“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.”
Hardcover: 543 Pages
This book was beautiful and infinitely interesting.
I loved the explanation behind Poe’s 5 mysterious days before his death and how it plays a part in the story. As close to history as it could be, yet very much infused with supernatural and paranormal.
Isobel is a great, great, great character! Did I mention great? She grows so much as the story unfolds, she has a clear view on what’s right and what’s wrong and isn’t afraid to speak up, even against her friends, when need be. Even in front of things that scare her mindless, she has this tenacity that made me love her.
The cover is very misleading by the way. Sure, Varen might look a bit emo and stereotypical, but he’s so much more than that. He’s cynical, sarcastic, infuriating and absolutely awesome and desirable.
Also, the relationship between the too reads extremely real. Most UF, YA, Adult etc novels nowadays have romance in them aswell and some of them annoy me to no ends, while some I actually enjoy. But few romances I actually feel could be real. Creagh manages to write it as more than a highschool crush or insta-love. It reminds me of the relationship between Nikki and Jack in Everneath.
Back to the Poe elements. Amazing usage of his story and his works. I watched The Raven a couple of days before starting to read this book and I was a bit apprehensive because what if the book was the same as the movie? References with no explanations and a world of confusion for people not immensely familiar with his works? I was glad to see that wasn’t the case. And Creagh incorporates bit and pieces of Poe’s poems, stories and his life, intertwining reality with fantasy, so flawlessly. Her writing is perfect and engaging.
It’s a lovely, charming, riveting and at times creepy/scary read that you definitely should not miss.