Thursday, 28 July 2011

Alyson Noël - Evermore

This book will always serve as a reminder to not buy stuff in Tesco when drunk at 2am because it has ‘buy one get one free’ written on it. That’s the short and sweet version of how I ended up in possession of Evermore and its sequel Blue Moon. I have suffered much for attempting to read this during my lunch break. Apparently red tulips, a sad looking blond girl and the words ‘He said he’d never let her go’ doesn’t scream manly and opened the door for lots of homosexual jokes. It’s not a sophisticated office.

Anyway, on to Evermore. The first person present tense seems to be a popular thing with teen romance novels these days, not that I know a lot about them. Authors see it as a way of putting the reader in the ‘right here right now’ frame of mind, but in Evermore’s case it makes the book less of a story and more of a teenage girl’s trail of thought. Admittedly, Ever (that’s the girls name) isn’t the worst character in the world to be inside the head of for 356 pages. Nowhere near as bad as Bella from The Twilight Saga and that Luce from Fallen so we can be thankful for that.

Alyson Noël must have stumbled upon the world’s most bizarre name generator, especially considering the fact that it’s set in a modern day American high school. The main character is Ever, then there’s Haven, Stacia, Drina, Damen, Riley, Miles... it goes on. When a guy called Craig popped up I thought I’d picked up the wrong book.

The next issue is that Sid Vicious in not the lead singer of The Sex Pistols. What has this got to do with an American teenage novel you say? Well it comes up that Americans know fuck all about British bands in the first few pages and it’s a ridiculously small amount of research not to do in order to write a 300 page novel a fraction quicker. But then again, seeing as Noël wrote a fictional book set in California where she lives, I expect she banked on not having to do any research whatsoever. That’s the only reason I can think of that she would make such a lazy mistake. There is also no reason at all from Ever to be listening to the Sex Pistols. I’m sure that there are lots of other punk bands Ever could listen to that Noël actually knows stuff about.

I would have thought that Twilight would be the main influence but it seems to take more from Fallen, a book I labelled as ripping Twilight off. It has taken the whole love between normal human and strange being from Twilight and then taken the whole reincarnation principle from Fallen. There is essentially nothing original about this book. Even Damen’s immortal character can be closely linked to that of the iconic Dorian Gray, aside from the fictional characters of Edward Cullen, vampire extraordinaire and Daniel Grigori, angel wonder-kid.

Although Ever isn’t on the same par as Bella or Luce in terms of annoyance, she isn’t without her faults. On page 312, Miles, one of Ever’s friends makes a pun on her name and her narrative follows it up with, ‘he loves making puns on my name.’ 312 pages. Set over a few weeks, maybe even months... he can’t love it that much. Ever also has an unnatural hatred of some physic lady called Ava (also from bizarre name Ava doesn’t actually do anything wrong and her hatred is more from childish jealousy than protectiveness over her sister, which goes against her more grown up character.

The author interview is back is quite entertaining in that, it could be completely fictional. Noël compares her husband to Damen who is meant to be the perfect man. Why would you ever say anything bad about your husband in print for the world to see? Not even a complaint about dirty socks. People want honestly from these interviews, not bollocks. She also labels the main influence of the novel of personal grief, which is a smart move. With all the obvious similarities to other books of the same genre, who is their right mind is going to argue with that?

Evermore: The Immortals by Alyson Noël was published by Macmillan in 2009. RRP £6.99 (Paperback) Also buy one get one free in Tesco for limited time only.

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