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EVERNIGHT

Claudia Gray's Evernight is like a baklava with layers of swoonworthiness and vampires. 

EVERNIGHT

BOOK REPORT for Evernight (Evernight Book 1) by Claudia Gray

BFF Charm: Yay!
Swoonworthy Scale: 7
Talky Talk: Crafty
Bonus Factor: Mysterious Loner Dude, Duckie, Boarding School
Relationship Status: Going Steady

The Deal:

Bianca Olivier is starting her first term at Evernight Academy, an eery, gothic boarding school where everyone is very rich, very bored, and very cooler-than-thou. She is painfully shy. She does not fit in, and the other students- and most of the teachers- remind her of that fact daily. So why did her loving parents decide this was a good time to uproot their 16-year old daughter and plunk her in the middle of this place of uberposhness? Oh yeah, because they both got teaching jobs there. So not only does she stand out for not having her school uniform tailored, but everyone knows the only reason she got into this school in the first place, is because of her parents.

Bianca does make some friends, though, in fellow misfits Raquel- to whom clearly SOMETHING VERY BAD has happened, and Vic- a happy-go-lucky surfer dude, and Balthazar, the nicest, cutest, most popular guy in school. And then there's Lucas. Lucas, the brooding, chiseled-jawed, sometimes hostile mysterious loner dude who warns her to be careful, because something is wrong at this school beyond the mean girls in class. Oh, and also that she shouldn't really like him, which of course, she completely can't help.

Drawn together by a force beyond them, Bianca and Lucas fall in love and discover secrets and lies about the school, and about each other, that could doom their relationship... and at the very least bring Bianca to doubt everything she ever knew.

BFF Charm: Yay!

Bianca won my bff charm instantly. From her sheltered/yet super cool upbringing- her parents raised her on Duke Ellington and Rosemary Clooney, and she has a crush on Cary Grant, (girl after my own heart!) to her near debilitating shyness at times, to the way she follows her heart no matter what. When she falls in love for the first time, she lets it consume her- like ya' do- but she isn't a heroine looking to be rescued, and she stands up for what she thinks is right, even when she has to stand up to the boy she loves.

Swoonworthy Scale: 7

You know that Bianca and Lucas fall in love from the prologue, but it happens torturously slowly, and I was begging for them to just go ahead and get together, already!!! But don't fret, sweet, sweet kissy time abounds, so the payoff is worth the wait. I'm going to post a little excerpt, because when I read it, I did a happy dance while pulling the knife out of my gut that Ms. Gray had just thrust there. It's not spoilerific, but skip to the next section if you don't want to know.

Lucas only hesitated for a second. "Bianca, I'm sorry. I'm so sorry."

"Lucas?"

His eyes met mine. "I love you."

And then he ran...

Talky Talk: Crafty

Claudia Gray, will you teach a class on how to write an awesome first book? Because that is a class I would take. This is a fantasy book. It's one of the most well-written fantasy books I have ever read. When Bianca describes her entrance into the school hall for orientation you FEEL what she's feeling- that awful, twitchy shyness, when you are the NEW KID, and you know you're making it worse in your mind, but you can't HELP it!!!

Also, M. Night Shyamalan could learn a few things from Ms. Gray about how to pull off a clever twist. Or two. Or more. Because, again, in the prologue, you know that there are vampires in this story. But the truth is layered in such delicious hints (think baklava, with the hints layered in the filo) that each time she revealed, I felt the gasp of surprise. Well done, lady!

Bonus Factor: Mysterious Loner Dude

Lucas is that swoonworthy mysterious loner dude that's all, well, mysterious-loner-dudish, until he sees you're not like all the other mean kids, and then he's just sweet and passionate and a totally swoonworthy boyfriend whose love for you is epic, and who forgives you for lying to him, and, well, he's maybe got some lies of his own, but who the hell cares, because this is FIRST LOVE!

Bonus Factor: Duckie

Balthazar is the best Duckie ever. He's the way better than the actual Duckie, Duckie. He's the most handsome guy in school, and he's nice, and he's kind of in love with Bianca, but is totally mature about her being in love with someone else. There were moments that I almost wanted her to just date him instead. But then I remembered Lucas.

Bonus Factor: Boarding School

I, much like Poshdeluxe and her private school dreams, REALLY, REALLY wanted to go to boarding school. And except for the mean kids, and some um, other drawbacks, Evernight Academy, with its gargoyles and stone turrets would have been the PERFECT place! I sometimes found myself wishing Bianca could have enjoyed it more.

Casting Call:

Emily Browning as Bianca Olivier

I love this young lady, and I think that she is not only beautiful, but could master all of Bianca's complexities. Plus she looks good with a gothic backdrop!

Edward Cullen as Lucas Ross

I wasn't going to put a picture up, but alas, here it is. For all you Edward haters, fear not: Lucas is NOT Edward. (I think you'll agree.) For you Edward lovers, don't worry, he just LOOKS like Edward. (You'll like him on his own merit.)

I'm just saying, there must be a new paint-by-numbers formula to a hot guy, that includes him having a chiseled jaw, green eyes and bronze hair (really? Am I the only one that questions this? Bronze? When did BRONZE become a hair color? I mean, don't get me wrong, it's lovely, but is there a Just For Men at the drugstore in Edward Cullen bronze?) Maybe there should be.

Kellan Lutz as Balthazar

Don't mean to stick with a theme here, he's just who I pictured. Balthazar is handsome and sweet, and we know Kellan has that down.

Relationship Status: Going Steady

You guys, I would totally wear this book's pin, if it gave one to me. I think we might date forever... or at least until the end of the school year! It's good old classic fantasy at its best, with a lot of insight thrown in. I am chomping to read the second book in the series, and a third one is on its way, so I foresee that I'll be visiting Evernight Academy for many moons to come.

Jenny Bird's photo About the Author: Jenny grew up on a steady diet of Piers Anthony, Isaac Asimov and Star Wars novels. She has now expanded her tastes to include television, movies, and YA fiction.
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