Bookgab: Everless by Sara Holland

by - February 14, 2018

When I first read the blurb of Everless by Sara Holland, I was convinced that it was a retelling of "In Time", the well-known Justin Timberlake movie. The two stories explore the same theme of worlds where a person's life is used as currency, but when I actually read the book I soon realised that that is where the similarities end. I know I'm not the only one who thought like this which is why I want to throw this out from the start. The two worlds are very different in the sense that Sara's world is more fantastical and "In Time's" world is futuristic.

A quick synopsis:

Everless is a dark magical Kingdom that thrives off of the blood debts paid to them from the people in the surrounding towns and villages. This world where blood is used as currency and people physically drain themselves in order to buy the food they eat and the clothes on their back, is filled with thieves and crooks only out for themselves. Jules grew up in Everless, with the powerful Gerling family, but she had to flee when she was only a child. Now as a 17 year old, she needs to return to Everless as a servant girl to keep her father alive. Despite her father's warnings she goes back to the place where people rarely turn out to be who you think they are, Jules might even find that she is the most well-kept Everless secret of them all .   

Everless pleasantly surprised me. I knew that it would be a great story because so many people were enjoying the book and giving it amazing ratings on Goodreads, but I thought it would be a little too familiar. A different version of a story that I've already heard. This was not the case for me, however, Sara's writing was beautiful and her world truly transported me. While I was reading Everless I had this knot in my stomach because of the ways in which these people were struggling to stay alive, as soon as someone had their blood let from their body I could feel the blood leave my own. I can only compare it to the feeling you get when you donate blood. Seeing something that's so essential to you taking another breath being drained from your body, is anything but comforting. It makes you feel uneasy, and that's the way I felt each time I turned the page, but in a really really good way.

Jules as a main character was great. I liked her eventhough I didn't always agree with her. She was very impulsive and immature at time which is why she found herself in hot water so often. I do think that Sara could have made Jules doubt her decisions a bit more. She was conflicted at times but in a way that only made me question her actual feelings, whether they were just there to drive the plot and create easy suspenseful moments or if she actually felt those things in her bones.

Spoiler paragraph (skip past it, haha):
When she kissed Roan, she barely felt anything even though she had been building the moment up for so long. Afterwards she easily saw what a coward he really was and it was as if she made up her mind just then, even though he had proved his cowardice in the past. She also thinks about kissing Liam waaaay too soon after his brother's death. I mean I was team Liam from the start, because I knew she didn't have all the information and I want to see that happen, but that's a bit wrong, right?

Anyway, I liked what Jules's character could do and even though I don't like her choices I do think that she was brave and after everything that she had gone through there is no way of denying the strength that she has. 

The thing that stood out most to me about the story, however, was the last 150 pages. I absolutely flew through them because of all the craziness that was going on. Secrets were being revealed left and right and people were dying, no one was who we thought they were and my mouth was hanging on the floor at times. The pacing of the chaos was a bit off, but I was just so happy to see all of the things set up in the beginning of the novel unfold that it didn't bother me in the slightest.

The children's story that Liam kept referring to about the Snake and the Fox was gnawing at my brain the whole time and when Jules puts the pieces together I had to give a huge sigh of relief. If that was not explained this time around I was going to dive deep into the dark web to find some answers haha. That is a rabbit hole that no one should ever find themselves in, trust me. 

Now that I've gotten that off my chest, let's summarise the feels:
  • Bloodletting is cruel and disturbing, but oh so captivating. Yes, I'm the type of person who can't look away from train accidents. 
  • There were no steamy scene, but you'll find yourself captivated by at least one of the Gerling boys. Dark broody, beautiful and kind... I'm sold
  • I loved the whole time manipulation aspect, reading about Briarsmoor made me ache to actually see a place suspended in time. Think, "The Matrix" movies if you're not sure what I'm going on about.
  • So many questions were answered, but now I have so many more! How does the Alchemist's 12 lives work? What life is the Alchemist on????
  • Gold blood is something I now want to see IRL, I'm a child.
  • Now that we all know my Everless crush is not a monster, can we have more of him please???
  • Also, this book left me with trust issues. I won't say who, but let's just say you need to keep a closer eye on your friends. 

Have you read Everless? What were your thoughts? Also, did you see the mayhem coming?
See, so many questions!!!

Disclaimer: This copy was sent to me in exchange for a review from the lovely people at Pan Macmillan South Africa. The review reflects my own thoughts and in no way reflects the views of Pan Macmillan. 

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