Books
Genre: Young Adult; Paranormal; Series
Yeeeeeaaaah! *fist pump* Man oh man I love this book so much I could eat it. For realz guys, it is that fantastical. Because there's this dreamy hawt goth *swoon* and this kinda fleshed out cheerleader and -
Edgar freak-Allan-en Poe!
Lemme tell you how all three mix together.
Cheerleader Isobel gets paired up with Goth Boy Varen in their English class and they have to research an American author, write a report, and present. Isobel is not too thrilled with the choice, and quite honestly, neither is Varen. It's quickly decided that they will do their project on Poe.
Well, Isobel's brute of a boyfriend is not happy about the pairing. At. All. In fact, he gets all Neanderthal on Varen. There's loads of popularity drama that involves the cheerleaders and the football players. I could imagine it becoming a WB series.
So, Isobel was a pretty okay character, but let me tell you about Varen! He is somber and introverted and depressed and seriously has some family issues. But he doesn't tell us that, fortunately. but we experience it. It's like we are in the dark like Isobel wondering what Varen's problem is and we only get snapshots. What's that? A character that stays in character? True form? Incredible.
And because Varen is in this twisted place and has a lot in common with Poe, he sorta bonds with him.
This is where the plot gets a bit on the paranormal side, but it's done more like a mystery ghost story than vampires or werewolves entering the scene. Varen becomes enchanted with the dark world, including demons. Isobel, at this point is all in lurve, so she's trying to protect him. There's a mixture of what is reality and who are the demons and good vs. evil AND IT'S ALL CENTERED AROUND POE.
Did I mention the Poe aspect? There are quotes and fragmented pieces of his life story and poems and excerpts from stories and if you are anything like me, you want to run with it and race out and get a dense biography of the man to find out more.
Also, what I totally dig is Isobel's endurance. She leaves a pretty abusive relationship and then goes off to save the day. You know, save Varen. Sure, sure, I'm not too big on the whole strong-willed girl wants to prove to a guy that life is worth living because I think that's a fantasy that teen girls can easily fall into and not all guys are going to be as awesome as Varen BUT I do like that scenario a lot more than the girl getting rescued all the time. As if that plot hasn't been overdone.
Now my biggest struggle? The second in the trilogy won't be out for like FOREVER. What the what?! How am I even going to survive that.
Finally, since I've gushed so much, let me be honest about one tiny aspect that sorta got me on a downer. The very last part of the book is con.fu.sing. Part of it, I admit, is my own darn fault. I couldn't get enough of the book and stayed up waaaaaayyyy too late, eyes pinned open by my hands (which is good cuz it shows you how much I wanted to finish it right?) BUT it was so uber confusing. The worlds sorta collide and it's hard to differentiate what is real and what isn't and even what's going on.
*shrug* But oh so worth it. Run run run. Get this book.