Chapter One

“Guess who?”

Haven’s warm, clammy palms press hard against my cheeks as the tarnished edge of her silver skull ring leaves a smudge on my skin. And even though my eyes are covered and closed, I know that her dyed black hair is parted in the middle, her black vinyl corset is worn over a turtleneck (keeping in compliance with our school’s dress-code policy), her brand-new, floor sweeping, black satin skirt already has a hole near the hem where she caught it with the toe of her Doc Martens boots, and her eyes appear gold but that’s only because she’s wearing yellow contacts.

What to say about these sentences… apart from the fact that I dislike them already. Partly because all the adjectives make them sound like a high-schooler’s creative writing project, and the outfit descriptions remind me not-so-fondly of ‘My Immortal’. But really, this is like the first two sentences and already my gut’s telling me I’m in for a bad time.

Next, our main character (Ever Bloom) tells us that Haven’s father is not really away on a business trip like Haven thinks he is, her mom and her mom’s personal trainer are at it like rabbits, and her brother broke her ‘Evanescence’ CD. How the hell did she know all that stuff?

But I don’t know any of this from spying or peeking or even being told. I know because I’m psychic.

I read the last sentence to the tune of ‘I’m Sexy and I Know It’. I couldn’t help it.

Then Noël hits us with a killer line:

Touch is too revealing, too exhausting, so I try to avoid it at all costs.

Once Damen gets here, I’m calling bullshit on that one. The whole book will be rewritten because of Damen’s effect on Ever. Really, this is just sloppy writing. It’s almost like a Deus Ex Machina! Oh, the special Love Interest is here? Fuck everything I’ve written before this scene, now it’s just going to be pointless touching between Ever and Damen because as you know… they just have to touch each other. The relationship is built on physical contact and how hot Damen is, you just know it.

I reach inside the iPod pocket I’ve stitched into all of my hoodies, concealing those ubiquitous white cords from faculty view;

I’m not sure ubiquitous is supposed to be used like this. From the dictionary I’ve got on my Mac, it tells me that ubiquitous is basically another term for omnipresent. So her earbud cords are present everywhere at the same time, using a term characteristically used to refer to God? Methinks not. So that’s a mistake right there.

I just tell her I’ll see her at lunch and head toward class, making my way across campus and cringing when I sense these two guys sneaking up behind her, stepping on the hem of her skirt, and almost making her fall.

It may just be me, but did any of you sense an undercurrent of pity running through that sentence? I have a goth friend, oh she’s getting bullied, I better just act nice because there’s nothing much else I can do. Mind you, Ever doesn’t do shit to help the situation from what I just saw. I imagined her wrinkling her nose and hurrying off so people don’t think they’re actually friends. After all, who’d want to be friends with a goth? (/sarcasm)

I head toward my seat in the back, avoiding the purse Stacia Miller has purposely placed in my path, while ignoring her daily serenade of “Looo-ser” she croons under her breath.

The Scary Sue has been introduced good and early in this novel. Makes my job that much easier. By the way, Noël: you don’t need to beat us over the head with the dialogue of the minor antagonist. I’m not sure about kids in the U.S., but in all the schools I’ve been in only third graders announce their intentions to be mean to you like this.

I wasn’t always a freak. I used to be a normal teen. The kind who went to school dances, had celebrity crushes, and was so vain about my long blond hair I wouldn’t dream of scraping it back into a ponytail and hiding beneath a big hooded sweatshirt. I had a mom, a dad, a little sister named Riley, and a sweet yellow Lab named Buttercup. I lived in a nice house, in a good neighborhood, in Eugene, Oregon. I was popular, happy, and could hardly wait for junior year to begin since I’d just made varsity cheerleader.

Okay, let’s examine this. Popular, happy, cheerleader, nice house, family, cute dog. Everything seemed to be going right, I guess. But the line ‘I wasn’t always a freak’ kind of rubs me the wrong way. It just seems so… overdone. This scenario has been done before, so many times! Teenagers with special powers almost always think of themselves like this. Heck, I know a lot of teenager’s that think they’re freaks in real life (including me, sometimes). But there could be other ways of putting it, especially when you think that Noël could have been more subtle about it. Character interactions and all that. Show and not tell, and all that. But what do I know? I’m not a published author.

My life was complete, and the sky was the limit. And even though that last part is a total cliché, it’s also ironically true.

I hate this narrator. I really do. I really, really, really do. This book is a very good example of shitty first-person narration.

She then goes on to describe her near-death-experience-that-she-says-wasn’t-really-that-near.

It’s like, one moment my little sister Riley and I were sitting in the back of my dad’s SUV,

Why would you begin a sentence with ‘it’s like’?! Why the fuck would you do that? Is Ever, like, a Valley Girl? Is the rest of the book, like, going to be, like, written like this?

Wanting to wander through that vast fragrant field of pulsating trees and flowers that shivered, closing my eyes against the dazzling mist that reflected and glowed and made everything shimmer.

This narration is more purple than Barney the Dinosaur.

I panicked. I looked everywhere. Running this way and that, but it all looked the same- warm, white, glistening, shimmering, beautiful, stupid, eternal mist. And I fell to the ground, my skin pricked with cold, my whole body twitching, crying, screaming, cursing, begging, making promises I knew I could never ever keep.

I really hate this narrator. The last sentence doesn’t even make sense, it’s as if Noël just wrote it for the sake of writing random words! At least… you know what? Forget it. Moving on. I’ll see you in the next chapter, and bring some drinks if you want. I’m packing grape juice.

