I thought the story has a decent start. However, when the love interest, Damen, enters the scene, the love story starts to sound more and more like Twilight. The teenage girl with low self-esteem and the guy she thinks is too good for her. Add in some mind reading and immortality and you're all set!
The difference that I do see is the characters. The "best friend," Haven, was a little lacking and not likable in my opinion. I mean, seriously, if a “friend” treated me that way, I would have to reclassify what I considered them to be. Damen was a very under developed character. All I could really tell (until the end of the book) was that the guy liked his freedom and to mess with girls' heads. Not much of a likeable character either. I did think the little sister was funny.
Ever, the main character, could have been developed a little better as well. She's got the mind reading (an easy way to develope the characters around her) and her ability to see auras. However, the auras are only explained by a list in the front of the book, so you either ignore what they mean or keep flipping back and forth.
This book definitely could've been given more depth. I plan to read the sequel in hopes that the author improves upon this story that has such potential.
SUMMARY: SPOILERS AHEAD!
Ever used to be a normal girl, a popular cheerleader that had it all, but all of that changed in the accident where she died and lost her family. She came back somehow and is now psychic, highly affected by people’s touch. She hides behind a hoodie and iPod to keep the thoughts out. Because of this, she is constantly tortured by Stacia (popular, spoiled brat), Honor (Stacia’s #2), and Craig (Honor’s gay boyfriend). They say she had a “near death experience,” but Ever knows better. She remembers being out of her body and the man that asked her name before she passed back out.
Damen has moved from New Mexico and has his first day at Ever’s school. Everyone can’t stop talking about him, including Ever’s friends Haven (5’1” slim girl who goes through phases quickly and is addicted to support groups) and Miles (gay guy who is a tad flambouyant). Haven calls dibs on him and Miles wants to hit his car with Ever’s car door so that he has an excuse to talk to him. Ever nixes the idea, but Miles takes off her hood and sunglasses so that she can look at Damen. She is astonished to find that unlike everyone else, Damen does not have an aura.
Ever is living with her dad’s twin sister, Sabine, who is a big shot attorney and rarely home. This gives Ever time to communicate with her dead sister, Riley. Sometimes, Riley even rides to school with Ever. However, Ever gets a little creeped out if Riley stays after she picks up Miles.
Haven is near obsessive of her dibs on Damen. She wants Ever to assure her that she is a liability rather than a threat, so Ever does, and in the process humiliates herself in front of Damen. In the classroom, Damen touches Ever’s hand to get her attention so that he can return her book. She notices that the overwhelming noise stops when he talks and touches her. At lunch, Ever is surprised to find Damen sitting at her lunch table with Miles and Haven. After some polite conversation, Ever ends up dropping her water bottle, but Damen catches it before it can hit the table. She starts to wonder how he moved so fast. Then she starts wondering what he’s doing hanging out with their lowly group.
Ever is getting ready to go out to dinner with Sabine. After she gets dressed in nice clothes, Riley appears and starts nagging her about the way she usually dresses. After telling Ever about how her old boyfriend is dating her old best friend, Ever yells at Riley. Riley departs telling Ever about their parents. Later at dinner, Sabine touches Evers arm and Ever gets a look at Sabines feelings. They enjoy the rest of the dinner.
After dinner, Ever is waiting on Sabine when Damen shows up. He meets Sabine, but declines her offer to join them at home, pointing to a redhead who the out of town guest he is entertaining. The girl gives Ever an unfriendly smile. When ever looks back, Damen is really close to her and produces a red tulip out of nowhere and leaves. When she is alone back in her room, she realizes that the redhead didn’t have an aura either. Later that night, Ever is waken up by Riley rummaging in her room. Only when she hears the person ask, “You can see me?” does she realize that it not Riley. It’s Damen. Ever passes it off as a dream.
Damen tries to strike up a conversation with Ever. He tells her that he is emancipated, so he doesn’t live with his family either. He asks Ever about her family, and she tells them that they are dead just as class starts. At lunch, Ever finds a red tulip in her lunchbox and Damen explains his apologies and that his family is dead as well. Haven appears and thinks the two of them are getting too friendly, but goes on to tell about her weekend. Miles tells about how he was texting a guy who turned out to be a liar. When Miles asked for a picture, they guy sent one of Damen from his modeling days. Ever thinks its odd that Damen looks the same age as he did two cities ago. Ever and Damen seem to bond in art class.
