Posted by : Deborah Takahashi Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Plot Summary:
Nikki Beckett has finally returned home after 100 years in Everneath. During these 100 years, Cole, an immortal, has been feeding off of her emotions, ridding her of her availability to feel. When she finally awakes, Nikki has a choice to continue down the road to Everneath or go to the Tunnels where she will spend eternity in purgatory. However, the memories that have kept her alive all these years during the Feed, which, for most mortals is unprecedented, is the memory of her boyfriend, Jack, which gives her the will and way to return to this reality, but for only six months. Just like Persephone, who was swept away by Hades, Nikki finds herself face down in the Stop and Go mart, looking like an abandoned dog with no feeling. What Nikki doesn't realize is that during her escape, a Shade from the Tunnels has embedded itself into her, which will, eventually, bring her back to Everneath to endure an eternity of suffering. Although Nikki longs to be with Jack again, her disappearance, and re-appearance, has brought back a lot of pain and regret. However, Cole refuses to let her go. In fact, he takes it upon himself to enroll in her high school to not only taunt Jack, but to make warn Nikki that it's better to be in Everneath with him. What she doesn't know is that Cole has a secret agenda for Everneath, which involves war and rebellion and Nikki is the key to his ambitions. Knowing that her time is limited, Nikki has to make a choice: let go of her life and return with Cole or fight for the life and love she once had. The ending of this story is only the beginning.

Critical Evaluation:
I will not lie when I say that I absolutely, positively love Greek mythology. The moment I picked up Edith Hamilton's, Mythology, I have always been interested in Greek myths. When I saw that Everneath is based on the tale of Hades and Persephone, I was curious to see this played out during modern times and teenagers. Unlike the actual tale, Persephone was swept away instantly by Hades without any notice or choice. What I love about these "spins" is that readers actually get an insight into the thoughts and minds of the characters, which helps them see the thought-processes of these characters. Although Greek myths were written quite a long time ago, the modern story arc and use of prose leaving the tales rather stale. However, Brodi Ashton has managed to re-invent this story where the modern Persephone is given the opportunity to change her fate unlike the classical Persephone. Furthermore, this Persephone is much more complex, which makes her very, very human even though she is Forfeit. By intertwining another famous Greek myth (Orpheus and Eurydice), Brodi gives readers yet another alternative where Jack (aka Orpheus) chooses not to look back, but sacrifices himself to keep Nikki with her family, out of the tunnels, and free from Cole. Although the original Orpheus screwed up by looking back, Jack did the opposite by going forward. This story is about redemption, love, and courage where two young people will sacrifice everything to be together and, despite the whole gushy romance stuff, makes one heck of an entertaining story. In my opinion, Romeo and Juliet have nothing on Jack and Nikki and readers will be starving for the next installment, Everbound.

Information about the Author:
According to her blog:
Because of two parents who were Greek myth geeks, I grew up thinking the latest fashion trends were inspired by Aphrodite, and a good conversational opener was, “So, which mythological character do you most resemble?” Despite these social shortcomings, I found a great husband who’s always my first reader. We live in Utah with our two young boys, who still have no idea why I'm at the computer all the time.

I received a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism from the University of Utah and a Master’s degree in International Relations from the London School of Economics.

Genre:
Teen Supernatural Romance


Reading Level/Interest:
Grades 9 & up

Books Similar to Everneath:

Awards & Recognition:

Review Quotes from Amazon.com:

"I was pulled under by this bittersweet, beautiful retelling of the Persephone myth. Ashton's lovely storytelling and strong-on-her-own-terms main character set this one apart. Wonderful!"--Ally Condie, author of the MATCHED trilogy

"Ashton's debut, is complex and intriguing. Drawing inspiration from such myths as Osiris, Orpheus, and Persephone, it explores the nature of loss and longing and what it means to be alive."--Publishers Weekly

"Enthralling and suspenseful, EVERNEATH is pure indulgent escapism!"--Becca Fitzpatrick, New York Times bestselling author of HUSH, HUSH and CRESCENDO

"The author brings a fresh, innovative concept to young adult fiction with well-developed characters and a fantastic plot line .... Libraries are advised to buy multiple copies-this one will fly off the shelves."--Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA) (Starred Review)


"The powerful emotions, moving and painful rebuilding of strained relationships, and star-crossed love story is sure to resonate with teen readers."--School Library Journal

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Deborah Takahashi
Pasadena, CA, United States
My name is Deb and I am a Librarian who absolutely loves to read and recommend books to teen and tween readers. In this blog, you will find reviews on a variety resources ranging from books, movies, video games, and much more. Please feel free to leave any feedback, especially book recommendations!
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