Release Date: October 1, 2012
Review Copy: Free from Netgalley. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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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.
I think it's safe to say I absolutely adore Jessa Russo. Her novel, Ever started off a bit slow, but before I knew what was happening I was being sucked into a world of ghosts and mysterious strangers and if you know me you know how I love mysterious strangers. I have read a lot of paranormal books in my time and I was pleasantly surprised to find that this particular one was a lot more original than I originally expected it to be.
The love of Ever's life, Frankie, was killed, but his soul hasn't moved on and so he haunts her for lack of a better word. But the cool thing is she isn't the only one who sees him. Her parents and best friend do too,though I'm not exactly sure how that works. Ever's best friend Jessie, the resident girly girl, boy lover, and party gooer is awesome. she totally reminds my of my best friend.
Jessie's boyfriend Greg is also pretty cool. I like how he just sort of integrates himself into the group. I adore his relationship with Bessie even though we wont see much of it.
But I digress. This is one of those girl loves boy, girls meets mystery boy and then loves him too kind of stories, but its the little details that set it apart from all the others.
Ever is probably one of the most sheltered 17 year old's that I have seen in a story, but that's actually what I like about her. Not every teenager is out there boozing it up and having sex, so it's a nice change to see a main character that isn't the female version of Don Juan. I pretty much enjoyed all of Russo's characters, even the bad ones.
I cant tell you how many times I wanted to slap Ariadene. She is wickedly evil and her obsession with Toby is bordering on psycho, but it's highly entertaining too.
Ever's parents are a nice dose of normal added into the story too. If you notice a lot of young adult novels start with the main characters parents being dead, but Ever is one of the few that doesn't do that. She has parents who worry, set boundaries, and are there to comfort her when she needs them. I won't spoil what happens on that front, but this gif pretty much sums up my feelings on the matter.
Now moving on to my favorite part of the story aside from the actual plot, Toby. Insert dreamy sigh here. I love Toby! I want to have his Soul Collector babies!...Did I not mention he's a Soul Collector? Well he is and that's another thing I really liked about this story. A new supernatural being, sort of like a modern day Grim Reaper, but alive.
The fierce way in which Toby loves Ever is seriously addicting. I'm sorry, but while I like Frankie I am totally Team Toby FTW (for the win). I think he and ever had a real connection and the one thing I wasn't crazy about in this book was Ever jumping to being in bed with Toby one night and Frankie in the other. That struck me as odd especially because of how Ever is depicted in the beginning of the story.
You're probably asking yourself how can Ever be in bed with Frankie if he's dead, good question. You're going to have to read the book to find out and that scene is particularly amusing. By the end of the book I was openly yelling at Ever for making bad choices or rather one bad choice. But the fact that I was annoyed was proof of how invested I was in this book.
The characters were all well written and relatable. No one was perfect and things seemed pretty realistic...well except for the ghost part, but that's sort of the point! Anyhow the book left off on this huge cliffhanger and I was like what? No! I'm hoping Russo is planning a trilogy of some kind because I need more.
I would definitely recommend this to readers who enjoy paranormal romance. And I'm totally making a Team Toby banner!....Okay fine I'll probably have Andi make a Team Toby banner, but that's just semantics.