Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Young Adult Books are Evermore Entertaining
I can honestly say that Young Adult books got me back into reading for pleasure. I hadn’t read a work of fiction for years and years (career and babies will do that to you) and, then, about 7 books and 5 movies in, I started reading the Harry Potter series by JK Rowling and was hooked. After that, it was the Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer and the Inheritance trilogy by Christopher Paolini and the habit and delight of reading as a get away and guilty indulgence returned.
Of course, it wasn’t until I met my book pimp, Tyra, that I became more fully versed in all things supernatural; the fae, the weres, etc. and realized that you didn’t have to wait, ala Stephanie Meyers, until the end of 1500 pages to have sex with a vampire. While I do really enjoy what I now affectionately call my more adult “vampire porn”, I also continue to be drawn to the Young Adult stories that focus more on the development of magical worlds, interesting characters, compelling relationships, quests, moral dilemmas, etc. It also gives me a connection to my own children and collegiate nieces as we explore some of these worlds together.
Some of my recent favorite Young Adult Series include PC Casts House of Night, the Cinda Williams Chima Heir Series, Cassandra Clare’s Mortal Instruments and Richelle Mead’s Vampire Academy all of which I give at least four, and sometimes five, chocolate dipped strawberries.
Recently, when I was trolling the Young Adult section at Barnes & Noble, I lingered on Alyson Noel’s Evermore, Book 1 in her Immortals series, and decided to give it a whirl. It was interesting and kept me wanting to learn more about the main character Ever Bloom and figure out the mystery of who she is and why she has the powers she does.
Noel does a good job of creating the voice of a “normal” sixteen year old even though Ever has the ability to see other peoples’ auras, hear their thoughts, and know their histories just by touching them. She has a depressing side which has become somewhat of a stereotype of teens, but is also the result of the fact that her entire family was killed in a car accident that she believes was her fault. Presumably because of her special abilities she remains connected to her little sister Riley (a really great character who I may have liked better than Ever) who continues to visit Ever rather than “cross over” with the rest of the family. Noel does an excellent job of conveying the angst that Ever feels when she realizes that Riley may be lingering because of her, but not wanting her to go because then she would truly feel alone.
Layered on top of dealing with this family tragedy and its consequences, Ever enters a complicated relationship with Damen, a gorgeous mystery hunk, about whom you spend much of the book wondering what he is… a vampire? a fae? a shifter? The end of the first book gives you some answers (which I won’t spoil here) and leaves you wanting to find out more in the remaining books.
I haven’t made it to the other books yet because there were so many others in my TBR pile, but I give this book a solid three chocolate dipped strawberries.