Cheerleader Isobel Lanley is horrified when she is paired with Varen Nethers for an English project, which is due—so unfair—on the day of the rival game. Cold and aloof, sardonic and sharp-tongued, Varen makes it clear he’d rather not have anything to do with her either. But when Isobel discovers strange writing in his journal, she can’t help but give this enigmatic boy with the piercing eyes another look.
Soon, Isobel finds herself making excuses to be with Varen. Steadily pulled away from her friends and her possessive boyfriend, Isobel ventures deeper and deeper into the dream world Varen has created through the pages of his notebook, a realm where the terrifying stories of Edgar Allan Poe come to life.
As her world begins to unravel around her, Isobel discovers that dreams, like words, hold more power than she ever imagined, and that the most frightening realities are those of the mind. Now she must find a way to reach Varen before he is consumed by the shadows of his own nightmares.
His life depends on it.
Published in US: Aug 2010
1st in series
I was really drawn to the premise of this story and while I liked the characters, the plot just was not for me. That said, I couldn't put it down even in the parts that seemed to drag a bit. In the more complex parts, I think it was all me because I think I just didn't get it. Probably because I've never quite understood Poe and I skipped over the discussions about the work, and it correlated with the plot.
While I think that Varen was awesome, and I appreciate that Isobel defies the popular status and genuinely wants to be a nice person, Gwen was really my favorite. I love her eagerness, bluntness and wish that she could have held a more critical part in the plot.
I was pretty lost at the end, and was kinda let down that there wasn't a complete happy ever after, but I suppose since its a first book, that is understandable.