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?|
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.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...
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:
So have YOU read EVERNEATH? You want to, right?