What’s YA without smoke on the cover these days?
First, the horribly truncated summary: Girl takes a sabbatical away from her energy-draining position in the Everneath (Hell) to see the family and friends she left behind. Said family/friends believe she’s on drugs.
If my teenager left for six months and returned skinny and expressionless without explanation, I’d reach the same conclusion. Kudos to the author for believability.
It has been a long time since I finished a book in two days. Even a Young Adult book usually takes somewhere around five due to shit-that-needs-to-be-done-now. These weren’t even two normal days. These days were right before Renfaire, so I did have plenty to do. As punishment for my enthusiastic reading, I arrive at Renfaire for setup after lights out (who turns out the lights at 10 pm?!), forget my sleeping bag, and spent the night shivering with a single blanket on an air mattress.
I suffered for this book. Kinda. Sorta.
At its heart, this book is an adaptation of two stories: Persephone/Hades and Orpheus/Euridice. Both myths are mentioned a few times as stories handed down through the generations and diluted over time. The Everneath isn’t a place for the dead, but a place for the Everliving and their Forfeits. An Everliving brings a human Forfeit to the Everneath, feeds on their energy for a century, and then abandons the Forfeit to the general scrap pile to have any remaining energy drained.
That’s what’s happened to Nikki. When we start the book, she has been a Forfeit to Cole for the past hundred years. Instead of being fully spent by the feeding, she endures it and is able to become an Everliving alongside Cole. She haphazardly decides against this and returns to the surface world to reestablish the memories she lost and to say goodbye before choosing the scrap pile for the rest of eternity.
We proceed through the rest of Nikki’s six months at the same time as we’re seeing what led to her abandoning the surface world in the first place. As well as saying goodbye, Nikki spends her remaining time trying to find a way to escape her impending doom by solving the mystery behind the Everneath.
Oh, and Cole keeps returning to the surface to convince her to take the Everliving route while she tries to reestablish her relationship with Jack, the boyfriend she left behind. What’s YA without a love triangle these days?
As I said, this book sucked me in. The writing was quick and concise, the characters were undeniably human (I wasn’t kidding about the friends believing Nikki was a addict), there were a couple plot twists that surprised me (even if the ending didn’t), and, ultimately, I will be reading the sequel.
Cause what’s YA without a series these days?
4 stars. The ending was a tad predictable, but otherwise it was awesome.