Everneath - Brodi Ashton
First off, this book was written very eloquently in my opinion, even the high school drama, mostly I think, because it was present enough to make the story realistic but wasn't overbearing. This is just a really great prose.
I really enjoyed all the characters, even the ones I didn't like. There were no filler faces aka wasted characters here. They all had a place. The cast is kept small and intimate so there aren't dozens of people to keep track of, which I like.
This is a retelling of the Persephone/Hades myth, loosely done. I mean, it is in modern times with Persephone dating the high school hottie and Hades as an immortal teenage guitarist. There was also a great deal of the Orpheus myth mixed in. They're pretty easy to identify as they are actually spelled out in the story. But it doesn't make the reader feel dumb.
I like Nikki. I think she has a strong mind and knows what she wants. Or at least, what she doesn't. She cares about her family and comes off as the All-American girl (pre-Feed) but she's insecure enough that you can't hate her for it.
I have to commend her for sticking to her beliefs about not feeding off of other people, even if that means not being queen and being sucked into the Tunnels. I mean, being queen vs the Tunnels doesn't seem like a hard choice, but she didn't budge and was unwilling to sacrifice her values. Good for her.
It was a toss up for me between Cole and Jack. I want to say "I 'ship it!" but truthfully, I don't know who I actually want to 'ship. For very different reasons. Jack is loyal and you can tell he really loves Nikki. Hello! He let himself go into the Tunnels for her! He never gave up on her. They definitely have their sweet moments like when he talks about the first time he saw her and tried to get her to bring him the baseball and when he gets her laugh again for the first time .
Cole is an entirely different bag of chips. I think in his own way, he really does care for Nikki, but it's hard to tell because he also wants the power that he believes will come if they're together. However, he's also stated that he doesn't even care if they rule together or not. He just wants to be with her. I don't know if I believe him or not. I think that will play out more in the rest of the trilogy.
It took me a couple chapters to figure out what was actually going on with the story. It wasn't hard though to figure out what the "Feed" and "Tunnels" and "Everlivings" were though.
I kind of had to speed read through this one to get in finished before it was due back. I'm definitely looking forward to reading the other two.