The Immortals Series, by Alyson Noel

I want to state for the record that if I were still a teenager I’m certain I would love these books.  I would be painfully shy (again) and certain to lose myself in the characters that do and say things I would never dream of doing or saying.  I’d be so happy that there is another Twilight series (just with slightly different supernatural/paranormal bits) that I’d be over the moon, Blue or otherwise.

However, I am an adult, and a member of that crowd that read YA/teen fiction, so I’m going to talk about this series as who I am.  Sadly, who I am didn’t care for this series as much as I would have liked.  If you ever see me diving from the YA/teen section toward Nicholas Sparks, you’ll know it’s because the fourth in this series, Dark Flame, has been released and I’m looking for it with a view to purchase.

I’m not sure what it was that kept me reading these.  I do have an OCD-like condition that forces me to finish books I’ve started unless they are just so bad that I physically can’t make myself turn the pages.  The Immortals Series didn’t fall into that category, not by a longshot, but there were times when I found myself skipping over paragraphs as I read.

Right, so what are these books about?  Hard to tell you too much without a spoiler warning, so I’ll give you the basic idea.  Ever Bloom, our main character, is involved in a car accident that not only takes the rest of her family from her (including the family dog) but grants her the ability to see auras and telepathically read thoughts.  After her recovery, she is sent to live with her aunt Sabine, who was her father’s twin sister, in California.  She can hear other people’s thoughts all the time, and drowns out the noise with her iPod.  The noise is worse if she makes physical contact, so she tends to wear heavy hooded sweatshirts (that also hide the constant iPod use) and avoid people.

Her life is turned upside down with the arrival of Damen at her new high school.  Damen is glamorous and handsome.  He drives a fancy car and has girls wilting in his wake.  But he only seems to have eyes for Ever.  Could it be that they’ve met before?

Seriously, there are tons of Twilight similarities in this book.  Ever is clumsy and self-loathing, like Bella.  Damen is sharp, handsome, and mysterious like Edward.  They see each other across a parking lot and BAM, love.  Sound familiar?  But if you dig a bit deeper, you’ll see that this story really wasn’t new when Ms. Meyer created Bella and Edward.  What about Heathcliff and Catherine?  Remember Romeo and Juliet?  With that in mind I really can’t fault Ms. Noel for the plot.  It has stood the test of time and is a guaranteed draw for the YA/teen crowd.

I like the twist about who is whose soul mate that surfaces in Shadowland.  To be honest, I think that Blue Moon was modeled (as far as Ever’s story is concerned) on New Moon.  Interference beyond the control of Ever and Damen drives them apart in the second book, but to Ms. Noel’s credit Ever does not completely shut down like Bella did in New Moon.  She works through the problem as best she can, which I think is part of the reason I stuck with these novels.  Ever, for all her faults, is just more believable to me as a teenage girl than some other current heroines.  The storyline has been there and done that, and some of the things that happen in the book (supernaturally speaking) don’t have enough explanation to suit my 30-something mind…but again, that’s why they are aimed at a younger audience.

If you really liked Twilight, if you’re on Team Whomever, if you are a teenager for real or in your mind and want a book to get lost in, this is a good series to choose.  Well written?  In parts.  Irritatingly maudlin?  In parts.  Totally YA?  You betcha.