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Alright, it’s that time again…Fiction Friday time! Since Kati went last week, it’s my turn to recommend a book.  So, in honor of this lovely spooky month, I’m going to talk about one of my favorite gothic romance books, “Nevermore” by Kelly Creagh.

“Nevermore” starts off with a very clichéd premise: beautiful blonde cheerleader Isobel is very unhappy when she’s assigned to work with creepy goth kid Varen on a school assignment.  Although she has a handsome football-playing boyfriend (the quarterback, naturally), she starts to fall for the goth boy.  Of course.

But…if you can get past that initial cliché, this book is really good.  So good that I ended up re-reading it a couple of times.  What did I love about it? Well, for starters it adds in the Poe premise: he disappeared for several days before he died, and when he was found, he was in a terrible raving state.  No one knows where he had been or what happened to him, but “Nevermore” uses the theory that he is actually being hunted by demons he helped create, sent by a woman who wants to keep him and use him to free herself from her prison.

When Poe dies, this woman seeks out other victims: lost, lonely boys swallowed by anger and a fascination with the morbid.  Boys like Varen, who is slowly writing this woman’s story, bringing her closer and closer to him and a way out.

Isobel also turns out to be a great character, the kind of person who stands up to her friends even when that means she won’t have any.  There’s this great scene where she’s eating lunch by herself in the cafeteria, shielding her face with one hand so no one can see her crying while stabbing her fork at her food energetically with her other hand, trying to act like everything’s fine.  It felt like all the worst moments of high school boiled down to one humiliating incident.

The love story felt real to me as well, with its ups and downs, and even though I generally don’t like the moody, angry boys, I really liked Varen, who is genuinely interesting and has some great lines of dialogue.

So, if you’re looking for a good read this weekend, I’d give this one a hearty two thumbs up.  Just a warning: it ends on a vicious cliffhanger, and the sequel, “Enshadowed,” was not nearly as satisfactory.  Still, I’ll be reading the third book when it comes out.  Until then, how about you? Any other great gothic romance books out there?

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