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Sparkles and Lightning

Hello all! I'm Annabelle, a (currently inactive but soon to be back) book blogger with a thing for red roses and rain and fictional boys.

Currently reading

The Hobbit or There and Back Again
J.R.R. Tolkien
Civilization and Its Discontents (The Standard Edition) (Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud)
Sigmund Freud, James Strachey, Peter Gay
The Problems of Philosophy
Bertrand Russell
Dark Triumph
Robin LaFevers
Dark Matter Heart
Nathan Wrann
Temptation (Harlequin Teen)
Karen Ann Hopkins
Man's Search for Meaning
Viktor E. Frankl
Ever (Ever, #1) - Jessa Russo *****FINAL RATING: 4.65 STARS*****CATCHALLEver took me by surprise. When I started it, I had absolutely no idea what to expect. I didn't know at all what it was about, but once I dove into it I quickly found myself being pulled into its world. I was impressed by the originality of the story, and the characters were deep and people that I had no problem connecting with. It was an incredibly fun and yet emotional read, and I found myself laughing and crying at various points in the novel. I connected to it on a deep level and loved it.THE HEROINEEVEREver was a seriously awesome heroine. Though she pines after Toby during their breakup, she doesn't turn pathetic about it. She stays strong throughout the whole thing. I love that. She's not some crumbly girl who needs a boyfriend to make her happy. She's a strong girl in her own right and I think that it would be impossible not to admire that. We all make mistakes, but for the most part Ever makes good choices and she always tries to follow her heart and do the right thing.THE LOVE INTERESTSFRANKIEI adore Frankie. He's very, very sweet, and protective without being overbearing. He's caring, and sexy in that way that quiet guys are, understated but potent. Everything about him seems to be goodness, even though it's implied that he's hiding a few secrets under that soft exterior. But for the most part, he is very open and honest with Ever, always straightforward, but he doesn't bother when she doesn't want to listen. I like that he feels like he can tell her anything. It's easy to see that, even through Ever's eyes.TOBYToby is Frankie's opposite in nearly every respect, except is love for Ever, and possibly a few other things that I could have overlooked. Toby is dark. All about black and leather. But if you break down his exterior and look past that, he's also a very sweet and protective guy, but he expresses it and himself in a different way than Frankie does. At the same time, despite seeming like a stereotype trap, he's not a walking cliché. I can't really tell you how he isn't—only that he isn't. He's a deeply developed character.THE BEST FRIENDJESSIEI wasn't sure how I felt about Jessie for a long time, but I ended up liking her. She's fiercely loyal to Ever and she'll do anything for her. She isn't the type to flake and although she's portrayed as a bit flighty with guys, she is very different with her best friend. Her heart is in the right place and she always knows where she stands: with Ever. No matter what.THE PLOTFrom the very first sentence, Ever drew me into her world. I was immediately dazzled. And that feeling of novelty didn't ever seem to go away. It was like the brilliance of the first time, all the time. And that mae reading this book a pleasure all around.And I loved the whole originality of it. I've really never read anything like it, which is so hard for me to say regarding paranormal romance these days because so many of them feel the same. Not this one. In a world and a genre where boring has taken over, Ever managed to not only be something special but to capture my heart.It didnt feel contrived or fake at all. Ever's story is a very real one. The boy she loves, Frankie, has been dead for two years. But he isn't gone. He's a ghost. And he lives in her house, keeping her company. Then, on the two year anniversary of his death, a boy and his father move into Frankie's old house. That would be Toby. And after that, nothing is going to be the same for Ever.There was action, but there was mostly a lot of emotion. Everything Ever did, and everything that happened to her was based at some level in deep emotion. It's not a shallow book by any means. It's a book that has to be invested in.Another thing I love is that this book is set in Southern California. I'm sure I've read other books set here, but not too many or I'd remember them. And it was really awesome to recognize the places they were talking about and picture everything.Another awesome thing? Ever's mom is named Annabelle.But I digress.THE ROMANCEI love the romance. It's clearly a central part of this book, but it doesn't take over everything. It's important but it supplements the story rather than polarizing it. I really, really like that aspect of it. And although I have to say I'm leaning towards Frankie, I like that in this love triangle I'm still undecided because everything is so balanced! Ever has chemistry with both of these boys, and they both care about her in their ways. So I'm looking forward to see what the future will bring here.THE WRITINGI love Jessa's writing. I really, really do. Ever has a very unique voice. She's very much a teenager, and she's written perfectly in such a way that she doesn't come off as annoying or whiney. She's very much an independent girl and her voice reflects that. Additionally, Jessa's writing allows full characterization of secondary characters even through a first person POV, which isn't always easy to do. Besides which, her writing is just awesome in general. I love the description, and the dialogue was very fun, from the banter-y to the serious.THE ENDINGThe ending…wow. Very sweet. Touching. Well, not the very ending. But there is a scene near the end that is very, very touching. Honestly, I'm not entirely sure why. But it really is. It brought a smile to my face. Probably because it felt so right. But the very ending, including the last line…wow. It's a serious cliffhanger. I couldn't help but wish there was more right away! It was just unexpected enough but seemed plausible and not ridiculous. It was perfect.WRAPUPI absolutely loved Ever. It was an incredibly pleasant surprise and I will definitely be picking up the sequel! In fact, I will be desperately awaiting the sequel because I really, really, really want to know what is going to happen next. It was that good, people. Moreover, I completely and totally recommend this book. To be honest, it's not going to be everyone's cup of tea. No book is. But if you love your fantasy and romance, and you're looking for a unique paranormal romance, I'd definitely recommend checking this one one!FINE.Find more of my reviews on Sparkles and Lightning!