EVERTRUE

From the Everneath series , Vol. 3

Although the denouement passes very quickly, the ending satisfies and will break some hearts.

Nikki and Jack’s relief at escaping the Everneath at the end of Everbound (2013) is short-lived, as they face the highest stakes yet.

Nikki’s health starts to fail immediately as she transitions into an Everliving. She will die if she doesn’t feed. A transitioning Everliving can only feed on the Everliving who holds her Surface heart—in Nikki’s case, and to boyfriend Jack’s ire, Cole. Worse, Nikki has limited time before she will need to feed on a Forfeit. She doesn’t want to damn an innocent to the Tunnels—the fate she narrowly avoided in Everneath (2012)—but Jack and Cole will do anything to keep her alive. After Cole and his band are attacked by followers of the Everneath’s queen (hoping to thwart their plot to depose her and put Nikki in her place), only Cole escapes, but he does so with amnesia. Nikki and Jack capitalize on his memory loss to convince him that he was working with them to destroy the Everneath for good (which would prevent Nikki from dying or having to feed), but they can’t be sure how much to trust him, as his memories may return. As in previous installments, the prose is sprinkled with references to Greek mythology. The beautifully orchestrated obstacles and rising tension position the characters so that they must succeed or die.

Although the denouement passes very quickly, the ending satisfies and will break some hearts. (Paranormal romance. 13 & up)

Pub Date: Jan. 21, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-06-207119-4

Page Count: 368

Publisher: Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Nov. 12, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2013

IF ONLY I HAD TOLD HER

A heavy read about the harsh realities of tragedy and their effects on those left behind.

In this companion novel to 2013’s If He Had Been With Me, three characters tell their sides of the story.

Finn’s narrative starts three days before his death. He explores the progress of his unrequited love for best friend Autumn up until the day he finally expresses his feelings. Finn’s story ends with his tragic death, which leaves his close friends devastated, unmoored, and uncertain how to go on. Jack’s section follows, offering a heartbreaking look at what it’s like to live with grief. Jack works to overcome the anger he feels toward Sylvie, the girlfriend Finn was breaking up with when he died, and Autumn, the girl he was preparing to build his life around (but whom Jack believed wasn’t good enough for Finn). But when Jack sees how Autumn’s grief matches his own, it changes their understanding of one another. Autumn’s chapters trace her life without Finn as readers follow her struggles with mental health and balancing love and loss. Those who have read the earlier book will better connect with and feel for these characters, particularly since they’ll have a more well-rounded impression of Finn. The pain and anger is well written, and the novel highlights the most troublesome aspects of young adulthood: overconfidence sprinkled with heavy insecurities, fear-fueled decisions, bad communication, and brash judgments. Characters are cued white.

A heavy read about the harsh realities of tragedy and their effects on those left behind. (author’s note, content warning) (Fiction. 14-18)

Pub Date: Feb. 6, 2024

ISBN: 9781728276229

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Review Posted Online: Jan. 5, 2024

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2024

IF HE HAD BEEN WITH ME

There’s not much plot here, but readers will relish the opportunity to climb inside Autumn’s head.

The finely drawn characters capture readers’ attention in this debut.

Autumn and Phineas, nicknamed Finny, were born a week apart; their mothers are still best friends. Growing up, Autumn and Finny were like peas in a pod despite their differences: Autumn is “quirky and odd,” while Finny is “sweet and shy and everyone like[s] him.” But in eighth grade, Autumn and Finny stop being friends due to an unexpected kiss. They drift apart and find new friends, but their friendship keeps asserting itself at parties, shared holiday gatherings and random encounters. In the summer after graduation, Autumn and Finny reconnect and are finally ready to be more than friends. But on August 8, everything changes, and Autumn has to rely on all her strength to move on. Autumn’s coming-of-age is sensitively chronicled, with a wide range of experiences and events shaping her character. Even secondary characters are well-rounded, with their own histories and motivations.

There’s not much plot here, but readers will relish the opportunity to climb inside Autumn’s head.   (Fiction. 14 & up)

Pub Date: April 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-4022-7782-5

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Review Posted Online: Feb. 12, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2013

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