So do you remember a few weeks ago, when my blog was hijacked by a ghost? Well, that was because Ever by Jessa Russo was coming out. Not only did I want to help her get the word out then so lots of people could read her awesome book (okay, you got me...I let Frankie hijack my blog with his ghostly ways), but now I'm also going to be an official stop on her blog tour. Isn't that banner up there super pretty? Ever easily has one of the prettiest covers I've ever seen. And I believe I read in an interview that Jessa herself played a big part in figuring out what the cover would be. That's one of the coolest parts of working with a smaller press, in my opinion: the level of input you, as the author, get on your own book.
Okay, let's not get sidetracked. I'm writing this post today to review Ever. Which I loved, by the way. But more on that in a little bit. First, let me give you the blurb about the book, so you'll have an idea of what it's about.
Seventeen-year-old Ever's love life has been on hold for the past two years. She's secretly in love with her best friend Frankie, and he's completely oblivious.
Of course, it doesn't help that he's dead, and waking up to his ghost every day has made moving on nearly impossible.
Frustrated and desperate for something real, Ever finds herself falling for her hot new neighbor, Toby. His relaxed confidence is irresistible, and not just Ever knows it. But falling for Toby comes with a price that throws Ever's life into a whirlwind of chaos and drama. More than hearts are on the line, and more than Ever will suffer.
Some girls lose their hearts to love.
Some girls lose their minds.
Ever Van Ruysdael could lose her soul.
Sounds pretty awesome, doesn't it? Now do you see why I let Frankie hijack my blog, and why I so readily agreed to take part in this blog hop? So now that you know a little about the book (which you should totally go read, by the way...I really did love it), let's get into my review.
Remember my post a couple of weeks ago, where I talked about how the ultimate deal breaker for me with books is to not make me care about the characters? Well, that sure as hell wasn't the problem here. If anything, I cared too much (though don't think I'm complaining; that is never a bad thing). I loved Ever Van Ruysdael from page one. She had such a wonderful, and such a true and real, voice that it made me feel like I was sitting in a room listening to her tell her story instead of reading a book. She was interesting. She was hilarious. She had problems that I related to and understood. Yes, I just said that I related to and understood her problem of being in love with a ghost, and yet also finding herself falling for hot neighbor Toby, which comes with a price. Have I ever been in love with a ghost? Nope. I can say with all honesty that I've never seen a ghost, and I don't even believe in them. Have I ever been in love with two guys at once, and had to deal with figuring out that craziness? Nope. That one hasn't come up either. And I've certainly never been in danger of losing my soul (to the best of my knowledge, anyway).
So...how am I relating to this girl and her problems, you ask? Because that's what good writing does, ladies and gentlemen. It puts me smack dab in the middle of a situation unlike anything that's ever happened to me, and it makes me think what the character thinks. It makes me feel each and every thing that the character feels. And let me tell you, when it comes to emotion, I ran the full gamut in this book. I laughed out loud (always fun for scaring the dogs when I've been silent for a long time), I cried until I couldn't breathe, I got so angry that I wanted to hit something, and there were more than a couple of literal jaw dropping moments. And let's not forget the sexy, sexy make-out scenes. I was so involved in this book that I couldn't put it down. I absolutely had to know what happened. Once again, a sign of good writing.
And I've been focusing on the main character, Ever, since the book is written from her point of view. But there's a full cast of characters that I just loved, ranging from Ever's best friend to her dad. Not to mention the ghost of her heart, Frankie, and hot neighbor Toby. You know how you read a book with two possible love interests (a la Edward and Jacob in Twilight, or Peeta and Gale in Hunger Games), and you have a very clear preference for one over the other? So if she picks that one, you're all excited, but if she picks the other one, you never quite get over it? Well, Jessa Russo managed to make me fall for both of them. Do you know how hard that is? I'm Team Edward and Team Peeta all the way, people. No one can convince me to even give Jacob or Gale a second glance. And yet, I got all the way through this book and still couldn't figure out what I felt. Or rather, which one made me feel more. I can't wait to spend more time with these characters so I can figure it all out.
Let me just close this review by saying this: the second I finished the book, after I picked my jaw up off the floor, I grabbed my phone and tweeted Jessa. The content of that tweet? I absolutely had to know if there was going to be a second book. (It's actually going to be a trilogy! Hurray!) If your first order of business upon finishing a book is finding out if there will be more to the story? Yeah. That means it's a damn good book.
And, last but certainly not least, I want to give you a little info about the author herself, the lovely and awesome Jessa Russo.
An unashamed super fan of all things paranormal romance, Jessa Russo reads, writes, and breathes paranormal YA, rarely straying from her comfort zone. When not writing or reading, Jessa enjoys making memories with her awesome family and amazingly supportive friends, while secretly planning her next trip to New Orleans. She's won a few flash fiction contests and had a short story published, but feels her greatest accomplishment is raising the coolest kid ever - a little girl with a Tim Burton obsession and a desire to save every animal she sees.
Jessa will always call Southern California home, where she lives with her husband Jon, their daughter Faith, Bronco the Great Dane, and Lola the Chihuahua.