Though I haven’t posted in a while, I’ve still been reading. Sort of. I’ve squashed some reading time into transit rides and before bed. It’s not the best but it’s all I can fit in just now.
I’m woefully behind on my NetGalley reviews, and my library e-book holds come and go before I can download them. Still, I’ve returned to bring you one of many reviews to come.
I had super low expectations going into this book. If we’re being honest, I think we can acknowledge that YA has been shifty on quality of late. The cover of Everless is less than impressive, as is the tagline ‘Time is a prison, she is the key.’
I mean… really?
But the content. Wow.
The concept of time being quite literally money is one that I’ve never seen before. That’s the thing that piqued my interest despite the cover and tagline. That concept was so well-executed that I didn’t spend any of the book confused over it. The mechanics of everyday life and the clear divide between the aristocracy and the working population are easily understood and believable once you’ve accepted the premise of Sempera. While the circumstances surrounding ‘blood-iron’ and time being bound to blood/money are vague and unexplained, it was clearly a plot device.
Which brings me to the plot. It seems simple enough at the outset. Girl needs money. Girl returns to place of childhood trauma. Things spiral as new truths are uncovered.
I didn’t want to put this book down. Secrets were revealed at just the right pace and frequency to keep me going and Jules was a likeable protagonist. She’s just trying to get by at the beginning of the novel, which I’m sure many of us can empathise with.
When I began reading I was expecting this to be predictable as heck but as I read further it became clear that that wasn’t the case. So then I thought to myself – ‘maybe the author tried to be clever and do the opposite of what readers would expect’.
I was wrong about that too. I’m grateful that Sara Holland wrote a plot and characters twisty enough to be unpredictable.
Seeing Sempera through the lens of Jules was interesting. Her opinion of her world and it’s occupants definitely coloured mine as a reader, but Holland is such an expressive writer that that isn’t all you see. There is plenty of room to see past Jules’ prejudices and realise that she holds them in the first place. We don’t learn a lot about any side characters, but it seems purposeful rather than lazy and I wasn’t bothered by it.
Bonus points for this book: women supporting women, no true love triangle, no overt or overtly annoying romance, great characters, cool world concept, and an interesting villain.
The more I read, the better it got. I was breathless by the last chapter. I will certainly be reading the next book.
What did you think of Everless? Read any shifty or non-shifty YA lately? Let me know in the comments below!