Evermore by Alyson Noel

After a horrible accident that kills her parents and her little sister, Ever Bloom is left alive and able to see people’s auras, hear their thoughts and know someone’s entire life story simply by touching them. Needless to say, she’s altered.  She’s learnt to deal with it by using music to drown out the voices and avoiding touching people at all cost; that is until she meets Damen and everything changes. He is gorgeous and mysterious, but he doesn’t have an aura and he can shut out all the voices simply by touching Ever. She’s drawn to him, even though she feels she might be in danger. As everything around her starts to fall apart Ever will have to decide whether or not she wants to be different and how important Damen is in her life.

Evermore fits very well into the genre of paranormal romance. I really enjoyed the novelty of some of Ever’s power, especially her ability to see auras and speak to her dead sister. So much of this genre is similar, so I was thankful that Noel had this unique aspect. The story is fast-paced and there is a lot of action and suspense that kept me very engaged. However, there were a few problems that left me slightly disappointed. I felt at times there was too much going on, Ever’s powers and the Immortals storyline compete for space. I almost wish it had of been one or the other. I also stumbled over the relationship between Damen and Ever, feeling that it was a tad too much Edward/Bella for my liking. I can definitely see the appeal that this book would have to readers and I would still recommend it to a specific audience. However, I don’t think I will be finishing the series.

You might enjoy Evermore if you like books with: romance, otherworldly men, main characters with their own powers, suspense

Also by Alyson Noel: Cruel Summer

Evermore is part of the Immortal Series, also in the series are: Blue Moon, Shadowland and Dark Flame.

Alyson Noel also has a book called Radiance coming out in August 2010 about Ever’s sister Riley after she leaves Ever.

If you liked Evermore, you might also enjoy: Fallen by Lauren Kate, Twilight by Stephenie Meyer, Evernight series by Claudia Gray and Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater

Additional Info: dramatic rights have been sold, so something similar might appear as a TV show in the future

Rating: W2.5/4   C2.5/4   P2.5/4   O1.5/4 PP3/4   CR3/4

Grade Level: JS

Fallen by Lauren Kate

After an unexplainable accident with a boy, Luce finds herself enrolled in a strange reform school called Sword & Cross. Everything about it is a little odd, especially the other students.  This doesn’t bug Luce too much because she feels a little odd herself; she sees strange black shadows and she can’t seem to remember what happened to the boy who died. Except the shadows seem to be acting up and there is this strange guy named Daniel that is inexcusably rude to her that she swears she knows from somewhere. The more she tries to piece together about Daniel and the school the more things spin out of control and without trying Luce finds herself at the centre of something very dark and dangerous.

This summary makes the book sound like the Awakening series by Kelley Armstrong, but it’s really not.

Fallen is a compelling blockbuster paranormal romance about a regular girl in love with a fallen angel.  Sound familiar?  It might contain many of the more predictable elements of this genre, but I must confess it was the best one I’ve read…possibly ever.  It’s long, which might seem daunting, but it’s actually very well paced. Kate takes the time to lay the ground work of the story, building up the characters and setting the stage for the rest of the series. The relationship between Daniel and Luce was fascinating and their story was made more compelling by the interesting and vibrant supporting characters. I also thought that Kate did a beautiful job of giving the reader an incredible climax, while leaving much of the story unanswered. I’ve read a lot of negative reviews, and I’m not sure why. Luce was a lovable character – witty and fun to read, there was enough mystery to keep me captivated, the story was rich and avoided the over cheesiness that is often plagued by this genre and the ending left me hooked. I can’t wait for the sequel, definitely the better of the two fallen angel books released last fall.

You might enjoy Fallen if you like books with: a paranormal romance where the average girl falls for the otherworldly boy, mystery and unanswered questions, battles between good and evil, seemingly impossible romance/love, a full cast of characters instead of just one or two, fast paced action.

Also by Lauren Kate: The Betrayal of Natalie Hargrove

If you liked Fallen you might also enjoy: Hush Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick, Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl, Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater and Twilight by Stephenie Meyer

Additional Info:  I think I read somewhere that this is going to be a 4 part series, but regardless the sequel Torment is set to be released September 28th 2010.

Author website found here.

Rating: W3.5/4   C4/4   P4/4   O2.5/4   PP4/4   CR4/4 (Amazing cover!!!)

Grade Level: MJS