Evernight is a book about a vampire romance. So let me say from the outset that if you're such a die-hard Twilight fan that you'll be comparing everything in it to Stephenie Meyer's take on "the cold ones", then don't bother with this one. I say this because if you look, you most certainly will find a lot of similarities between the two, but if you forget about what you know about Twilight, and accept a new take on vampires, then you'll thoroughly enjoy this one. As I'm sure we all know, the story about a vampire/mortal romance is an old one which has been and will continue to be reworked by many authors. I personally believe that Stephenie Meyer's success has to do with the playing out of the fantasy of obsessive crushes, and that's why Twilight and its successors have struck such a chord with the teenage hordes.
(I'm sorry, but do I sound like I take vampires a little too seriously? I was reminded by an old friend of mine today I hadn't seen for a good while that vampires have always been a literary fixation of mine. Won't go into detail here for the sake of retaining my dignity.)
Bianca's parents have decided to enrol her in Evernight Academy, so that she may learn to live a life the way Evernight teachers. Bianca hates Evernight, and, in a release of teenage angst, decides to stage a run-away. On her way away from Evernight, she runs into the intruiging Lucas, whose rebellion against Evernight is a mystery. The closer Bianca becomes to the clique-y group that make up the majority of the Evernight body, the more distance there seems to be between Lucas and herself.
So this part you can probably predict your way through, if, like me, you read one too many teenage-level supernatural romances. What comes next is the twist that makes Evernight something special.
I don't want to give the twist away, but ...yes, there is an age-old rivalry between the vampires and their enemies. And yeah, I think you could probably guess who is and who is not a vampire. But what you couldn't see is how this comes about. Claudia Gray has employed a literary turnaround that you could liken to many of those great texts where the shock has been in front of you the whole time. Remember Fight Club (the book or the movie), where Jack, our faithful (and technically unnamed) narrator undergoes a series of flashbacks wherein we realise that he, in fact, is Tyler? Or when the viewer of The Usual Suspects is shown that Verbal is, unbelievably, not quite as innocent as he seems (oh, how evil you are, Kevin Spacey)? Something along those lines. Narration is used cleverly to expose a different perspective of a plot that, up until halfway through the book, seemed pretty-stock standard.
All in all, Evernight's an addictive holiday read for those among us for whom vampires are a long-standing literary pleasure. Thanks again to Gracie for the gift of Evernight and its sequel, Stargazer, which I am saving at the moment, but can't wait to read! :D
Thanks for reading!