Goodreads Summary: 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.Eerily, beautifully creeptastic. I devoured it in a record number of hours because try as I might, and I really did try since I had a huge midterm paper that needed to be written, I couldn't set it aside. I couldn't get it out of my thoughts, I couldn't stop thinking about it. I had to know what happened next. I had to know why things were the way they were, and how they were that way, and whether or not they would stay that way.
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.
As her world begins to unravel around her, Isobel discovers that dreams, like words, hold more power than she ever imagined, and that the most frightening realities are those of the mind. Now she must find a way to reach Varen before he is consumed by the shadows of his own nightmares.
His life depends on it.
Despite the fact that it gives you bits and pieces, or maybe because it only teases you with quotes, from Edgar Allan Poe's literary works it makes you want to devour them in whole. It makes you want to race to your bookstore or library and grab up every copy you can and lose yourself within them.
Isobel was pink, blonde and a cheerleader who was dating a football player. This shouldn't have worked. But I liked her. Even in the beginning I was entertained by her. As for her goth partner...There is something about Varen that hooks you. He is so layered. It is as if every time you think you have begun to know him, to know his character, something else is revealed and you have to revealuate him all over again.
And then there are the nightmares. They are so disorienting and horrifying and easy to get lost in, and not in the way one wishes to get lost in a read. They are just like real nightmares. You slip into them without knowing you're slipping into them and get just as confused as the characters you are following.
Also mad props for the fact that the dress Isobel wears on the cover ACTUALLY BEING IN THE NOVEL. That so seldom happens. Overall it was a great gothic-esque story that held my attention to the point where I couldn't let it go and had to start in on the sequel as soon as I finished it.
4 / 5