‘Your cheeks turned red, and I was gone for you.’

This quote made me melt a bit when I first read it in the book Everneath by Brodi Ashton. I’m a sucker for those romantic one-liners. Just read the last two lines of The Hunger Games trilogy (in the third book: Mockingjay) and you’ll understand…

I meant to get this review posted a while ago, as I finished reading this book very shortly after I had started reading it. I’ve been going through books like wild fire lately, reading my little face off during my lunch hours and at night before I go to bed. I have to say that all this YA literature is inspiring me to get back into the writing zone. Who knows, perhaps 2012 will bring back my passion for creative writing as well as creative art.

Anyways, here is a quick synopsis of the book (taken from Amazon.ca):

Last spring, Nikki Beckett vanished, sucked into an underworld known as the Everneath. Now she’s returned—to her old life, her family, her boyfriend—before she’s 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 precious months forgetting the Everneath and trying to reconnect with her boyfriend, Jack, the person most devastated by her disappearance—and the one person she loves more than anything. But there’s just one problem: Cole, the smoldering immortal who enticed her to the Everneath in the first place, has followed Nikki home. Cole wants to take over the throne in the underworld and is convinced Nikki is the key to making it happen. And he’ll do whatever it takes to bring her back, this time as his queen.

As Nikki’s time on the Surface draws to a close and her relationships begin slipping from her grasp, she is 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 queen.

This book was a refreshing change from all the YA novels that are based around vampires and werewolves. Don’t get me wrong, I love me a good Twilight or Blue Bloods novel any day, but after a while there are only so many new concepts in those genres before you’ve read it all. Everneath fills in this void that I’ve had since finishing up my “post-apocalyptic” YA novels.

I enjoyed how this novel felt loosely based on the Persephone myth, though this books is more of a modern spin on things, intertwining myth, reality, and the afterlife. I have always been a fan of Greek mythology (I studied Classics in university, having been in love with all things ancient Greek and Roman) so this novel struck a cord in my heart.

Nikki can very well be associated with Persephone, having been taking into the Everneath by Cole (a possible variation of Hades). She is to become his Queen and and they are to stay in the Everneath together for all eternity. Nikki is quite content with this until she wakes up from her 100 years in the Everneath, and remembers Jack – her tie to the human world.

In a bit of a spin, Jack could be considered a Demeter type character. He searches for Nikki when she disappears, he yearns for her return, and he never gives up on her. This is very similar to how Demeter searched the earth for years for Persephone.

I don’t want to give away the ending, but this is where the novel splits away from the myth. Persephone ends up going between the underworld and above ground each year with the change of seasons, so that she can continue her duties of being a loving wife to Hades, as well as a daughter to Demeter. The book is left with questions unanswered, and I anxiously await the continuation.

For those of you who are looking for an easy read, this is for you. It’s a quick read, but it’s filled with wonderful writing and a very interesting plot line. There are a lot of moments when I wanted to yell at Nikki, tired of waiting for her to make a move. But after taking a step back and thinking about it, I realized that Ashton’s portrayal of a tortured soul was perfect. You can feel Nikki’s love for Jack, but you can also feel a connection between her a Cole.

Cole, and his counterparts, need to “feed” the Everneath by basically feeding off people’s emotions. They can do it quickly by just taking away their pain with a single inhale, or they can go much deeper than that and take away all feelings of any kind. Once they’ve found a “mate”, the return to the Everneath to feed for a hundred years, before moving on to eternal life. Nikki, of course, choose to return to earth and sets herself up for a life of eternal torture (after six months on earth she returns to the Everneath, but into the Tunnels (kind of like a never ending purgatory).

He has feed off of Nikki for so long that to ignore a connection between the two of them would be foolish. But what is interesting to think about it what will happen next. Of course, I can’t talk about it because I don’t want to give anything away, but for the sake of things, I’m siding with Cole.

All in all, I would give this book a 4 hoots of 5 on the “who gives a hoot book meter”. Definitely check this book out if you can – it can be downloaded on all the e-reader formats, so do it now! The book was just released in January, so go get your hands on it.

For more information on the book or the author, head over to her website at: http://www.brodiashton.blogspot.com/ Ashton’s blog is a great read, so check back often for updates!

Next book up for review: Unwind by Neil Shusterman. I am halfway through this one and MAN, it this one good… can’t wait to share it with you guys!!


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