Saturday Showcase (April 26)

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Saturday Showcase is a weekly event hosted here at The In-Between Place which features books that you wish more people had read (or, at least, heard about).

This week’s featured book is Nevermore by Kelly Creagh.

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.

At first glance, Nevermore seems like your typical story involving “star-crossed lovers,” however there’s so much more to it. Dark paranormal forces that are inspired by Poe’s works and his tortured life are at play, resulting in a creepy mystery that will inspire you to pick up “The Complete Works of Edgar Allan Poe” right away.

What are some of your favourite underrated books? Leave a list in the comments below.
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Top Ten Authors Who Deserve More Recognition

It’s Tuesday, which means that it’s time for Top Ten Tuesday, a book meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

This week’s topic is top ten authors who deserve more recognition, which is probably the most difficult one so far. There are a lot of books that I wish more people would read, but when it comes to authors, I’m never sure which ones to choose. (It also doesn’t help that I spent all weekend in Niagara Falls and couldn’t plan my Top Ten Tuesday post in advance, so if it’s rambly and scattered, I’m so sorry!)

Here’s my list, in no particular order:

1. Carlos Ruiz Zafon (The Shadow of the Wind)
Even though I first heard about him a few months ago, I am in love with his Cemetery of Forgotten Books series. Zafon has such a beautiful writing style, and there are so many gorgeous quotes tucked into all of his books.

2. Colin Meloy (Wildwood)
Wildwood is one of my favourite children’s books. It’s beautifully illustrated, intelligently written, and is just a really fun read. Fun fact: Colin is also one of my favourite singers and his band, The Decemberists, is fantastic. Listening to their albums is like hearing a story, so it’s no wonder he’s pretty good at this whole writing thing.

3. Jillian Larkin (Vixen)
The release of the Flapper series was completely overshadowed by Anna Godbersen’s Bright Young Things (which is also good, but much better known because of her Luxe series). I’m slightly obsessed with any book that takes place in the 1920s, so this series was an automatic must-read for me. After all, between flappers, speakeasies and drama that rivals Gossip Girl, what’s not to like?

4. Lauren Morrill (Meant To Be)
Meant To Be is one of the cutest YA contemporary books I’ve ever read. I haven’t been able to find it at any of my local bookstores – which is a shame, since it’s quirky, fun, and set in London.

5. Kelly Creagh (Nevermore)
By now, you guys have all probably seen my many posts about how much I love this series. A combination of dark supernatural elements inspired by Edgar Allan Poe, interesting characters, and a pretty cute, believable romance makes for an excellent yet creepy read.

6. Heather Dixon (Entwined)
Entwined is one of my favourite fairytale retellings. Twelve strong female characters, dark secrets, sweet romance that isn’t the main focus, and some magic make for a thoroughly enjoyable read. Also, the cover is gorgeous enough that I need to buy a copy to display on my bookshelf as soon as possible!

7. Beth Revis (Across the Universe)
I loved Across the Universe. It’s a really neat sci-fi story with so many plot twists and turns. I haven’t read the last book yet since I really don’t wan this series to be over, but I’d be more than okay with it being made into a movie.

8. E. Lockhart (The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks)
Her books are so underappreciated, which is probably due to cover judging (which I almost did with her Ruby Oliver series). They’re filled with quirky, intelligent, strong female leads who are trying to find their place in life, which is something I can definitely relate to.

9. Patrick Rothfuss (The Name of the Wind)
His works are becoming better known, due to his inclusion on George R.R. Martin’s list of books that Game of Thrones fans should read. However, despite that, a lot of people still don’t know about The Kingkiller Chronicle, which is an excellent fantasy series. And, you know, it helps that his reviews and blog posts never fail to make me laugh.

10. Sarah Strohmeyer (How Zoe Made Her Dreams (Mostly) Come True)
In discussions of contemporary YA writers, Sarah Strohmeyer sadly isn’t mentioned all that often. I loved Smart Girls Get What They Want, and How Zoe Made Her Dreams (Mostly) Come True is one of my favourite contemporaries that I could gush over all day (two words: Disney theme-park). They’re such fun, fluffy reads filled with adorably sweet romance, an entertaining plot, and loveable characters.

Who are some of your favourites?
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Book Review: Nevermore by Kelly Creagh

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.

My Rating:  4 cupcakes

At first glance (and for the first ~100 pages) this seems to be your typical “popular girl is forced to work with unpopular boy, they surprisingly fall for each other and, against all odds, manage to overcome adversity (social standings, football playing boyfriend, etc.) to get together” type of story. However, Nevermore is so much more than a tale of star-crossed lovers – there are much darker paranormal forces at work, inspired by Poe’s works and his tortured life, which is when things start to get very interesting.

While the promise of Edgar Allan Poe initially piqued my interest, it was the characters that caused me to fall in love with this book in the way that I did. Isobel is so much more than your typical blond cheerleader – she is smart, strong, passionate and close with her family, who play an important role in the book. Varen is wonderfully sarcastic, intelligent, and a bit of a mystery. I’ll admit that I added him to my list of book boyfriends as soon as he referred to Poe as a “literary god” and my love for him continued to grow as the book progressed and his vulnerable side was brought to light. Their relationship was believable, sweet, complicated – and it wasn’t the main focus of the book, which made me like it even more.

Kelly Creagh’s writing style is beautiful. The descriptions are so detailed that you can visualize everything perfectly. You can certainly tell that Creagh did her homework – the portions involving Poe’s life are meticulously researched and interesting, and will inspire you to pick up a copy of The Complete Works of Edgar Allan Poe. As some mysteries are solved, many other questions will arise, resulting in a fast paced read that seems much shorter than its ~543 pages and will leaving you wanting to read Enshadowed straight away.

Teaser Tuesday (June 11)

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly event hosted by Should Be Reading, which asks you to grab your current read, open to a random page, and share two teaser sentences.

This week’s teaser comes from Nevermore by Kelly Creagh.

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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.

“‘Why would Poe write a story about some lavish palace and take so much time talking about all these different-colored rooms and build up all of this stuff about this chiming clock and some sagacious prince and his drinking pals if he’s just going to kill everybody at the end?’
‘Because,’ Varen said, ‘in the end, Death always wins.’” – page 108

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