Cheerleader Isobel Lanley is horrified when she is paired with Varen Nethers for an English project, which is due—so unfair—on the day of the rival game. Cold and aloof, sardonic and sharp-tongued, Varen makes it clear he’d rather not have anything to do with her either. But when Isobel discovers strange writing in his journal, she can’t help but give this enigmatic boy with the piercing eyes another look. Soon, Isobel finds herself making excuses to be with Varen. Steadily pulled away from her friends and her possessive boyfriend, Isobel ventures deeper and deeper into the dream world Varen has created through the pages of his notebook, a realm where the terrifying stories of Edgar Allan Poe come to life.
I'm thrilled this was my first read of the 2011 Book Challenge! It was a great read with intelligent writing and clever wit. I enjoyed Varen and Isobel as characters, I felt like they weren't what they seemed and they had some substance to them. Varen especially was a character I really wanted to get to know and felt like I'd learn more as I peeled the layers.
I loved how the author mixed in poems of Edgar Allen Poe, along with some of Varen's original writings. That was one of the main reasons I wanted this novel, I was intrigued how she would pull it off. The plot was really good and I thought the ending was wonderful.