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Sunday, August 14, 2016

Playing Catch Up! Evermore by Alyson Noel

Playing Catch Up has really been helping me through my ever growing TBR list. I'd like to welcome all other blogs to participate too! If you do, be sure to post your links in the comments section. I'd love to see your Playing Catch Up Reviews, and I'm sure others would too!! *wink*

Want to know more about Playing Catch Up? I'll tell you all about it here!

Evermore (The Immortals #1) by Alyson Noel 
Genre: Young Adult (Paranormal Romance)
Date Published: February 3, 2009
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin

After a horrible accident claims the lives of her family, sixteen-year-old Ever Bloom can see people's auras, hear their thoughts, and know someone's entire life story by touching them. Going out of her way to avoid human contact to suppress her abilities, she has been branded a freak at her new high school — but everything changes when she meets Damen Auguste.

Damen is gorgeous, exotic and wealthy. He's the only one who can silence the noise and random energy in her head - wielding a magic so intense, it's as though he can peer straight into her soul. As Ever is drawn deeper into his enticing world of secrets and mystery, she's left with more questions than answers. And she has no idea just who he really is - or what he is. The only thing she knows to be true is that she's falling deeply and helplessly in love with him. 

Evermore is the first book in The Immortals series by Alyson Noel. I went into this book thinking it was going to be another vampire story. I don't remember why exactly. I read a snippet of it somewhere a few years ago, and that was the impression I got. It's not, and I'm okay with that. There are some paranormal elements. Ever can see ghosts and she's Psychic. Plus, Damon is whatever he is. I'm not sure there was ever a name put to him besides an "Immortal". So, I liked that it was a little something different, para-normally speaking. Ever and Damon were interesting characters. I'd like to learn more about Damon's past. They both have their quirks. The attraction was pretty quick, but Ever didn't make it easy on him. I thoroughly disliked Ever's friends, especially Haven. I don't get that relationship at all. I pretty much think the only reason they're friends is because they're both insecure and neither of them could find better. I guess that's pretty typical for most people in high school. I remember similar "friends" in high school. The story passed the time pretty quick. It wasn't anything all consuming, but it pulled me in enough to keep me entertained and wanting to read the next book.

“Guess who?”

Haven’s warm, clammy palms press hard against my cheeks as the tarnished edge of her silver skull ring leaves a smudge on my skin. And even though my eyes are covered and closed, I know that her dyed black hair is parted in the middle, her black vinyl corset is worn over a turtleneck (keeping in compliance with our school’s dress- code policy), her brand- new, floor-sweeping, black satin skirt already has a hole near the hem where she caught it with the toe of her Doc Martens boots, and her eyes appear gold but that’s only because she’s wearing yellow contacts.

I also know her dad isn’t really away on “business” like he said, her mom’s personal trainer is way more “personal” than “trainer,” and her little brother broke her Evanescence CD but he’s too afraid to tell her.

But I don’t know any of this from spying or peeking or even being told. I know because I’m psychic.

“Hurry! Guess! The bell’s gonna ring!” she says, her voice hoarse, raspy, like she smokes a pack a day, even though she only tried smoking once.

I stall, thinking of the last person she’d ever want to be mistaken for. “Is it Hilary Duff ?”

“Ew. Guess again!” She presses tighter, having no idea that I don’t have to see to know.

“Is it Mrs. Marilyn Manson?”

She laughs and lets go, licking her thumb and aiming for the tarnish tattoo she left on my cheek, but I raise my hand and beat her to it. Not because I’m grossed out by the thought of her saliva (I mean, I know she’s healthy), but because I don’t want her to touch me again. Touch is too revealing, too exhausting, so I try to avoid it at all costs.

She grabs the hood of my sweatshirt and flicks it off my head, then squints at my earbuds and asks, “What’re you listening to?”

I reach inside the iPod pocket I’ve stitched into all of my hoodies, concealing those ubiquitous white cords from faculty view, then I hand it over and watch her eyes bug out when she says, “What the? I mean, can it be any louder? And who is that?” She dangles the iPod between us so we can both hear Sid Vicious screaming about anarchy in the UK. And the truth is, I don’t know if Sid’s for it or against it. I just know that he’s almost loud enough to dull my overly heightened senses.

“Sex Pistols,” I say, clicking it off and returning it to my secret compartment.

“I’m surprised you could even hear me.” She smiles at the same time the bell rings.

But I just shrug. I don’t need to listen to hear. Though it’s not like I mention that. I just tell her I’ll see her at lunch and head toward class, making my way across campus and cringing when I sense these two guys sneaking up behind her, stepping on the hem of her skirt, and almost making her fall. But when she turns and makes the sign of evil (okay, it’s not really the sign of evil, it’s just something she made up) and glares at them with her yellow eyes, they immediately back off and leave her alone. And I breathe a sigh of relief as I push into class, knowing it won’t be long before the lingering energy of Haven’s touch fades.

I head toward my seat in the back, avoiding the purse Stacia Miller has purposely placed in my path, while ignoring her daily serenade of “Looo- ser!” she croons under her breath. Then I slide onto my chair, retrieve my book, notebook, and pen from my bag, insert my earpiece, pull my hood back over my head, drop my backpack on the empty seat beside me, and wait for Mr. Robins to show.

