Evernight is the first book in a series of four novels written for Young Adults. It is also the first novel for debut author Claudia Gray, who gets off to a flying start with her tale of star-crossed first love and vampires.
Evernight follows the story of sixteen year old Bianca as she struggles to fit in at the Evernight Academy, where the students are either part of the rich and beautiful in-crowd or are social outcasts. Bianca has the unenviable position of belonging to neither group. A grudging, partial acceptance by the in-crowd makes the socially outcast students view her with suspicion, leaving her lonely and without many friends.
Bianca makes a half-hearted run away attempt and promptly runs into Lucas, another one of the academy’s social misfits. At first Lucas seems determined to ignore their connection but slowly they develop a friendship that deepens into first love. Unfortunately nothing at the Evernight Academy is as it seems. Everyone has their secrets to hide and these secrets may end up tearing Bianca and Lucas apart.
Evernight has a dark gothic edge that effectively adds menace and a sense of unease to the story. While the story is a little slow to start, it gains momentum as Evernight slowly starts to reveal some of it secrets, before racing to an exciting conclusion. The author avoids obvious genre clichés and her vampire mythology is a subtle mixture of traditional vampire folk law and some original new ideas that works very well together.
While I would like to say more about Evernight but it has some fairly major plot twists which I don’t wish to spoil for other readers - meaning that I need to stop writing now before I give them away!
The Evernight Academy doesn’t reveal all of its secrets in this book and while the story does have a conclusion (which is always good because I am too impatient to enjoy cliff-hanger endings) its clear that there are plenty more discoveries to be made about Evernight Academy – hopefully in Stargazer, the next book in this series!
Recommended reading for teen vampire fans!