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Saturday, September 4, 2010

Book Review: Everlasting by Angie Frazier


Reading level: Young Adult
336 pages
Scholastic Press (June 1, 2010)
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indiebound

Sailing aboard her father’s trade ship is all seventeen-year-old Camille Rowen has ever wanted. But as a girl of society in 1855 San Francisco, her future is set: marry a man she doesn’t love, or condemn herself and her father to poverty.

On her final voyage before the wedding, the stormy arms of the Tasman Sea claim her father, and a terrible family secret is revealed. A secret intertwined with a fabled map, the mother Camille has long believed dead, and an ancient stone that wields a dangerous—and alluring—magic.

The only person Camille can depend on is Oscar, a handsome young sailor whom she is undeniably drawn to. Torn between trusting her instincts and keeping her promises to her father, Camille embarks on a perilous quest into the Australian wilderness to find the enchanted stone. As she and Oscar elude murderous bushrangers and unravel Camille’s father’s lies, they come closer to making the ultimate decision of who—and what—matters most.


Camille clicked the latches down on her trunk and glanced out her bedroom window.

White haze choked the small seaport, and the fog bells sounding across the bay echoed in her chest. Fitting weather to mark the death of her freedom.


Oscar flinched and stared at her. "What did you say?"

Camille set the glass down. "Uman-"

"No!" He held his finger up to his mouth to shush her. "Don't say it."

"Why not?" she asked. "Have you heard of it?"

The wind picked up, and tree branches outside the windows thrashed against the side of the house, knocking a few clapboards into one another. Oscar covered his mouth with his hand and paced the rug.

"What's wrong? What is this Umandu place? "- Page 92

Set amid the danger of the high seas and  the lure of the untamed Australian outback, Everlasting is a novel that has it all. It's a romantic story of love and loss centering on Camille, a young woman ensnared in a quest for a mythical stone; a stone so powerful it could change her life forever.

Relationships were so important in this book—the way they challenged the characters to question their choices and to find the courage to follow their dreams. Trying to make her way in a world when women had little say in their future, Camille fascinated me. I loved her strength of will and sense of adventure. Throughout the events that  transpired in Everlasting, Camille showed true bravery and whole lot of spunk. I enjoyed watching her character grow and evolve.

My favorite aspect of Everlasting involved the dynamics between Camille and Oscar, the poor sailor who stole her heart. No matter how many fancy dresses or expensive emerald rings Camille's fiance Randall could buy for her, it was so obvious that no one could compare to Oscar. The chemistry between these two absolutely sizzled. I found myself desperately wanting Camille to come to her senses and realize just how perfect Oscar was for her, no matter what the social and financial ramifications would be. Here's an example of Camille interacting with Oscar—you can practically cut the tension with a knife.

She watched as his eyes traveled over her own features, touching on the wound by her temple and settling on the heart-shaped fullness of her lips.

Oscar held his piercing stare. "We probably won't arrive home in time for your wedding."

She pictured the wedding gown hanging in her closet. The veil. The shoes. Even the strands of pearls, all laid out awaiting her return. Return. The heavy word weighed on her as Ira continued to snore and Oscar continued to study her in a way that made her feel captivating and beautiful. -- Page 188

With a little bit Raiders of the Lost Ark, Pirates of the Caribbean and a dash of Titanic, this book kept my attention from start to finish. The twists and turns constantly surprised me and kept me turning the pages with delight. Supporting characters like Ira the gambler and Daphne, the Madame with the heart of gold added even more spark to an already exciting novel.

Everlasting will always hold a special place with me. It's one of those books that lives on in your imagination and your heart. I hope to read more of Angie Frazier's novels and perhaps revisit Oscar and Camille again.

Angie lives in New Hampshire with her husband and two daughters, their big black lab, and a pair of highly destructive cats. Her debut young adult novel, EVERLASTING, is the result of an overactive imagination, an addiction to historical research, and dozens of vintage travel posters plastered to the ceilings of a cottage she rented one long, snowbound winter.
Official Website & Blog


Melissa said...

Brilliant review :)

I've yet to read this one, but I had a WoW for it way back when!


Oh my, you've definitely got me with this review. I love good romance!

Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com said...

Raiders of the Lost Ark, Pirates of the Caribbean, and Titanic? You sold me!