Overall Impression: A disappointing end to an otherwise enjoyable series.
(To read my review of the previous book in the Kissed by an Angel series, Everlasting click here.)
I’m so sad that this book series has finally come to an end. *Sniff, sniff.* I’ve been following along with each installment for a while now – pretty much since I started this blog 3+ years ago and so many things have changed since then that I can’t help feeling a little bit nostalgic! I’ve always cited this series as my guilty pleasure, but unfortunately, book six the final novel in the series was a real disappointment for me. And thinking about it, I think it links back to how much I’ve changed since I started reading this series. My reading tastes are different, I’ve read a lot more widely and I’ve grown up. Sadly, this has made the faults of this book excruciatingly clear.
This review is spoiler free if you’ve read the previous books in the series!
Ivy is no stranger to death. She’s mourned her boyfriend, Tristan, and knows many who have died at the hands of her stepbrother, Gregory, and new-friend, Bryan. But now that Ivy is their next target, death has become terrifyingly real.
Tristan, now a fallen angel, is trapped in the body of a framed killer. He will do anything to keep Ivy safe – including endangering his own soul in the process. Ivy can’t let Tristan make that sacrifice, not after all they’ve been through to finally be together..
But with both her enemies closing in, Ivy’s running out of options fast, and is losing hope that she and Tristan are destined to live happily ever after. But Ivy will do everything she can to save herself and her soul mate, even if she has to die trying…
I really struggled with the writing in Everafter, I don’t know if it was particularly bad in this novel because I’ve never had a problem with it before or if my knowledge of writing has simply improved, I have a feeling it’s a little bit of both. Chandler’s writing has always been simplistic, but she has always made up for it by making her stories engaging. Unfortunately, I never felt engaged reading Everafter, and it seemed like 90% of the book was telling rather than showing which was unpleasant to read. The dialogue made me cringe, especially the declarations of love between the two protagonists which were overdramatic and cliché, and although I normally love how cutesy and sweet the author’s storytelling is, this too appeared to be lacking this time around.
The thing with Everafter is that it’s old fashioned YA. What I mean by that is Chandler published the first novel in this series in 1995 and then returned to add to the series again in 2011 when the paranormal romance market rose in popularity. There’s been such a revolution in YA lately and it just keeps getting better and better, but reading Chandler’s writing it’s clear that she hasn’t moved and adapted with the times because her plots, characters and themes aren’t very complex or sophisticated. To be brutally honest, it doesn’t stack up in comparison to the amazing books I’ve been reading recently; it’s starting to feel dated which is both sad but interesting from a reader’s perspective.
I struggled with this book partly because it didn’t feel like an individual story by itself and was very much a continuation of the previous novel, Everlasting. Instead of tackling a new problems, it dealt with the ramifications of the previous novel without adding anything new or interesting. Gregory’s powers continued to grow, Ivy and Tristan were still struggling with making their relationship work while also trying to clear Tristan’s name as a wanted murderer while the real killer was still on the loose. I did enjoy the additions of the characters pondering their futures in terms of going to colleges and having their friendships split up, and a lot of the clues that helped the characters catch the killer were inventive and unusual but this couldn’t overrule the main issues I had. I feel like it would have been so much better if this hadn’t been turned into an individual book and instead had been included in the previous novel because the pacing felt slow and off-kilter. It certainly doesn’t help that these books are short, as by the time you’ve oriented yourself as a reader to what was going on with the story last time the book is almost finished which makes it hard to get a good reading flow going!
The characters didn’t experience much growth in this installment, so it’s difficult for me to say anything new about them. Tristan and Ivy were still the same love-struck teens fighting for what was right and fair in the world. It was great to have the no longer possessed Beth back to provide some much needed humour and normalcy, and Will was still as chivalrous as ever. However the bad guys and their motivations were weak and almost laughable. It seemed like every word that came out of their mouths was a cliché, and I was almost poised to hear a ‘I’ll get you Dorothy and your little dog too.”
The main thing that I wanted from this novel was for Tristan and Ivy to get the worthy ending that they deserved. I’ve been rooting for this bookish couple for a long time, fist pumping every time they conquered that barriers between life and death. Did Chandler give me what I wanted? Well, yes and no. I feel like she did her characters justice, but events didn’t turn out exactly the way I wanted them too, but at the same time, I felt it was the only way the story could have ended. I loved the twist towards the end even though I saw it coming, and it made for a memorable, bittersweet ending.
Overall, although it was great to have an additional three bonus books added to this series due to the rise of the paranormal romance genre, I think it would have been better if the author had stopped the story where she originally intended because it was rounded off so well. I hate having to give this book such a low rating (all the previous books have been 4+ stars), but even though I tried to search for the good in Everafter, I struggled to find it. Put simply, I’ve outgrown this series and it’s a real shame that I didn’t finish it before this happened, but I will still cherish the memories of younger me reading the earlier books, utterly engrossed in their pages.
I recommend this series to younger YA fans who like paranormal romance and supernatural stories with star-crossed lovers!
Writing Style: 2/5
Character Development: 1/5
Would I recommend this book? No.