The next morning, when Ever asks for Riley’s help choosing a sweater, Riley realizes that Ever has a crush. Ever denies it, but Riley is determined to find out. When Ever gets to English class, she sees Damen blocking her way to her seat, talking with Stacia. Not only does he pull out a white rosebud for her, but he also asks Ever to pass a note to her during class. At lunch, the group is disappointed to see that Damen is siting with Stacia and her A-list friends. Ever tries to think of a way to get out of art, but goes anyway. She sees that her easel is holding the note she refused to pass for Damen in English class. She flicks it away and the teacher offers it back to her. After Ever says that its not hers, the teacher says that it has her name on it. She opens it to find a sketch of a red tulip.
Sabine and Ever decide to throw a Halloween Party. While Sabine has a robust list of guests, Ever has two. Riley helps her decorate for the event and in the process, gets Ever to admit that she is into a boy. Eventually, Ever convinces Riley to check on Sabine’s witch costume while she dons her Marie Antoinette garb. Riley expresses her sadness at never becoming a teenager, but seems to get over it quickly. As the night goes on and Haven and Miles are enjoying the company of their plus ones, Damen shows up dressed as Count Fersen, the counterpart to Ever’s costume. A little later, Ever finds out that Sabine hired a psychic named Ava who can see Riley. While Ever and Damen are talking alone, they kiss. Haven breaks it up to announce that she is leaving with Drina, the redhead Damen previously had dinner with (who is also dressed as Marie Antoinette). Drina is wisking Haven away and offers for everyone to join. Damen refuses and takes Ever’s hand, but leaves shortly after the others. Ever talks to Ava about her own psychic powers and Riley needing to move on.
On Monday, Ever picks up Miles and (after explaining that his phone was gone in his dad’s attempt to make him masculine) he starts asking about her kiss with Damen. They are both put off by the fact that Damen took a souvenir. In class, Damen is back to acting normal. Ever asks if he ran out of rosebuds, and Damen explains that Ever is strictly a red tulip girl. He doesn’t show up to lunch at all. Haven has completely forgiven Ever and is okay with the Damen situation. Later that night, Damen calls asking to see Ever. Since it is late, Ever refuses. In English class, Ever is a little cranky about the whole Drina situation, including how Haven is trying to replicate everything about her. Damen wants to make it up to her. He convinces her to skip the rest of the school day to go to Disney Land. They have a great time and when they are leaving, Damen is supposed to follow Ever home. However, Haven calls saying that her friend Evangeline has been missing since Halloween (when her and Drina left her at the club) and that Drina also went to Disney Land that day. Damen is no longer following her.
Ever ignores a voicemail and has a fight with Riley. She leaves for school after Riley threatens to stop coming around. Damen waited for Ever even though they were both going to be late. Damen unlocks the gate somehow and then decides to ditch school. In class, Ever starts thinking of her old life and starts running to the bathroom to wallow in her sorrows. She runs into Stacia (accidently ripping her dress) who threatens to destroy her. While Ever may have plenty of dirt on her, she’s still not as credible of a source as Stacia. Later at lunch, Haven is continuing to try to be more like Drina with the start of a tattoo of a snake eating its tail.
Damen comes over to Ever’s and avoids Riley while walking through the house. Ever keeps asking how Damen manages all of the strange things he does. He finally tells her: magic.
The next day at school, Damen is absent again. Miles asks a question about Drina and Haven goes off on a rant accusing Ever and Miles of being horrible friends. After school, Damen shows up at Ever’s and they go to the racetrack. The bet on horses and each make some money. Damen buys Ever a horse-bit bracelet.
Sabine leaves for the weekend with a guy named Jeff, leaving Ever the whole house to herself. Damen and Ever skip school and go to the beach, where Damen shows her a secret cave. Ever stops them from having sex and falls asleep. She wakes up to a note saying that Damen went surfing, but when she checks the beach, he’s no where in sight. When Ever comes home, Riley tells her that she spent the day with Ava. Haven shows up saying that her friend Evangeline is dead just as Damen pulls up. Damen asks about Haven’s tattoo and she storms off to meet Drina. Damen comes up with explanations for the current odd happenings.
