St. Martin's Griffin
16 year old Ever is the sole survivor of a horrific car crash that killed her entire family. The shock of the incident has awakened psychic powers in her which allow her to speak to her bratty younger sister's ghost, and read the thoughts of everyone around her. Overwhelmed by the barrage of thoughts from her classmates, and trying to adjust to her new life with her career-driven aunt Sabine in Southern California, she withdraws into herself, wearing oversized hoodies, and listening to headphones as a way of trying to block everything out. Ever is fascinated with a new guy at her school, Damen Auguste, as she finds that he is one of the only people that she cannot read, and spending time with him brings merciful relief from the normal psychic chatter that she is subject to. This reminded me a lot of Twilight, as her power seemed similar to Edward's. Ever remains timid and helpless throughout most of the story.
Wealthy, jet-setting, sophisticated and bored, Damen Auguste doesn't eat much except for a mysterious "red juice" and it seems as if he's much, much older than he's letting on. School is a breeze for him. Surprisingly, the big reveal is that he's not a vampire, but an Immortal, an alchemist from the Middle Ages who has discovered a potion which gives eternal youth. Damen treats Ever badly, pouring on the charm, and then ignoring her, getting her into dangerous situations and then disappearing, leaving her to deal with the consequences. He showers Ever with tulips, and then turns around and starts flirting with other girls right in front of her.
Ever's reaction to this treatment is rather spineless. She's hopelessly devoted to Damen, and with every cruel little barb he throws her way, she finds ways to justify his behavior. Ever eagerly dumps her only friends, poor-little-rich-girl Haven and gay musical theatre kid Miles as soon as Damen is on the scene. She discovers that she has been reincarnated many times over the centuries, each time meeting and falling in love with Damen, but always meets an early end via Damen's jealous ex-wife, Drina, who is determined to keep her man to herself. Ever's final showdown with Drina seems anti-climatic when Damen steps in at the last possible moment and rescues her.
What this book does have going for it, is readability. It's a light, undemanding read. Noel's alternate take on immortality will appeal to teen readers who enjoyed the Twilight series.
I borrowed this book from the library.