Evermore is the sequel to Everless by Sara Holland. This post will have some big spoilers from the first book. If you want to know more about the first book, check out the review I did. Continue reading for a few surprising spoilers from the first and hopefully nothing too crazy from the second. Now let’s dive into the book!
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Quick Synopsis of Evermore
Everless ends with a bunch of truth bombs dropped. The three big things revealed are Jules’s family, Jules’s identity, and the identity of her nemesis. This nemesis has tortured and killed her eleven times. Now she is trying to break Jules’ heart and reclaim her own. Eleven deaths don’t bode well for this life. Jules decides that the cycle stops here and journeys through her past for some knowledge or weapon to help her come out on top the next time she faces off against the Sorceress.
Internal and External Conflict
Internal and external conflict are both needed to bring a character and a world to life. One without the other, the story is bland. It also doesn’t make for interesting reading because the characters fall flat. In real life, people have internal problems and situations they are trying to process while also attempting to navigate living in this world. Authors with good characters recognize this and mimic this in their characters.
Jules has both struggles in Evermore. This book is a continuation of the journey Jules faced in Everless. In Everless, she found out more about her family, but she also discovered that she lived 12 times before this. The internal struggle in Evermore is focused on Jules’ past lives. Especially as she learns more about her first life as the Alchemist. Self-discovery is a relatable internal struggle. Sara Holland has linked this inner struggle with the outward quest to find something that will kill Cara.
I feel like Jules is the only character who really develops in Evermore. Broody Liam features very prominently in the continuation of Jules’ story. I wanted to see more of his personality and the progression of their relationship together. There are moments where we get a glimpse into who Liam is, and I wanted a lot more than I got. At the end of the book, I was disappointed that I didn’t know what made Liam tick, other than his obsession with the Sorceress.
Don’t even get me started on the romantic relationship between Liam and Jules. It doesn’t work the way the author wrote it. They share one, maybe two kisses in the middle of the book before she breaks up with him, but on the way to her death, she figures she might as well sleep with him. She calls it love, but I don’t think the characters had enough interaction for Jules to actually fall in love with Liam.
At the beginning of Evermore, Jules has to remind herself the Liam isn’t the enemy. Then they get really close really fast, which is okay. I highly doubt that two not very trusting people would open up to each other that quickly after hiding from everyone else for so long. Also, their first kiss happens after she just kills a guy in self-defense! Death is not an aphrodisiac. I can see her seeking comfort, but if she really was in shock, she was, then there is no way to go from shock to romance.
That whole scene was kind of jarring. I was trying to process what just happened, and so is Jules. Then all of a sudden, she is making out with Liam. I was okay that she finally kissed Liam, but that particular timeline of events just wasn’t doing it for me. There were plenty of other more romantic moments to choose from to start their physical relationship, and right after death wasn’t it.
Main Ideas in Evermore
Now that we got that nasty monster out of the way, there are some redeeming themes in Evermore that Sara Holland uses. One of them is the idea that you push those you love away to protect them. Jules does this with multiple people in Evermore because if she gets too close to them, Caro will kill them. I like how the author shows that this isn’t the final way to protect those you love. Jules ends up reuniting with both people she pushes away before the boss battle. I especially like how Jules learns the best way to protect those she loves is to face the conflict and let her friends help her do it.
Another idea throughout this book is self-discovery. There is a lot of self analyzation and questioning past choices. One of the main actions that Jules examines, is why she stole Caro’s heart in the first place. If she had never stolen it, so many people would still be alive. During the story, she also injures and kills individuals while trying to get away from Caro. Is Jules really a good person? Was there another way to get out of the situation? There are so many self-doubts that Jules wades through in Evermore. I feel like Jules’ journey to self-discovery is a journey that all of us are currently on, and it makes us able to relate to her.
The ending was perfect and was very true to the style of Everless. The middle of Evermore became kind of tedious. I wondered at times what we learned from reliving all of Jules’ deaths. However, three revelations at the end really blew this story out of the water. The ending has Sara Holland’s signature shocking twist that makes you want to go back and reread the book to try and see it earlier in the book. I especially liked seeing Caro’s redemption.
From a few other reviews I’ve read on Goodreads, others didn’t like the ending of Caro’s redemption, and they thought the story didn’t need to end the way it did. I disagree with them. Instead, I think the ending was the perfect way to complete the friendship theme that carried through both novels.
Parent Breakdown for Evermore
Now that we’ve gone over the different story elements, let’s talk about content you should know about going into this book. There is one spot of language. It is actually a repetition of the original phrase used in book one. It occurs in chapter one, and then there is no more crude language for the rest of Evermore.
Violence wise there is a bit more in this book. Towards the beginning, Jules sees her friend’s corpse. The blood is kind of described, but more emphasis is placed on the weapon. Later on, as Jules tried to get away from Caro, she accidentally kills a few guards. In another part, Jules is locked in a battle for her life and kills her opponent with her powers. These struggles are similar to what is found in a PG-13 movie. Honestly, some of the fights could be taken from animated Disney movies.
Earlier I touched on the relationship between Jules and Liam, but let’s breakdown what actually happens. There is one kiss in the middle of the book. Then at the end, another very intense kiss turns into them having sex. That entire encounter lasts for about 5 paragraphs and is easy to skip. I didn’t see a need for that to happen in the book and felt like a different kind of reconciliation could have taken place, or those paragraphs just left out. It is a very poetic description. Meaning I didn’t recognize what was happening until it was all over.
For throwing a sex scene in the book, she did a good job. I wish the author had written that part differently, so she didn’t need that scene. Especially since they had shared one, potentially two kisses before this encounter.
Overall this is a book for sixteen and up because of the adult content. This isn’t your typical fantasy book. It is a toss-up whether you will like it. Readers who aren’t huge fans of fantasy might enjoy it, and die-hard fans will probably get bored. I did really appreciate the internal struggles that Jules’ dealing with throughout this book. The conflict made Jules a very relatable character. I wish some of the others played a greater role and more change in Liam.
What to Read after Evermore
If you haven’t read the first book, make sure to read Everless before you read Evermore. If not, you are in store for tons of spoilers. You also won’t understand everything that’s going on. Another book to read is An Enchantment of Ravens. It has an alternative take on fantasy that I really enjoyed. Graceling by Kristen Cashore is another fantasy novel where the main character goes on a journey of self-discovery and uncovers something unexpected about herself.
What did you think of this book? Did you like the romance between Liam and Jules, or was it a flop for you? Also, how did you react to the ending??!! Tell me below in the comments!