Goodreads Description: Cheerleader Isobel Lanley is horrified when she is paired with Varen Nethers for an English project, which is due—so unfair—on the day of the rival game. Cold and aloof, sardonic and sharp-tongued, Varen makes it clear he’d rather not have anything to do with her either. But when Isobel discovers strange writing in his journal, she can’t help but give this enigmatic boy with the piercing eyes another look.
Soon, Isobel finds herself making excuses to be with Varen. Steadily pulled away from her friends and her possessive boyfriend, Isobel ventures deeper and deeper into the dream world Varen has created through the pages of his notebook, a realm where the terrifying stories of Edgar Allan Poe come to life.
As her world begins to unravel around her, Isobel discovers that dreams, like words, hold more power than she ever imagined, and that the most frightening realities are those of the mind. Now she must find a way to reach Varen before he is consumed by the shadows of his own nightmares.
His life depends on it.
Disclaimer: This review will contain badly-structured paragraphs and thoughts that are erratic and have nothing to do with one another, other than the absolute incoherant fangirlness I'm experiencing at this time.
From the first time I laid my eyes on this book sometime in 2009, when Amazon recommended I check it out, I knew this would be a special relationship. The blacks and the purples and the guy on the cover with his brooding stare. I didn't even know what this book was about and I needed it. Then I found out the story was heavily influenced by Poe. *dies* I've been intrigued by Poe since I was 10. My parents bought me the complete works for Christmas, at my request, and I loved it. I couldn't understand most of it, but that's okay. I knew what I liked. And the macabre was definitely something I liked.
So in this story, we have Poe lore. We have a story involving the mystery that is Poe. We have a story incorporating the mysteries written by Poe. We have the macabre. We have some SERIOUS tension, anticipation, and one of the most heartfelt romances between yummy, brooding Varen and sharp-witted Isobel. We have a sexalicious cover. All of this equals a 540ish page piece of YA awesomeness.
This story was not long enough. I did not feel at all that it was 540 pages. Never once did I get bored. The way that the romance between polar opposites Varen Nethers and Isobel Lanley was slowly and realistically crafted seriously almost made my heart burst with butterflies. I hate to say it, but I've not felt this much anticipation and sexual tension between two characters since Twilight. Do not let that steer you away, anti-Twilight people. I can't even count how many times I was internally doing backflips because I thought, "this is it. They're going to kiss and make out and be in love forever and ever because Varen is perfect and I heart him." Only to have that hope snatched away by some unforeseen circumstance or another. If this book wasn't so pretty and I didn't love everything about it so much, I would've crossed out some words and improvised a little making out every single paragraph. But I'm not an author, and with good reason.
Anyway, Varen. Oh, Varen. What can I say about you that would possibly describe you the way you deserve? Who would've thought a Goth boy could be so enticing? I will say that he is in my top 3 true book loves, though. That's kind of serious. I think the best way to describe the way I feel about him is this: I can has?
Isobel was a peppy little spitfire. She was snarky and had quite a temper, which I love. She's not afraid to go against the grain of her stupid popular friends. Speaking of stupid popular friends, I hated Brad. HATED HIM. He's the epitome of douche bag. Read this book and I guarantee you will agree with me. Then there are the Nocs, who will probably haunt my nightmares for coming weeks. Pinfeathers was especially creepy. And yet I still felt a pinch of enjoyment whenever I read his name. Very intriguing characters! And to put Reynolds in the story, after knowing the story about Poe calling for "Reynolds" on his death bed, just adds a whole different level of excitement for me. And Gwen. I want a Gwen for myself. She's like the never-shut-up, tactless, overly inquisitive, "OMG take your Adderall" version of Alice Cullen. She has some of the best lines in the book, which I will go back and re-read plenty of times when I need a laugh.
Kelly Creagh has done a wonderful thing with this novel. By far one of my top 5 for 2010. I want to read it all over again to make sure I didn't miss anything, which I'm sure I did. I love this novel. I might want to marry it.
Please, for the sake of humanity. Go buy this book. I don't care how and I don't care where. Just do it. You won't be disappointed. Except for the fact that there's an extremely painful cliffhanger and there's been no confirmation of the release date for following books. Another source of potential nightmares for months to come :( PLEASE, KELLY CREAGH. I know it's only a day after the release, but I'm dying here and I need more Varen!!
Series?: This is the first in a planned trilogy.
Source: I purchased this book.
Published: Athenium, 528 pages (August 31, 2010)
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