Tuesday, February 03, 2009

New Today: Evermore by Alyson Noel

Into the ever-increasing fray of books attempting to compete with Stephanie Meyer’s phenomenally successful Twilight series, Alyson Noel offers up her first paranormal romance for young adults, Evermore (St. Martin’s Griffin).

Sixteen-year-old Ever lost her parents, sister and even the family dog to an accident. Beyond the obvious tragedy, Ever is different than she was before. With a single touch she can get more deeply inside a person than she would ever want. She can hear their thoughts, sense their tragedies, even see their auras. And it sets her apart even more than she would otherwise be: she is different in so many ways.

As soon as she meets Damen, she senses a kindred spirit. But what, exactly, is beyond his gorgeous and exotic façade? And does Ever really even want to know?

Aside from the obvious metaphors of teen angst and separation (Oh, the pain!) Evermore is certainly no worse than some of the paranormal schlock the competition is churning out. In some ways, it’s much better. The writing here is clear, the story well-defined and narrator Ever has an engaging voice that teens should enjoy. And, anyway, schlock is in the eye of the beholder. One can not go anywhere teenagers can be seen right now, without seeing one of them clutching a Twilightish-looking book. Subtext: they’re reading when not so very long ago, they were not. That’s about as much as anyone buying books for teens can ever ask.

New next month: yet another offering from the mother-daughter team of P.C. and Kristin Cast. An embargo keeps us from mentioning anything much about the book at all just yet, but we will say it’s called Hunted and is part of the Cast’s House of Night Series. It is the fifth book in the series -- after 2008’s Untamed. Hunted goes on sale on March 10th and, properly shelved in a bookstore, you’ll find it not very far from Evermore and the same sophisticated young readership has definitely been kept in mind.

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