Evermore is the first in the Immortals series by Alyson Noël. Immortals are a bit like vampires… but not. Ever Bloom is a teenage girl who becomes entangled in the world of the Immortals.
Ever’s backstory feels pieced together from other works. Like Buffy Summers, she was one of the popular girls at her old school, but after a disaster, has to start over at a new school where she’s considered a freak and only has two friends. In Ever’s case, the disaster is a tragedy in which her family died; Ever survived with a scar on her forehead a la Harry Potter. One of the reasons she’s socially awkward is that, similar to Sookie Stackhouse, she’s telepathic and can “hear” people’s unflattering thoughts, and she falls in love with the first guy whose mind she can’t read. And in a plotline reminiscent of Twilight, the guy is a gorgeous immortal creature who is assigned to work with Ever in class; they begin a hot-and-cold relationship; and Ever utterly falls apart when Damen is absent from her life.
Ever’s survivor’s guilt — and how it affects her sister, Riley, who is lingering in Ever’s life as a ghost — is the most interesting aspect of Evermore. Unfortunately, the middle of the book sags and loses focus, too caught up in mundane scenes of cattiness and drama and Ever’s angst about whether Damen really likes her or if he’s more into his ex and/or the local queen bee (and he’s certainly flaky enough to raise those questions).
Flakiness aside, Damen is so over the top that I almost think Noël is pulling our collective legs. He’s stunningly gorgeous and has been a model. He’s filthy rich. He has genius-level talent in almost every field; for example, it’s implied that he taught Picasso to paint. He’s been friends with pretty much everyone who’s been famous in the last 600 years, from Shakespeare to the Beatles. One wonders why he’d need to go to high school at all. (The obvious answer is “to pick up teenage girls,” and indeed he does eventually reveal that he enrolled to get close to Ever.)
The supernatural plot becomes more prominent at the end of the book, but has major issues. There’s too much exposition, for one; the villain monologues and gloats at great length, and Damen has some infodumping to do as well. Then, the final showdown is resolved in an overly cheesy way.
Evermore is also plagued by “telling” prose, stereotypical secondary characters, and confusing metaphysics. Bad editing, too; for example, Ever’s late dog changes sex from one paragraph to the next. I enjoyed the interplay between Ever and her sister’s ghost, but cannot recommend this book.