Tuesday, February 22, 2011

YAL Blog - "Evermore" and "Blue Moon" by Alyson Noel

Titles: Evermore and Blue Moon

Author: Alyson Noel

ISBNs: 0-312-53275-X (Evermore); 0-312-53276-8 (Blue Moon)

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Date of Publication: February 2009 (Evermore); July 2009 (Blue Moon)

Reading Level: ages 12-17

From Books in Print –
JUVENILE FICTION / Fantasy & Magic

Awards and Recognition:
New York Times Bestseller; Publishers Weekly Bestseller

Synopsis: (Evermore) - Since the car accident that claimed the lives of her family, sixteen-year-old Ever can see auras and hear people's thoughts, and she goes out of her way to hide from other people until she meets Damen, another psychic teenager who is hiding even more mysteries.
(Blue Moon) - Eager to learn everything she can about her new abilities as an Immortal, Ever turns to her beloved Damen to show her the way. But just as her powers are increasing, Damen's are waning. In an attempt to save him, Ever travels to the magical dimension of Summerland, where she learns the secrets of Damen's tortured past; a past which he has always kept hidden from her. But in her quest to cure Damen, Ever discovers an ancient text that details the workings of time. Now Ever must choose between turning back the past and saving her family from the accident that claimed their lives--or staying in the present and saving Damen, who grows sicker every day...

Comments: I’m reviewing these together because they’re the first two books in the series.  “Evermore” was boring, but “Blue Moon” was a bit more exciting, so I thought that a combined review would give a more rounded perspective on the Immortals series.
                The Immortals series is basically a successor to Twilight.  Young adults looking for something comparable may enjoy this, but I think it promises more than it can deliver.  I was initially drawn to it because the synopsis said that the main characters, Damen and Ever, had been in love for many lifetimes because of their status as Immortals.  I expected a detailed backstory of their history at some point (which is something I enjoy in thing I read), but it never came.  The characters are flat, with the exception of Riley, the ghost of Ever’s little sister, who refuses to cross over to the afterlife in “Evermore” and haunts Ever wherever she goes.  Riley is funny and sarcastic and a wonderful shift from the cardboard cut-outs of the stereotypical high school characters (Ever’s two best friends are the “I’m-goth-but-only-because-it’s-cool” Haven and Miles, the token gay guy that shows up in these stories just so the main character isn’t the only one that gets picked on).  But then Riley finally does cross over and the reader is left with Ever’s constant angst and the “been there, done that” style of supernatural romance and the typical high school teen movie characters.  “Blue Moon” is slightly better, only because Ever spends more time on her own in the mystical Summerland studying how to harness her powers as an Immortal, but then she’s right back to reality and fighting for her “One True Love That She Can’t Live Without” and the story really falls apart.
                It could be that I am just not a fan of “Twilight” and other stories like it, but I was not impressed by this series.  Some of my students (and one of my co-workers) said they liked it, so maybe it’s just a matter of differing tastes.  I imagine there would be some patrons who would enjoy this, but the story feels so formulaic and the characters are so stereotyped (the one that irritates me the most is Miles because there’s potential for him to be a well-rounded person, but Noel never gets farther than the fact that he’s gay.  I think there should have been more to him than that).  This series ought to come with a warning label – “Caution: Shallow – No Diving.”

Up Next: “Dairy Queen” by Catherine Gilbert Murdock

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