Mr. Robins is always late. Mostly because he likes to take a few nips from his small silver flask between classes. But that’s only because his wife yells at him all the time, his daughter thinks he’s a loser, and he pretty much hates his life. I learned all of that on my first day at this school, when my hand accidentally touched his as I gave him my transfer slip. So now, whenever I need to turn something in, I just leave it on the edge of his desk.

I close my eyes and wait, my fingers creeping inside my sweatshirt, switching the song from screaming Sid Vicious to something softer, smoother. All that loud noise is no longer necessary now that I’m in class. I guess the small student/teacher ratio keeps the psychic energy somewhat contained.

I wasn’t always a freak. I used to be a normal teen. The kind who went to school dances, had celebrity crushes, and was so vain about my long blond hair I wouldn’t dream of scraping it back into a ponytail and hiding beneath a big hooded sweatshirt. I had a mom, a dad, a little sister named Riley, and a sweet yellow Lab named Buttercup. I lived in a nice house, in a good neighborhood, in Eugene, Oregon. I was popular, happy, and could hardly wait for junior year to begin since I’d just made varsity cheerleader. My life was complete, and the sky was the limit. And even though that last part is a total cliché, it’s also ironically true.

Yet all of that’s just hearsay as far as I’m concerned. Because ever since the accident, the only thing I can clearly remember is dying.

I had what they call an NDE, or “near death experience.” Only they happen to be wrong. Because believe me, there wasn’t anything “near” about it. It’s like, one moment my little sister Riley and I were sitting in the back of my dad’s SUV, with Buttercup’s head resting on Riley’s lap, while his tail thumped softly against my leg, and the next thing I knew all the air bags were blown, the car was totaled, and I was observing it all from outside.

I gazed at the wreckage—the shattered glass, the crumbled doors, the front bumper clutching a pine tree in a lethal embrace—wondering what went wrong as I hoped and prayed everyone had gotten out too. Then I heard a familiar bark, and turned to see them all wandering down a path, with Buttercup wagging her tail and leading the way.

I went after them. At first trying to run and catch up, but then slowing and choosing to linger. Wanting to wander through that vast fragrant field of pulsating trees and flowers that shivered, closing my eyes against the dazzling mist that reflected and glowed and made everything shimmer.

I promised myself I’d only be a moment. That soon, I’d go back and find them. But when I did finally look, it was just in time to catch a quick glimpse of them smiling and waving and crossing a bridge, mere seconds before they all vanished.

I panicked. I looked everywhere. Running this way and that, but it all looked the same—warm, white, glistening, shimmering, beautiful, stupid, eternal mist. And I fell to the ground, my skin pricked with cold, my whole body twitching, crying, screaming, cursing, begging, making promises I knew I could never ever keep.

And then I heard someone say, “Ever? Is that your name? Open your eyes and look at me.”

I stumbled back to the surface. Back to where everything was pain, and misery, and stinging wet hurt on my forehead. And I gazed at the guy leaning over me, looked into his dark eyes, and whispered, “I’m Ever,” before passing out again.

Check out my reviews of the other books in this series!

Alyson Noël is the #1 New York Times best-selling, award-winning, author of 23 novels including: The Immortals, The Riley Bloom, and The Soul Seekers series.

With 8 New York Times bestsellers in 2 years, and over 8 million copies in print, her books have been translated into 36 languages, sold in over 200 countries, and have made the New York Times, USA Today, LA Times, Publishers Weekly, Wall Street Journal, NCIBA, and Walmart Bestsellers lists, and have won numerous awards such as: the National Reader's Choice Award, NYLA Book of Winter Award, NYPL Stuff for the Teenage, TeenReads Best Books of 2007, Reviewer's Choice 2007 Top Ten, appeared on the CBS Early Show's "Give the Gift of Reading" segment, and selected for Seventeen Magazine's "Hot List" and Beach Book Club Pick.

Chosen as one of OC Metro magazine’s “20 Women to Watch,” she’s been nominated for the Orange County Business Journal’s “Women in Business Awards” as well as their “Excellence in Entrepreneurship” award. The dramatic rights for The Soul Seekers are optioned to Cheyenne Enterprises and Traziende films; the dramatic rights to Saving Zoë are optioned to actresses/producers Ellen Marano, Vanessa Marano (Switched at Birth), Laura Marano (Austin & Ally), with Jeffrey G. Hunt (Vampire Diaries, Gotham) directing; dramatic rights to The Immortals are optioned to Gil Adler (Valkyrie, Constantine) & Jason Rosenberg.

Her new YA series, Beautiful Idols, beginning with Unrivaled, had a global release in 17 languages and 200 countries on 05.10.16. Her new MG, Five Days of Famous, is set to debut 12.13.16.

Born and raised in Orange County, California, she’s lived in both Mykonos and Manhattan and is now settled back in Southern California.

To learn more about Alyson Noel and her books, visit her website & blog.You can also find her on Goodreads, Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter.

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