by Claudia Gray
Published June 1st 2008 by HarperTeen
Hardcover, 327 pages
Placement in the Pile: Reaching New Heights (with reservations)
Bianca wants to escape.
She's been uprooted from her small hometown and enrolled at Evernight Academy, an eerie Gothic boarding school where the students are somehow too perfect: smart, sleek, and almost predatory. Bianca knows she doesn't fit in.
Then she meets Lucas. He's not the "Evernight type" either, and he likes it that way. Lucas ignores the rules, stands up to the snobs, and warns Bianca to be careful—even when it comes to caring about him.
"I couldn't stand it if they took it out on you," he tells Bianca, "and eventually they would."But the connection between Bianca and Lucas can't be denied. Bianca will risk anything to be with Lucas, but dark secrets are fated to tear them apart . . . and to make Bianca question everything she's ever believed.
I read this book quite a while ago, and I realized just yesterday that I never reviewed it! So since it's vampire month, let's go back and review it shall we?
I thought this book was pretty great. Bianca is a character that you feel for and you feel the tension in the school situation etc. Her romance with Lucas is pretty darn great too, but it isn't the only reason to read the book for those of you who aren't huge romance fans. I like the vampire legends and theories here. It made for a great read. This book was screaming "give me a Top Picks mark!"
The problem? It isn't until nearly page 200 of this 300 page book that the main character is honest with you. The rest of the time Bianca has known something about herself, her parents, the academy etc. that the narration of the book from her perspective hides and talks about as if it's a big mystery. This is a HUGE problem for me. It makes Bianca an unreliable narrator, because if she is witholding something on purpose she is not just lying to the reader, she is lying to to herself.
Honestly, if the plot weren't interesting I would have closed the book then and there. As a reader I felt like I had been cheated and that this hiding the facts was just a ploy to create stronger tension in Bianca's life. Really, if she had been honest from the beginning I think it would have been a better book.
That being said, the last 100 pages were so good that it redeemed it for me some, thus the Reaching New Heights status. Cause I was honestly tempted to give it a very low score because of this misleading. In the end I wanted to read more about these characters, knowing that Bianca couldn't hide info from us like that again...right? So I read on.
So give this one a try. Be aware of this issue with the narration and just go along for the ride.