Everneath (Everneath #1) — Brodi Ashton

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Last spring, Nikki Beckett vanished, sucked into an underworld known as the Everneath, where immortals Feed on the emotions of despairing humans. Now she’s returned- to her old life, her family, her friends- before being banished back to the underworld… this time forever.

She has six months before the Everneath comes to claim her, six months for good-byes she can’t find the words for, six months to find redemption, if it exists.

Nikki longs to spend these months reconnecting with her boyfriend, Jack, the one person she loves more than anything. But there’s a problem: Cole, the smoldering immortal who first enticed her to the Everneath, has followed Nikki to the mortal world. And he’ll do whatever it takes to bring her back- this time as his queen.

As Nikki’s time grows short and her relationships begin slipping from her grasp, she’s forced to make the hardest decision of her life: find a way to cheat fate and remain on the Surface with Jack or return to the Everneath and become Cole’s…

Nikki Beckett spent one hundred years with Cole in the Everneath, the equivalent of six months in the real world. At the end of her hundred-year sentence, Nikki chooses to return to the surface for her remaining six months, at the end of which she will either be swallowed by the Tunnels, which will siphon her emotions for the rest of her life, or she can choose to return to Cole and become an Everliving, meaning she’ll have to Feed off of others the way Cole Fed off of her to survive.

Nikki has accepted her fate in the Tunnels. She only returns to the surface to make things right with her family and see, for one last time, the face of the boy who kept her alive while she was in the Everneath: her ex-boyfriend, Jack. But Nikki soon realizes that simply seeing him isn’t enough, especially since Jack’s so desperate to hang on to Nikki now that she’s back in his life.

I surprised myself by loving Everneath. This book provides a love triangle that makes me remember why I love love triangles. Jack is the boy every girl dreams about for her first boyfriend. He and Nikki have been friends since they were little and it took Nikki a long time to realize she might like him as more than a friend. It took Jack even longer, as he was known as sort of a player throughout their high school. But when they finally end up together, they’re obviously a perfect fit. Everneath is told from alternating chapters of the past and present, before and after Nikki’s time spent in the Everneath. Though we catch glimpses of Nikki and Jack’s friendship before their relationship, I wish we had seen more. But what we do see is adorable and completely “aww”-worthy. It’s so refreshing to see two characters that know each other so well and that bring out the better qualities in each other — you know, like in a real, natural, positive relationship.

Speaking of real and natural, all the characters in Everneath are supremely realistic. Nikki is the protagonist I’ve been waiting for — intelligent, flawed, conflicted, strong. I can’t stop thinking about how realistic all of her actions are and how I’d probably make a lot of the same decisions as her if I were in her place (not always the best decisions, but the ones that seem to be right at the time). She stands up for herself and tries to make the best of her circumstances, despite the fact that doing the right thing is always the hardest, in her case. She’s also a genuinely good person, with pure intentions and a clear moral compass. Basically, she’s a really likable person and an admirable heroine.

Everneath‘s plot is both unique and familiar. A lot of ancient myths are incorporated, specifically the myth of Persephone and Hades, as well as Orpheus and Eurydice. For mythology lovers like myself, it’s always fun to see myths included with a modern spin. But then Brodi Ashton goes even farther, providing us with the intriguing plot of the Everneath, the Everliving, and the Tunnels. Ashton reveals clues about this world she’s created sparingly, ratcheting up the senses of suspense and mystery. Most of Everneath is completely unpredictable, which meant the closer I came to the ending, the more anxious I felt. I couldn’t tell how things were going to play out and the ending left me heartbroken, though hopeful and pacified enough to wait for the sequel. As long as it’s not too long of a wait.

Everneath is a book that will make you feel, that will leave you conflicted…in the best possible ways. Cole is the villain and at times, you’ll hate him, but there are also some moments you’ll feel twinges of sympathy for him. You’ll want Jack and Nikki to be together, but you’ll also want what’s best for Jack, and that just might be staying away from Nikki. But even though Nikki made one supremely bad decision, she’s still a good person and she deserves happiness too, right? If you’re looking for a lovable, complicated, paranormal page-turner, don’t hesitate to dive right into Everneath. You won’t regret it.

Pages: 370
Publication Date : January 2012
Publisher: Harper Collins
Challenge: N/A
Rating [rating: 4.5]

Teaser Quote: “I closed my eyes and pictured the boy with the brown hair, and as I took in my first really deep breath of Surface air, a name to match the face came to me. A name I’d been trying to cling to for a century.

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