Review of Everneath by Brodi Ashton

Everneath by Brodi Ashton

Balzer and Bray/Harper Collins
January 24, 2012
Source: NetGalley; received in exchange for an honest review

Yes, okay. You could argue that these days YA does have a lot of what one blogger amusingly calls "sad girls in pretty dresses."

I have to confess, I'm a total sucker for a pretty dress. And I must relate to sad girls too, because when I was reading this ARC, I could hardly set my Kindle down. Everneath delivers exactly the kind of intense emotional experience that many YA fans are hungering for.

Everneath begins as Nikki "Becks" Beckett is unceremoniously spat out of the Everneath, or underworld. She's spent a hundred years down there with an Everliving (immortal) named Cole.

Nikki willingly chose to accompany Cole to the Everneath, an alternate universe where Everlivings preserve their immortality by feeding off the emotion and energy of human "forfeits" like Nikki. Most forfeits don't survive this "Feed," but Nikki did. Cole gives her two choices: become an Everliving and feed off the pain of another mortal, or be condemned to the Tunnels. To Cole's annoyance, Nikki chooses the latter, but he grudgingly grants her six months back on earth to tie up the loose ends of her mortal life.

Upon her return, Nikki receives anything but a warm welcome. Rumor has it that she disappeared on a drug-fueled bender. Her father's super-pissed and her little brother is confused.

Then she's thrown into the real world version of hell: high school. During her time in the Everneath, Nikki was haunted by the memory of a mortal boy with floppy hair and brown eyes -- Jack, her former boyfriend. She longs -- yet dreads -- to see him again, certain that he hates her. Her former best friend is cool and distant. As a reader, my main question was: how did all this come about? What on earth made Nikki choose to go to the Everneath?

I'm not always a fan of the flashing back/flashing forward method of storytelling, but in this case, it's the perfect choice. In the present, Nikki, now a social outcast, tries to remember how to survive in high school. Through her flashbacks, the reader tries to figure out why Nikki would willingly leave her real life and choose such a terrible fate.

When the explanation for Nikki's choice was finally revealed, I wasn't completely buying it. But I got over that. The main strength of this book is the wrenching emotion that the author manages to convey. Nikki is one of the most angst-ridden new YA heroines around -- miserable, bitter, at war with the world. And yet, she's sympathetic. That's no easy feat for a writer to to pull off.

Everneath draws heavily on two myths: the story of Persephone, Demeter and Hades, and, more importantly, that of Orpheus and Eurydice. What these two tales have in common is the way both Demeter and Orpheus refuse to accept the fact that their loved ones are lost to the Underworld. What these stories also have in common is that both Persephone and Eurydice are promised the possibility of returning to the world of the living.

Hmmm. If you're as familiar with these myths as I am, you may think you can figure out this book's ending. I predicted what I thought would happen and, at the same time, desperately tried to resist it. Which made me feel about angst-ridden as Becks.

Sad girls, pretty dresses. Bring them on. I'll definitely be back for round two of Becks vs. the world.


  1. Great review :-) I just pre-ordered this book last night! :-)

  2. I’m a sucker for the “young ladies defying gravity” covers xD
    The cover of Everneath also amazes me with its swirls and blending. I don’t know much about the story of Orpheus and Eurydice, but mythology always fascinates me, so I’ll check Everneath out when it is released :)
    Thanks for reviewing!

  3. I loved this book! I finished it before Christmas so I could give it to my niece and it was such a quick read!

  4. @lecea There are so many of those covers and I pick those books up every time!

    @ebaker I know!

    @Amber Hope you love it!

  5. I still need to start reading Fallen! :D People say it's good :D And I need to start on Shade! Haha, I have both books but haven't had the time to read. Probably won't have time til April or May coz I need to finish the ones sent to me for review.

  6. Yep -- story of my life. Too many books, too little time. I used those two as comp titles because of the angst factor.

  7. haha I am a total fan of the "sad girls in pretty dresses" books. In fact, they tend to be some of my faves! lol Bring it on Everneath!

  8. I know! OMG I loved this book, how the hell are we going to wait for Book #2 haha

  9. Awww I really wanna read this now! Awesome review, now you made me even MORE excited! :P

  10. @Cris Yep, I have you pegged as a sad/pretty fan. Me too!

    @Hayey I KNOW how impatient you are LOL!

    @Jen R You won't have to wait long!!

  11. My question is how much sex is involved in this book. I have 3 teenage girls and I try to keep them away from books that include sex. I know hard to do nowadays but I do. I prefer to not give them any more ideas and incentives than they already have, lol. Thanks

  12. @lmajicasnow
    Reading Teen blog has a great feature called "Reading Clean."

    (And BTW, I'd call Everneath a PG read.)

    I'm still working out my review style, but I guess my policy is that if a YA book contains lots of explicit stuff, I'd probably mention that. I actually did just read a book like that -- way more mature content than a typical YA.

    Do you more experienced bloggers have advice on that??

  13. I definitely want to read this but I'm a little hesitant after the last Persephone-based book I read-The Goddess Test. I was seriously disappointed by that book.

  14. I read some reviews of Goddess Test that complained that the author changed up the Greek gods too much, and other reviewers loved the fact that she put a fresh spin on the myths. You can't please everyone :)

    I say: try this book and let me know what you think!

  15. Thanks for the info. I am looking into the blog now. My girls have been interested into so many books and I read them and sadly have to tell sorry not happening. Which is sadly disturbing that these books are considered young adult books and they have such details that seriously could have been avoided and they still would have been great stories. Thanks again.

  16. Great Review! I have Everneath on my TBR list but still need to get a copy! I like the sad girl in pretty dresses, even if it is over used. I'm a sucker for them!


Post a Comment

Thanks so much for stopping by. I hope you will share your thoughts on this post!