Cheerleader Isobel Lanley is horrified when she is paired with Varen Nethers for an English project, which is due—so unfair—on the day of the rival game. Cold and aloof, sardonic and sharp-tongued, Varen makes it clear he’d rather not have anything to do with her either. But when Isobel discovers strange writing in his journal, she can’t help but give this enigmatic boy with the piercing eyes another look.
Soon, Isobel finds herself making excuses to be with Varen. Steadily pulled away from her friends and her possessive boyfriend, Isobel ventures deeper and deeper into the dream world Varen has created through the pages of his notebook, a realm where the terrifying stories of Edgar Allan Poe come to life.
As her world begins to unravel around her, Isobel discovers that dreams, like words, hold more power than she ever imagined, and that the most frightening realities are those of the mind. Now she must find a way to reach Varen before he is consumed by the shadows of his own nightmares.
His life depends on it.
I am so happy that Wren (thank you Wren! You were so right! Also check out their blog if you haven't yet because it's awesome!) finally got me to read this one! It's great! What I love the most is how dark and gritty the world felt. It was so cool because most of this book takes place in our world and yet it still feels darker. The author does a great job at world building. One of the best examples of world building that I've ever seen.
The characters are all great. I do think a few fell just a little into the "I'm just here for plot reasons", but only a few. Most of the side characters were actually very flushed out in my opinion. Our main character Isobel is very well rounded and I loved her. I also like that it showed that not all cheerleaders are bitchy. One of my best friends was a cheerleader and she was so sweet and awesome (most of her friends were your typical cheerleader type but she wasn't.) I like that Isobel wasn't scared to stand up for herself. She did what she thought was right, even if it meant losing her friends. I love people like that.
Varen... I have a soft spot for any alternative person. I usually fall for them in any book they are in. Varen was no different. I fell for him right along with Isobel. He's so perfectly dark and such a lonely soul. I can see why he did the things he did and I can't fault him. I understand him.
The plot is top notch, it does take a while to get started but I'm glad for that, it gives you time to get the characters set up and the feelings between the two to start. I can't wait to dive into the next one which I recently got.