Evernight is a YA vampire romance published last year, and at first glance it seems very much like a Twilight knock-off. However, while it may be a read-alike, it's not just a knock-off. It's an amazing, amazing, amazing addition to the genre, that far more people should have heard of by now. (Also, if you haven't read any summaries or Amazon reviews, DON'T. They'll give things away that you don't want to get until you're reading.)
Bianca is a new student at Evernight, a creepy Gothic boarding school where all the other students seem to be beautiful and rich. On her first day there she meets Lucas, a bronze-haired boy who is not only gorgeous, but seems to feel as out of place as she does. He's also got some anger issues and he's moody and secretive. They fall in love. There's also a third romance interest. I know, it sounds familiar. But bear with me for a few chapters.
Evernight knocks over all the tropes and cliches you're thinking of. I love Twilight, but I freely admit having some issues with it, and Evernight deals with all of those issues exactly the way I'd been wishing something would.
My favorite aspect of the book is the plot. It's perfectly crafted, and I'm in awe of the way Claudia Gray is in such control over it without making herself evident in every encounter. There's a lot of mystery and activeness here, for those of you who don't like nothing but romance, along with some delicious romantic intensity, and a few plot turns that will keep you up past your bedtime.
There's a variety of characters present and all of them are very real and organic. None of them fell into the cliches they might have been prone to, and their interactions were also very believable. (I don't know about you, but I hate those books where the characters are just talking heads. Everything these characters do is based directly on their motivations.) There's a lot of subtlety here, and Gray doesn't need to spell things out for us for us to understand them.
I have plenty more good things to say, but I won't spoil. Just read a copy for yourself. The sequel, Stargazer, is coming out on March 24. If you're looking for further recommendations let me know and I'll pass some on, but basically this is great for anybody who likes the genres.
I post weekly reviews of books in all genres, though I have a special affinity for fantasy and YA. Reviews are posted on Fridays or shortly thereafter, are spoiler-free or clearly marked, and feature recommendations for similar books near the end of the review. I make an effort to give exposure to books that are not already highly publicized and/or are not brand new. If you're passing out review copies and think I might like your book, email me!
My name is Fatalis Fortuna, Fate for short. I am currently a student and a part-time librarian. When I'm not working, I occupy myself with all things fictional, be they in print, on television, or on the silver screen; my two cats, Amontillado (after "The Cask of Amontillado," of course), and Alice (after Alice in Wonderland,); and my novel-in-progress, which is of course the next Great American Novel. To my knowledge it will be the first Great American Novel that is YA urban fantasy, and for this I will become both famous and rich. I've been published in both regional magazines and national magazines (Teen Ink, anyone?), but have not yet cracked the professional market.
Feel free to ask for a list of books in my BookMooch inventory. They're there because I want to give them away, don't be shy.