Cheerleader Isobel Lanley is horrified when she is paired with Varen Nethers for an English project, which is due—so unfair—on the day of the rival game. Cold and aloof, sardonic and sharp-tongued, Varen makes it clear he’d rather not have anything to do with her either. But when Isobel discovers strange writing in his journal, she can’t help but give this enigmatic boy with the piercing eyes another look.
Soon, Isobel finds herself making excuses to be with Varen. Steadily pulled away from her friends and her possessive boyfriend, Isobel ventures deeper and deeper into the dream world Varen has created through the pages of his notebook, a realm where the terrifying stories of Edgar Allan Poe come to life.
As her world begins to unravel around her, Isobel discovers that dreams, like words, hold more power than she ever imagined, and that the most frightening realities are those of the mind. Now she must find a way to reach Varen before he is consumed by the shadows of his own nightmares.
His life depends on it. (Source:Goodreads)
Holy Original Plot Ideas, Batman!
I was super excited to get a copy of this book to review from the publisher, I basically started reading it the minute I opened the package. From the beginning, the plot stands out as being very original and engaging. The characters aren’t all so original, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy getting to know them as the book progressed. I say “unoriginal characters” with one notable exception: I had a massive crush on Varen almost the second I was introduced to him…he is definitely one of a kind.
The way Poe is weaved into the story is very well done, I definitely think this author has some massive creative chops. I can’t wait to see where she takes this series and what she plans on doing next!
However, I do wish this book hadn’t been part of a series just because I really want to know what happens! The book is pretty long, over 500 pages…you slowly get to know the characters and hints that things aren’t as they should be, then you get hit with a lot of action toward the end, but lots of things are left unresolved for the next addition to the series.
Still, I definitely recommend picking this one up! Very original and entertaining, I can’t wait for the next book!
There was one quote I especially loved that I wanted to share…it is a description of Isobel getting into a book (a Poe story actually), and I just love the way the experience of being sucked into a story is described:
It was here that Isobel first felt the twinge of an inward pull on her mind. Slowly the words started to get out of the way and let images of courtiers revolve, in slow motion, through her mind’s eye. It was as though she had somehow adapted to the density of the language. Soon the words smudged away from the page, and in their place, she was left with the sensation of gliding through the scene, like she’d become a movie camera, sweeping through the sets of rooms and over the heads of costumed actors.
I can just relate so well to that – the way you get so involved with a story that the pages fall away and the characters and settings become real. I am happy to say that this is definitely the kind of book where that happens, and that is the highest compliment I can give.