by Claudia Gray
Cover Artist: Karon Pearson
Review by Mel Jacob
HarperTeen Hardcover ISBN/ITEM#: 9780061284397
Date: 01 June 2008 List Price $16.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /
Star crossed lovers reminiscent of Romeo and Juliet seek happiness only to discover their families and backgrounds make that impossible. Bianca Olivier hates her new boarding school Evernight Academy. Despite the presence of her loving and supportive parents, both teachers, the snobbish students add to her anguish. When she tries to run away, she meets Lucas Ross and feels an immediate affinity with him.
At times, Bianca struggles with lies and whether she can even trust her parents. She feels closer to the other new students at Evernight and to Lucas, his roommate Vic, and the scholarship student Raquel Vargas. However, Raquel warns her not to trust Lucas.
When Lucas and Bianca manage a quasi date on a field trip to a nearby town, she discovers a troubling side to his protective nature. Drunken construction workers misunderstand an argument between the two teens and interrupt to protect Bianca. Lucas's fighting prowess stuns her.
Erich, a young vampire, stalks Raquel, but no one believes her. After finding Raquel in tears and taking too many sleeping pills, Bianca takes matters into her own hands. She finds Erich lurking on the roof above Raquel's room. She confronts him and orders him to stop. Lucas, also concerned about Raquel, encounters Bianca and learns her true nature.
At first Evernight, Claudia Gray debut novel, offers a young adult story filled with teenage angst which may resonate with other teens who feel estranged from parents and fellow students, but Gray's heroine is unlikely to attract many adult readers. Self-involved, Bianca fails to understand her fellow students or her parents. Gray also withholds information from the reader until midway through the novel when Bianca discovers her true nature.
Fans of teenage romance, urban fantasy, vampires, and vampire hunters will enjoy the read. Gray's ending leaves ample room for sequels. At least three others are planned: Stargazer (Winter 2008), Hourglass (Summer 2009), and untitled (Winter 2009).