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Monday, July 6, 2009

Review: Blue Moon by Alyson Noel

Title: Blue Moon (The Immortals)
Author: Alyson Noel
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Date Published: July 2009
Genre: Young Adult/Supernatural
Main Themes: Love, Reincarnation, Immortality, Family, Friendship
Pages: 289
From back cover: "Just as Ever is learning everything she can about her new abilities as an immortal, initiated into the dark, seductive world by her beloved Damen, something terrible is happenign to him. As Ever's powers increase, Damen's begin to fade after he is stricken by a mysterious illness that threaten his memory, his identity, his life.

Desperate to save him, Ever travels to the mystical dimension of Summerland, where she uncovers not only the secrets of Damen's past - the brutal, tortured history he hoped to keep hidden - but also an ancient text revealing the workings of time. With the approaching blue moon heralding her only window for travel, Ever is forced to decide between turning back the clock and saving her family from the accident that claimed them - or staying in the present and saving Damen, who grows weaker by the day..."

When Evermore came out I was really, really excited about it. I remember seeing the cover and reading the synopsis on Amazon and thinking that it was going to be a really great new series. Unfortunately, after rushing out and getting it, I found that it wasn't amazing read I thought it would be - it was just okay. I didn't want to give up on the Immortals books though - after all there are some things that I did like and Evermore seemed to improve so that when I finished it, I was looking forward to the next installment in the series (or trilogy...?).

Blue Moon had some definite positive aspects. I liked that Alyson Noel gave the readers a look into Ever and Damen's past lives together... the glimpse was fleeting, but it allowed me to better feel the connection between the two characters that I felt was lacking in Evermore. The characters are supposed to be absolutely crazy about one another, but I just didn't really see it when I read Evermore.

In Blue Moon, Ever spend more time in the alternate dimension called Summerland. She doesn't explore all that much, but Noel does use Ever's time in Summerland to explore some of Ever's memories, as well as delve into some of the magical elements of the Immortals world.

Lastly, I really enjoyed the message sent by Blue Moon. As hinted at in the summary from the back of the book - Ever is given a chance to travel back in time and either save her family or save Damen... This seemed like the first deeper aspect of the Immortals books. Ever is given a chance to change the even that so drastically changed her life - in some ways to her detriment and in other ways to her benefit - and she must consider what is important in her life. And whether it is that she has the power to change the past - just because the past can be changed, should it be?

While I did enjoy these aspects of Blue Moon, there were some glaringly annoying characteristics as well. These parts nearly ruined the whole book for me.

At times I questioned if Ever was meant to be lacking in common sense or if the author just forgot to give her some. She is totally and completely obsessed with Damen through most of the book. Now, I'm all for a good love story. I like the fact that Ever and Damen are destined to be together, but seriously Ever: GET A LIFE. It really bothered me that she had no life outside of Damen. In one part of the book, Ever's friend Miles is complaining about Ever and Damen's PDA and I found myself agreeing with him. And I was in her head as well, so it was even worse. I disappoints me that the author would think that that's a good message to send to girls.

At the same time though, Ever makes a choice or two that totally contradict her dependence on Damen. I can't really say more without spoilers, so I won't, but I didn't really understand how she could have made some of the choices she does.

Another major negative is what I like to call the Edward Syndrome**. Like Bella from Twilight, Ever also seems to think that her significant other is absolutely perfect looking and she frequently poetically describes his beauty. That gets old after awhile - I want to know that she loves him for her personality and wit, not because he is so gorgeous people stop and stare. Its just too shallow for my tastes.

Maybe this shallowness is why I don't really buy Damen and Ever as a couple. Damen seems has his looks and that's all: he's a flat character. Ever is obsessed with Damen, but the reader doesn't really know why except for the fact that he's hot and she's his "soulmate". And she likes to make out with him. In the real world, this relationship would last a week, so how am I supposed to believe that they are supposed to be together forever - literally.

Ratings (out of 10):
Plot: 8
Characters: 6
Writing Style: 9
Romance: 5
Originality/Memorable: 7
Total: 35/50 (C-)

The next Immortals book is due out in February 2010 and titled Shadowland. Even though I was disappointed by Blue Moon, I'm sure I'll read Shadowland. The truth is, I really want to like these books and I keep hoping that the next one will be better.

I wouldn't buy it. I mean, I did - but let's just say that if I could go back in time, I would go back and stop myself from buying this book.

**Don't get me wrong, I love Edward, but the last time I read Twilight I got really tired of reading about how beautiful he was compared to how plain Bella is.


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