No spoilers in this review of Everless by Sara Holland. I liked it and give it 3 stars. This is the first book to suffer from my new rating system. It’s a book I would’ve normally given 4 stars, but I’ve decided too many of the books I read fall into the 3.5-4.5 star category, most of which I would round to 4 stars. So I decided to revamp how I look at each numerical category to provide more distinction between books I think are good versus really good versus great. I will post specific rating descriptions for each number on my Goodreads profile and will list them at the bottom of this review, too, since my new system changed how I rated this specific book.
On to Everless now…This was a quick, fun read. I would file it under the ‘true YA’ category, that is to say it is a clean book fit for YA readers of all ages. I love identifying books that aren’t filled with bad language or adult situations to help younger readers and/or parents of younger readers find YA books that might appeal to them.
This book tells the story of Jules, a girl raised in a kingdom where time is currency. Blood-letters create currency of various amounts by drawing blood from willing adults and infusing the life from it into coins. Citizens use the blood irons in all areas of trade in this kingdom. Most citizens must sell their days, months, and years to provide daily necessities for their families, while the rich hoard the blood irons and consume them to extend their lives.
Jules’s father has aged quickly by trading away too much of his time, so Jules heads to the palace to work as a servant. She can earn blood irons as wages for the family this way instead of her papa drawing any more time from his blood. Roan—a childhood friend on whom Jules might have had a crush—resurfaces while she’s working there. Much to Jules’s chagrin, Roan’s brother Liam is also back and is as irritating as ever.
Not long into her tenure as a servant, Jules receives a cryptic message. She’s left with many questions about her past, present, and future. Was she only given part of the story of her background? And what exactly is the strange power that surfaces when she’s in distress? Jules makes it her mission to discover the truth about her past and whether she has a role to play in her kingdom’s future.
Everless is based on a unique, thought-provoking concept: using time as currency. This idea and the quandary surrounding it was easily my favorite part of the book. I also enjoyed how the story unfolded, with pieces of the mythology and mystery unraveling piece by piece. The romantic tension was fun and sometimes surprising. And the writing was simple and straightforward.
While this book is definitely a ‘like it’ instead of ‘love it’ for me, Everless is a perfect read for the younger side of the YA audience as well as for any adults looking for books on the more wholesome side of YA. I wasn’t on the edge of my seat dying to know what happens next, but nevertheless I made my way through it quickly. The characters didn’t quite leap off the page, but they were interesting enough. While I’m not exactly raving about Everless, I want to emphasize that this was a good book. And I will be picking up book two next year because that ending left me hanging!
Let us know what you think about Everless in the comments! No spoilers on this page please.
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Details of the new rating system I’m using starting with this book and moving forward:
5 stars = I LOVE this book, it will likely go on my favorites list, and I will shove it at EVERYONE I know, asking them to read it immediately!
4 stars = I really like this book and will recommend it to my reader friends!
3 stars = I like this book and might recommend it (perhaps with a few disclaimers).
2 stars = I didn’t like this book very much. (I DNF books like this 80% of the time; there are too many great books out there to spend my time reading this.)
1 star = I strongly dislike and/or fundamentally disagree with the subject matter of this book. (I will not finish books like this 100% of the time.)
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