Everless

Book review by
Andrea Beach, Common Sense Media
Everless Book Poster Image
Absorbing fantasy of blood ties and a race against time.

Parents say

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Kids say

age 12+
Based on 1 review

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

Fantasy meant to entertain.

Positive Messages

People aren't always what they seem. Don't be too quick to judge someone, or even their actions and words; take the time to know and understand them. Don't keep blaming yourself, or looking to blame others, for past mistakes. Do what you must to make things right and move on. Race and ethnicity aren't a factor in this fantasy kingdom, but skin color is sometimes described and ranges from dark to light.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Jules is a good role model for bravery, loyalty, seeking the truth, and willingness to sacrifice in order to help her friends. Her father raised her alone and models love, caring, and willingness to sacrifice for his daughter as well. Jules' friends are mostly poor servants, but their ages vary, so not everyone's a teen like Jules. There are villains motivated mostly by desire for power, and several people, good and bad, aren't what they seem.

Violence

Violent acts are infrequent and include a stabbing, a throat slitting, and a woman cutting a man who tries to grab her breast; blood is mentioned but not described in detail. However, blood is a prominent theme because people draw blood, sometimes involuntarily as punishment, and magically convert it into money; losing blood also shortens your life span according to how much you lose. One detailed description of drawing blood; a few mentions of slicing across the palm and letting blood drip into cups for collection. Some scary visions and dreams, like being shadowed by someone with a knife. Mention of a past battle with slitting throats and drawing blood from the dying. Important characters die.

Sex

Some mild flirtation, blushing, attraction; one kiss with emotions described and mention of hands on waist, cheek, and neck.

Language

"Bitch."

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Jules serves wine at a party. Jules sneaks a swig of sparkling wine and mentions that the alcohol keeps her warm. Jules and friends go to a tavern and have wine with a strong liquor that burns going down, makes her choke, and makes her dizzy. Smell of tobacco smoke.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Everless is a fantasy set in a world where blood is a major theme. Losing blood causes people's life span to be shortened according to how much they've lost, so that days, hours, months, even years can be drained away. The blood is then magically converted into coins that are used as currency but also can be consumed to add time back to the life span. Otherwise there's little violence except a few stabbings, and a throat slitting with blood mentioned but not described in detail. Important characters die. Strong language, sex, and alcohol are infrequent and mild. Narrator Jules is a good role model for bravery, loyalty, and making sacrifices for her loved ones. Everless is fine for young teens and up who enjoy fantasy, intrigue, mild romance, and adventure.

User Reviews

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Teen, 13 years old Written byBookNerdGirl05 June 18, 2018

Amazing with plot twists that will leave you shocked

This book is probably one of the best YA fiction books I've ever read. Holland came up with a story like no other. The whole idea of the story was well th... Continue reading

What's the story?

EVERLESS presents the kingdom of Sempera, where your life's blood is not only your time on earth but also something that can be drained and magically converted into money. Here we meet 17-year-old Jules, who's tired of living in poverty, always at the mercy of the tax collector, ever since she and her father were banished from the Gerling estate when she was still a kid. Now that her childhood friend Lord Roan Gerling is about to marry the queen's heiress, the estate is taking on extra help and paying handsomely for it. Despite her father's warnings never to go near the estate again, Jules determines to get work there. Lucky (and pretty) enough to be selected, she's put to work in the kitchen. Being back on the estate brings back a lot of memories, and those memories start to raise more and more questions about who she is and where she came from. If she can get close to the queen and find what's hidden in the Gerling family vault, she just might find the answers she's looking for.

Is it any good?

Debut author Sara Holland creates a promising fantasy with an intriguing premise that, despite a few bumps, will be enjoyed by fans who like fantasy, mystery, adventure, and a smidge of romance. Everless gives us a variety of relatable, compelling characters, along with some villains, who keep the pages turning as the mystery and intrigue build. Readers will relate to Jules' struggle to make ends meet as well as her desire to know the truth about herself and her family.

Experienced readers may not be surprised by some of the twists that develop, especially about who's to be trusted and who isn't. And Jules is sometimes frustratingly slow to figure things out. Author Holland really keeps things moving as the mysteries deepen and Jules' adventures broaden, and she builds an immersive, imaginative world. Beware of the cliffhanger ending that screams for a sequel.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about fantasy novels like Everless. What are some of your favorites? How does this one compare?

  • Jules wants to learn the truth about her family and her past. How much do you know about yours? Is it important to understand your family history? Does it really matter?

  • Which characters did you trust right away, and which made you suspicious? Why? Did you turn out to be right?

Book details

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