Overall Impression: A lighthearted YA read with an intriguing mystery.
(To read my review of the previous book in the Kissed by an Angel series, Evercrossed, click here.)
The Kissed by an Angel series is a bit of a guilty pleasure of mine, and I don’t have many. I am less patient when it comes to the paranormal-romance genre these days and far more scathing, but this series even three years after I first started it still manages to tug at my heart-strings.
Everlasting is definitely one of those books where people look at the cover and frown thinking ‘Really?’
Yes members of the public, really.
Something about this author keeps me coming back for more. Everlasting is the fifth and penultimate novel in the Kissed by an Angel series, and I thoroughly enjoyed it!
Please note: For those of you that haven’t read the previous books in the Kissed by an Angel series, this review will contain spoilers about previous plots and characters from those books. However, this review will not contain any spoilers for Everlasting.
For Ivy, miracle’s are real. After all, it was a miracle this summer when she survived a near fatal car crash. And it was a miracle that Tristan, her boyfriend who died a year ago, returned to earth as an angel. But Ivy knows better than anyone that miracles come at a price. Even though Tristan has come back to Ivy, life is far from perfect. He’s a fallen angel – and he’s trapped in the body of a wanted murderer. With Tristan on the run from the police, Ivy’s not sure she’ll ever get her happy ending.
And when it becomes clear that darker forces are at work, it seems there’s more at stake than either Tristan or Ivy realise. Will they ever be safe together? Or has Ivy finally run out of miracles?
I love Chandler’s writing style, she is remarkably natural with her storytelling. Even though it had been a year since I had read the previous book in this series I quickly fell back into her wonderful story. Within a chapter I became immersed and didn’t want to put Everlasting down. To me, there is nothing specific you immediately notice about Chandler’s style that separates her from a multitude of other authors, the beauty of her writing seems to be her ability to engage a reader. I found myself grinning uncontrollably one moment and gripping my book with despair the next. Although Everlasting is a lightweight read, I did actually find myself getting creeped out in a few places when I was reading late at night, something which I was not expecting! I don’t generally get scared by books so this just showed how effective Chandler’s writing can be. I will admit the occasional awkward sentence made me cringe, but that is often the case with paranormal romance when proclamations of everlasting love are being made. It’s a thin line between the romantic and ridiculous sometimes which can be difficult for authors to get right. What I like most about Chandler’s take on this genre however, is that there’s this sense of innocence in all her books. Even though the story revolves around a teenage love story there are no super lusty scenes which is almost unheard of; it makes her books refreshing. It proves that you don’t need characters to have a make out session in every chapter to create a believable romance. It’s this aspect that gives Chander’s books an odd sense of sugary sweetness I somehow can’t get enough of.
The plot of this novel took a different turn than I was expecting which was a nice surprise. Unlike the previous installments that were centered heavily on the romance side, Everlasting was more preoccupied with a murder mystery, an attempted murder and body possession which made for a nice change of pace. I wasn’t sure if I was pleased with this at first, Ivy and Tristan’s romance was one the key elements that had kept me tethered to this series for so long, however, Chandler weaves the mystery in a way that is compelling and fun with a few sprinkles of romance to keep her readers happy. By the end of Everlasting she completely won me over with her plot choices. I was hooked, desperate to work out who the murderer was, frantically turning the pages with wide eyes and far too much concern over the future of my beloved fictional characters. The plot kept me guessing right up to the end, and I always love it when I don’t know how a book is going to resolve.
This novel is not perfect; there were some frustrating plotting issues mostly in relation to Ivy and Will’s blindness and inane comments when it came to Beth’s possession, but I don’t want to talk about that too much because the rest of the story was good enough for me to forgive one small discrepancy. Ultimately, Everlasting gave me exactly what I wanted, an entertaining story to sink into and enjoy.
I can’t get enough of Chandler’s characters, they have been on a long journey and I am so glad to of had the privilege of following along with their adventures. I don’t think I have ever rooted for a couple to succeed as much as with Ivy and Tristan. They have gone though so much pain and hardship together, constantly fighting with the barrier of life and death. They have been separated and reunited multiple times and they so desperately seem to belong together that every time they encounter a new roadblock or foe I find my heart has jumped uninvited into my throat. I want them to conquer the odds so badly.
I love that Ivy as a character is so relatable and normal. There are a lot of protagonist stereotypes in paranormal romance, the pretty girl who doesn’t realise she’s pretty, the sassy sarcastic girl with a complicated past and the social outcast to name a few. Ivy is none of these, she’s a normal girl (well, except for the whole ‘angel boyfriend’ thing) living her life as best she can. Her character is never over-dramatic and has sound morals, she knows who she is and what sort of person she wants to be.
I love Tristan in his many forms, whether as a human, an angel or stuck in somebody else’s body as is the case in Everlasting. He’s weirdly grounded and accepting for a dead guy, rarely lamenting about the life he has lost, but when he does it tugs at my heart-strings. Again, I want a happy ending for him so badly. Even if he doesn’t find a way to stay on Earth or spend his life with Ivy, I want him to prosper. He’s such a genuinely nice character that you can’t help but want him to succeed.
The secondary characters in this book were not as well fleshed out which was a shame, they were indistinct and sometimes I had trouble remembering who was who as they had little bearing on the plot, however, I am so invested in this series now that it didn’t bother me much. One element I did miss was Beth’s character, the lovable bookworm and writer who wouldn’t dare hurt a fly. Although she was present in Everlasting she was possessed by another being for all of it and I missed her quirky personality. I hope that we will get to see more of her in the final book!
I am excited but also incredibly nervous about finishing this series, with only the last book Everafter to go there is still so much to wrap up. Will Ivy and Tristan get their happy ending? Will their tormenters get their comeuppance? Will justice be served? I can only hope so. This is definitely a favourite series of mine and I would recommend it to females 11+ who love honest, grounded characters and cutesy love stories with a dash of the paranormal on the side.
If you like the sound of this book and fancy investigating the Kissed by an Angel series further, I wrote a more general blog post here explaining why I love this series. It’s probably more accessible to those who haven’t read the previous books. 🙂
Writing Style: 4/5
Character Development: 3/5
Would I recommend this book? Yes, and the rest of the series!
Overall Impression: 4/5