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  1. Rachel on 12 December 2013, 02:25 said:

    And I fell to the ground, my skin pricked with cold,

    Not bad. Purple, but not bad so far.

    my whole body twitching,

    A tad melodramatic, but okay.

    crying, screaming, cursing, begging,

    Hold on a sec—your body is doing all that? Which part of you is screaming and which part of you is cursing?

    making promises I knew I could never ever keep.

    Her body is making promises….

    ….that she knows she can never keep….


    Now that just sounds dirty.

  2. Potatoman on 12 December 2013, 02:35 said:

    Now that just sounds dirty.

    Lol. Just you wait.

  3. The Smith of Lie on 12 December 2013, 16:39 said:

    I witheld the comment about the name from the previous part of the spork, waiting to see the 1st chapter and maybe being proven wrong, but it was in vain. Any character named Ever Bloom only has business being a disgruntled child of hippie parents.

    Seeing as she was your stereotypical, popular and idealized kid, before gaining awesome powers of blackmail, identity theft and espionge of all kinds, nothing indicates this.

    And yes, I will insist that having powers as described here is in no way curse. Seriously, she’s little short of possesing a (somewhat limited) intellectus. She knew things about Goth Friend (no, I do not intend to remember names of characters, Verb+Noun monikers are good enough for them) family that Goth Friend herself was not aware of. So much potential for abuse…

    I feel ripped off and I did not even buy the book (nor did I steal it if you wonder).

  4. BlackStar on 13 December 2013, 14:34 said:

    Haven’s warm, clammy palms

    Clammy means cold and damp. It’s a contradiction to say “warm” and “clammy” when referring to the same thing.

    @The Smith of the Lie, I completely agree about her name. I can excuse flowery/dramatic/symbolic names if the people live in a fantasy world or there was clearly some circumstance in which an unusual name would be given, but a kid who’s been raised in a typical family and environment in the United States wouldn’t have such a name. If it’s revealed to be symbolic or something later on, I’ll just call even more bullshit, because from what I know of the novel, neither she nor her parents were ever aware of her psychic powers and backstory and whatnot. Therefore, it’d make zero sense to give her that name and just smacks of Sueishness.

  5. Pryotra on 13 December 2013, 16:30 said:

    You know, the line “I wasn’t always a freak” annoys me for another reason. It means that at some level, she sees the people that she hangs out with the people who are dealing who her emocrap are all freaks. The only people who are normal are the blonde cheerleaders who sound so generic in their interests that I highly doubt that such creatures exist.

    Everyone else who has anything that resembles a personality is a freak.

    I hate this character. I hate her more than Bella Swan.

  6. Brendan Rizzo on 13 December 2013, 22:17 said:

    So I’m not the only one who was getting My Immortal vibes from that opening paragraph. I actually feel a little cheated that that scene did not involve sexual situations in any way. ;-)

    You know, it’s astounding how much Little Miss Whiny angers about her psychic powers when we are shown no real downsides to them. If she keeps this up, she’ll fail the Jeanette Swanson test.

    (Yes, that is something I came up with just now. It’s why you’ve never heard of it before.)

  7. Brendan Rizzo on 13 December 2013, 22:18 said:

    Meant to say “angsts”. Damn autocorrect.

  8. Dashery on 14 December 2013, 00:21 said:

    Abandon all hope, ye who enter here.

  9. Royal_Terror on 22 December 2013, 00:42 said:

    I just tell her I’ll see her at lunch and head toward class, making my way across campus and cringing when I sense these two guys sneaking up behind her, stepping on the hem of her skirt, and almost making her fall.

    Firstly, how can someone step on the hem of the skirt of a standing person? Secondly, why is Ever cringing? Thirdly, how could she not have fallen after her skirt was (somehow) stepped on? Fourthly, did she retaliate in any way? I mean, she’d know who did it. Fifthly, these guys are doing something cruel in public? Is this just a shitty school system where everyone is heartless and/or afraid of getting beaten up if they protest?

    How do you manage to read this, Potatoman? I can’t get through two chapters in fanfiction written this poorly.

    Also, do you know why the girl in the hallway hates Ever so much? I know girls can be awful to each other, but they aren’t usually that venomous without reason.

  10. Potatoman on 22 December 2013, 02:05 said:

    How do you manage to read this, Potatoman?

    Grape juice. Lots of grape juice.

    Also, do you know why the girl in the hallway hates Ever so much?

    I’m pretty sure it’s the stereotypical Scary Sue. Very flat character, and there’s no really concrete reason for her to act like this.

  11. Dancer on 25 December 2013, 18:24 said:

    I feel like these books could be written by computers without losing anything. Not only do they all use the same stock elements, they use them in the same way and they restrict themselves ONLY to those tropes. You could probably lay out excerpts from each book without character names mentioned and people wouldn’t be able to tell if they were from Twilight or House of Night or Evermore or Haunted or that one with the angels in it.

  12. Betty Cross on 1 January 2014, 20:23 said:

    “Ever Bloom?” Where do they get these bizarre first names?

  13. Asahel on 1 January 2014, 23:26 said:

    Where do they get these bizarre first names?

    They ask Kanye and Kim for their rejected baby names?

  14. Cat on 12 June 2015, 14:11 said:

    It bugs me that Ever says she’s listening to “Sid Vicious screaming about anarchy in the U.K.” Anyone who knows anything about the Sex Pistols knows that Johnny Rotten sang that song, not Sid Vicious. Maybe it’s meant to show that Ever is a poser, but I don’t think so. It’s a small detail for me to get annoyed about, but it takes only a small effort on part of the writer to look up a vocalist’s name.