Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Everlovin' EVERNEATH

Let's start with the FTC disclaimer, shall we? Wouldn't want you thinking that my review here was completely unbiased. Oh, no. For all you know I rave about my friends' books all the time, and you can't trust my review to actually reflect reality. [If you care nothing for the FTC, skip to the picture.]

So first I'll mention that I fell in love with Brodi Ashton's blog long before I fell in love with EVERNEATH. By a few months. I started following in early 2010, and still stop by three times a week. She's hilarious. She never fails to entertain. She has a quirky sense of humor and an understandably loyal following. Her blog posts are all over the place, about everything from tennis star wedgies to her dad's cancer. She gives topics their proper weight, but you never feel depressed when you leave. Love. Brodi's. Blog.

I also love Brodi. I met her in 2010 when her writer's group let me and my friend hang out with them at a writer's conference. I've interviewed her (and her group) on Authors' Advisory. I've emailed her when exciting things happened to me, and she's given me excellent advice about starting out in this crazy industry. She lets me call her a friend, and I'm proud to do so.

As long as we're being thorough, I've been determined to love EVERNEATH since mid-April, 2010. That's when Brodi posted the first page or so on her blog. I was hooked but good! Obsessed, rather. I must have read that poor thing more than 20 times. It fairly drips emotion. I couldn't wait to read more and, by January 28, 2011, was so convinced it was a future bestseller, I predicted it on my blog. By the end of February, 2011, I'd seen the cover and knew I was right.

So was I biased when I read it? Um, yes, counselor. You could say that. Did I really, really, really WANT to be right about it? Yes, again. Did I ignore glaring flaws in my single-minded quest to have my own pre-fabricated opinions justified? Who's to say? I don' think so, but I can understand if you're a bit skeptical.

Which is why you'll have to read it for yourself. And OHHH YOU WANT TO!!

At long last, the (non-spoiler-y) review:

Seriously. Who can resist this cover?
This is the blurb on Brodi's site. You might as well read it, since I'm not going to add much to the facts:
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...
I read EVERNEATH at the end of July, 2011. I'm participating in an ARC tour, but Brodi was so sympathetic to my desperation to read it, she put other friends and family on hold to send me one of her own loaner ARCs. (Good thing, because the touring ARC still hasn't reached me.) If you want my first reaction, go here.

Perhaps one of the most surprising things about EVERNEATH is the absence of Brodi's trademark quirky humor. This is not a laugh-out-loud book. If you're making loud noises while reading it, you're more likely to have a tissue in your hand than a grin on your face. There's not a lot to laugh about in Nikki's world, frankly. She effectively died six months ago, surrendering the rest of her life to someone else. Now she's back, but without any hope of redemption. With only the knowledge that she's going to hurt everyone so much worse when she leaves again in six months. With only a small window to do as much good as she can for her friends and family.

For anyone who has ever felt helpless, who has watched as a loved one hurtles toward pain and been powerless to stop it, who has caused a loved one pain and who knows you'll just do it again... this is a powerful book. Nikki is stuck. She can't fix it. She can't really say goodbye this time. She can't explain where she's been or why she left. She can't reconnect... but she can't push everyone away, either.

Quite the premise, yes? The execution is better.

EVERNEATH's narrative skips between time lines, showing what happened before she left, what happened since she got back, and what happened while she was gone. I thought it was amazingly effective. If it bothers you at all, wait. By the end, you'll love it as much as I do.

Brodi's language is heartbreaking, but, achingly, also filled with hope. Each sentence is a pleasure to read--even if you have to wipe your eyes so you can see first. The mystery is intricate and the looming deadline enough to induce hyperventilation.

I loved it. Not just because I was right, and it's gonna be a bestseller. It made me weep. It broke my heart. And, ultimately, it taught me that hope can hide in the darkest of corners.

It has also made me pathetically eager for the sequel.

You can find EVERNEATH here: 
GOODREADS
Pre-order at Indiebound
Pre-order on Amazon
Pre-order on Barnes and Noble

Go pre-order it now. You'll thank me later.

So have YOU read EVERNEATH? You want to, right?

7 comments:

  1. I'm loving your description of this book. I can't express enough appreciation for asking Brodi if you could let the ARC make a detour to me before you sent it on its merry way. I loved this book. For all the reasons you cited. It's truly a tragedy, and yet it's still hopeful. Brodi does such a wonderful job blending the two. I tend to shy away from bummer book even if they're wonderfully written. This is a book I can easily read over and over again.

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  2. This book is AMAZING. I've got a review and ARC giveaway all set up for next week *eee* I am not a part of the ARC tour (this makes me sad lol) but I still wanted to do what I could b/c I love love love this book. And Brodi is such an awesome person as well :D

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  3. Donna: You are very welcome! I couldn't just let you languish without reading it, could I?

    Lori: EVERNEATH is deserving of any promotion. So is Brodi. :)

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  4. It sounds really interesting. And seriously, I havent seen a cover so cool in a really long time. Although, I really hope she wears a red dress in the book, because its sort of one of my pet peeves when the cover has nothing to do with the actual story. Although I usually get over it. :)

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  5. i've been hearing about this book for months! impatiently waiting for jan 28!
    great review =)

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  6. I can't wait to read this book. Just found your blog - great way to build up my already high anticipation for Everneath.

    Look forward to future posts :)

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  7. Just the cover makes me want to read it. Now, after reading your review, I really want to! Oh, but we must wait. Ugh.

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