On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door;
And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon's that is dreaming,
And the lamp-light o'er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor;
And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor
Shall be lifted - nevermore!
from "The Raven" by Edgar Allan Poe
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.
This was an amazing read! I've got to say, I've been obsessing about this book from the moment I first heard about it...and then I promptly forgot what it was called and who wrote it, and had to search the internet for, what I called in my mind "that paranormal one with the cheerleader and the goth boy".
Then I found it again, and I was happy. Then I found out it wasn't coming out for months and I was sad.
Then I finally (FINALLY) got a copy from my library and I was happy...but then I was scared. I'd built this novel up so much in my mind...how could it possibly compare in real life? What if I was disappointed? What if I didn't like it? I didn't know what to do...
Then I read it...and realized all my worrying was for nothing. So, there I sat, feeling foolish, but completely absorbed by this wonderful book.
Isobel, the main character, is a popular cheerleader (you know, the one you love to hate) who's horrified to discover she's been paired up with Varen Nethers, the school's resident goth and social freak, for the biggest school project of the year. She's horrified, he's snarky, her boyfriend's a jerk about it, and her so called friends are no help at all.
Then, as the project continues, she starts getting to know Varen, and instead of being mortified to be working with him, she's mortified by the way her friends are treating him (and her, for working with him). As she distances herself from her friends, she starts getting closer to Varen, and realizes that there's something different about him, and slowly, she gets caught up in the battle he's been fighting between the real world, and a terrible dream world.
This story is infused with Edgar Allan Poe's stories and lore, and though the ending is a bit confusing, as it takes part almost fully in the dreamworld, I'm certain it'll all make sense once the rest of the trilogy has been released.
I can't wait for book two....I'm currently trying to stop myself from going back and reading this one again...the allure is that great.
In case you couldn't tell, I loved this one.