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The other day I was having a little browse in The Works when I noticed they had an offer of 3 for £5 on the books . After a few minutes, I picked my three books, this being one of them.
This is actually a book I've been meaning to buy for a while - I'm a big fan of vampire and supernatural teen fiction, and this had been recommended a couple of times as something I might like, so I was pleased to make a saving on the cover price of £6.99 .
Bianca Oliviers parents have taken a job teaching at Evernight , an exclusive academy for the rich and the priveledged. Whilst Biancas parents are confident and cool, Bianca is anything but - shy, and scared of meeting lots of new people, she decides to make a statement by running away - until she finds herself pursued by Lucas Ross . But, instead of chasing her, he thought she was running away from something, and was trying to help .
Bianca feels reassured to have at least one friend at the school - until Lucas starts mysteriously blanking her in the corridors. Not quite fitting in with the cool crowd, but not quite uncool enough to fit in with the outcasts, Bianca finds the school a lonely place - and she's not the only one having problems, as Raquel, a new girl, is convinced there is something evil in the school .
What secrets does the Evernight Academy conceal, and why does Lucas blow so hot and cold? And does Bianca have her own secrets .
I found the story initially very slow going . There was a lot of focus on Biancas loneliness fitting in at her new school, and on the bitchiness of certain other students, on forming slow friendships, and on the time spent with her parents . It's not until a good way through the book that anything at all supernatural happens - and it's a big surprise .
It's a big surprise because, until the moment it happened there was no indication. Unless I missed something, there were no clues at all about this sudden revelation that changes the whole dynamic of the book . It's rather clumsily dumped in - as though Claudia Gray had started writing a boarding school story and suddenly thought ' You know what this needs, Vampires!.'
I found it hard to find any real care for any of the characters at all - I didn't feel they had distinct enough personalities, with the exception of Raquel who looked like she had plenty of potential to develop into someone incredibly interesting, but didn't .
Despite the vampire element of the story being very clumsily introduced, the story itself from that point on was mildly interesting . Not gripping, but it plodded along at a steady pace towards the big conclusion at the end, which naturally left plenty of room for another book to follow up .
A follow up I don't think I'll be purchasing until I see it in a charity shop. I'm interested to know how the story ends, but only because it frustrates me not knowing, not because the book itself was particularly interesting .
Would I recommend this ? Not really . There is much better teen fiction out there - this is just too bland, and the big reveal of the book is clumsily written .
Evernight is the first in a series by Claudia Gray that was first released in the U.S in 2008 and here in the UK this year (2010). Evernight is Gray's debut novel and is the first for four in the series. The book is 352 pages long.
Bianca Olivier's parents have just taken jobs at Evernight Academy, a gothic school built in the 1700s. Even though they claim that they want Bianca to get out more, the school is very secluded and in the middle of the woods. Just before school starts, Bianca has a master plan to run away for a while to make a statement but she doesn't get very far. Running into the woods, she fears she is being chased but it ends up being Lucas Ross who thinks that he is protecting her.
Bianca and Lucas hit it off straight away. Bianca knows that she isn't like the other girls in school who are all amazingly beautiful and popular and Lucas is an outsider too. He is courageous and brave and a lot of the things that Bianca isn't. Even when one of the popular guys, Balthazar asks her out, she still cant stop thinking about Lucas. Quickly falling head over heels for him, Bianca cant keep her hands off him. The problem is, they are both lying to each other and when one of them make a fatal mistake, it is make or break time.
With secrets centuries old hiding in the shadows of Evernight Academy, Bianca doesn't know who she can trust anymore and who she can turn to. She's torn between something that she has known all of her life and a new chance to be with someone who finally understands her.
I still haven't quite decided whether or not I liked Bianca. I think that her background could have been made a lot more clear because unless I missed something, I just didn't get the fact that her parents were vampires. Other than that though, she was pretty realistic. She had all the insecurities of a teenage girl as well as the emotional/ romantic problems. Even though she has the whole vampire thing going for her, I really felt like I could connect with her because of what she was going through and the fact that she didn't think that she fit in.
I feel the same way as I do about Bianca when it comes to Lucas. I thought he was going to be a character like Bella in Twilight but he is far from that. I was not prepared for the twist that came. I really expected him to be the sweet boy who totally fell for Bianca no matter what but the problem they face is huge. It was nice to see that eventually he was prepared to try anything in order to be able to be with her.
Even though he wasn't a main character, Balthazar showed a lot of promise. Although he had ulterior motives when it came to Bianca to begin with, it did seem like he really cared about her and what was happening with her. I really hope that he plays a bigger part in any of the next books as he made a real impression on me and I want to know more about him.
Being a book about vampires, it tries to avoid the common clichés considering how many recent releases in the past year. Evernight brings in new ideas about vampires as well as using folklore to build a background of it's own. The idea behind the Black Cross and their background was great because all real vampire books need to have a real enemy.
For a teen book, there is a fair amount of passion and raunch. Bianca and Lucas end up getting pretty steamy but like a lot of books in this genre, it seems like we are going to have to wait until after the next book until anything actually happens. The passion and emotion are very real in these parts of the story which makes the characters so much more believable.
Unlike most books in a series in this genre, this one actually has a pretty decent conclusion. It obviously leaves the story open for the next book but it does leave a lot of the questions I had answered. It is clear that there is a lot more to come from this series.
I don't really have much to moan about with this book as I liked most of it (apart from Bianca at times). I already have the next book in the series on pre order and the release date cant come around soon enough. Recommended if you like fantasy books.