The next morning, Damen shows up and they spend the entire day together. Damen makes Ever dinner. They spend the night together with Damen mysteriously vanishing and reappearing in the middle of the night. In the morning, Damen leaves to do chores and refuses to show Ever where he lives. Ever asks for Riley’s help and it turns out that Riley has already checked up on Damen, which ended up creeping her out. She draws Ever a map to where he lives and then tells her that she will be gone for a while, promising to return.
Ever goes to Damens and finds a room full of really old items, such as a paintings of Damen from different centuries and books signed by dead authors. She hears sounds from down the hall and finds Damen over a bleeding Haven. Ever freaks out and Damen knocks her unconscious. She wakes up in her own bed and goes about her normal school day. Damen tells Miles about how they were surfing the day before. Miles tells Ever that Haven is at home mourning the loss of her friend.
Haven returns to school explaining that she had a really bad flu. She mentions blood and Ever faints. Haven says that was how her flu started out, so Damen takes her back to his place. Damen tries to explain away the weirdness, but Ever decides its best to go home. She thinks that she is going crazy. She does her best to ignore him at school the next day. Damen puts the entire school to sleep to try to get Ever to listen. She runs out to her car, where he is waiting for her. He says that he was sucking the infection out of Haven’s tattoo. Ever thinks that he’s a vampire, Damen explains that he is an immortal. He tells her that he’s the one that saved her after the car accident. She blames Damen for her miserable existence and says she never want to see him again. He fills the parking lot with red tulips.
Ever goes to a festival with Miles and Haven. Ava catches her alone and offers to help her again. She ignores the offer. Drina calls Haven and while they chat, they discuss how creepy the relationship is. Haven comes back and spikes their drinks. She then tells Ever that Drina wanted her to know that she saw Damen in New York. Ever finds out that her abilities are numb by alcohol. She takes it too far and ends up getting slobbering drunk in the school bathroom with Stacia, who reports her and gets her suspended.
On December 21, Ever wakes up to a black feather on her pillow and the painting from her trunk in her room. She sees that the painting is of a blond girl in a foggy canyon. She starts driving and Miles calls her to tell her about a secret party that Haven couldn’t keep secret. Ever realizes that she is almost there when he tells her that it is in a canyon. Drina takes her phone and informs her that she is going to kill her. Ever decides to go down fighting while Drina is just playing with her before her demise. Drina explains how she messed up everything in Ever’s life just to make her completely alone. Ever thinks of her family, of the last time she was truly happy, and decides to go on the offensive. As she charges Drina, she sees a circle of light and goes for it. She finds herself with Damen in Summerland (a dimension between dimensions). Damen shows her that she can manifest anything she wants or thinks of, which can also be done on Earth, but it takes longer. Damen tells Ever that she is also an immortal.
Damen tells ever his story. His father dabbled in alchemy, Damen continued his work after he was orphaned. Became immortal but was a ward of the church, which was were he met Drina. She was sick and dying and Damen couldn’t bare to loose her so he made her immortal as well. They got married. Damen was miserable until he met Ever, but he kept loosing her to Drina every time she reincarnated. He tells Ever that she chose life by going through the portal to Summerland, but she will have to decide what she wants to do with it. He puts her back in her room.
Ever can finally see Riley again now that the alcohol is finally out of system. Her little sister finally convinces her to go see Ava for help. Ava puts up a shield to block Ever’s ability and tries to convince her that she needs to tell Riley to move on.
Ever goes back to life as normal. Riley is back to visiting her more consistently. Miles and Haven get significant others. On Valentine’s Day, she receives a lollipop from Damen to let her know that he is thinking of her. Ever finally decides that Ava is right and that Riley needs to move on.
Ever decides that she wants to be with Damen and that is when Drina shows up. She admits that she caused the accident that killed Ever’s family. When Drina attacks, Ever finally finds her strength and starts fighting back. Ever is about to give up and gives Drina one last hit in the chest, in her weak spot (chakra) which kills her. Damen shows up just in time to see Drina die. He and Ever make up.