Evercrossed (Kissed by an Angel #4)

EvercrossedBy Elizabeth Chandler

Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publication Date: March 8, 2011
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal
Source: Publisher

It’s been a year since Ivy’s boyfriend, Tristan, died. They’ve both moved on—Tristan to the other side of the afterlife, and Ivy to sweet, dependable Will. Now Ivy’s heading to Cape Cod, hoping to leave the horror of last summer behind. She wants nothing more than to lie on the beach, sip lemonade, and hang out with her friends.

But then a car crash ends Ivy’s life.

As she floats to the beyond, looking down on the life she’s left behind, Tristan breathes life back into her with a passionate kiss. She wakes up in the hospital, surrounded by Will and her family, but all she can think about is the love that she lost.

But memories aren’t all that’s come back from the past. And this time, Ivy’s not sure love will be enough to save her.

Goodreads Summary

I was under the impression that this was supposed to be a trilogy (#3 was originally released in 2005!) but has obviously ended up being four books and given the end of this one, it looks like it may to stretch to five.  To be honest, I was so ticked off (I said a much more colorful word) when I got to the end, I’m not sticking around for the next book – it has nothing to do with the story, just with the feeling of being manipulated for the sake of being drawn into buying the next book.  Your mileage may vary though, and if the series has kept you happy so far or the sound of this one intrigues you and you’d like to start from the beginning, then there’s a book that includes the first three stories bundled-in-one available.  It’s less expensive and it’s easier to get into the flow of the series if you just read the books-back-to-back if you can.  Chandler’s writing has improved a great deal from the first book, so if you started the first and dropped it because you had that issue alone, perhaps you still might be interested.

There are going to be some necessary spoilers at the beginning of my review as I have do a very quick summary of what led up to the beginning of this book.

Here’s the rapid-fire summary of books one through three: angel-worshipping Ivy meets and falls in love with Tristan, who dies in suspicious car accident.  He comes back to her as an angel because he has a mission to protect her, as it turns out from her super creepy step-brother Gregory who’s in lust with her and tries to murder her when he realizes he can’t have her.  Tristan manages to save her (it’s complicated), and completing his mission, says goodbye to Ivy, who moves on with her life with friend and new love Will.

When Evercrossed began, Ivy and Will and their friends Beth, Dhanya and Kelsey are in Cape Cod for summer vacation, working at the bed and breakfast owned by Kelsey and Beth’s aunt.  Ivy, her best friend (who’s a little psychic) Beth and Will are all feeling a little uneasy and sad, since it’s the one year anniversary of Tristan’s death, but the other two are a little clueless and decide it’d be fun to break out a Ouija board on their first night there.  Ivy and Beth reluctantly decide to go along with it, thinking the two couldn’t possibly manage to do any damage, but almost as soon as they get started, things go wrong.  Beth throws out some protection chants and eventually things calm down enough for everyone to get yelled at about letting bad stuff through portals.

One night when Beth and Ivy were trying to pick up a drunken Dhanya and Kelsey from a party, a car ran them off of the road – and Ivy was killed.  She had a clear memory of her death, of being lifted up toward Tristan and then he tells her he’ll always be with her.  When Ivy wakes up, she’s in the hospital and everyone’s marveling over the fact that she came out of the accident almost completely unscathed.  When she tries to tell Beth and Will that it was Tristan that saved her, they get angry and accuse her of not being able to move on.  As she’s moping, she hears another patient – named Guy, because they don’t know who he is – who was brought in around the same time she was.  He’s young, handsome and has absolutely no memory before the moment he was pulled from the beach not far from where her accident happened.

Bells, they are a-ringing.

Ivy, of course, sees what she wants to believe – that Guy may have Tristan’s soul.  Beth is furious with her because she thinks Ivy just doesn’t want to let Tristan go and will think of any excuse to keep him with her and Will is hurt and angry, especially when she starts blowing him off.  The more time Ivy spends with Guy, the worse Beth gets, insisting that there’s something evil stalking Ivy and that she thinks that portal the four of them opened when they got to Cape Cod may have let Gregory’s spirit back through and she’s in terrible danger because she is only seeing what she wants to.

Ivy’s a difficult character to like.  She’s self-absorbed, thoughtless and a little bit of an airhead, to be perfectly blunt.  She hurts everyone around her because she can’t even keep from thinking about Guy when she’s talking to them.  Even when she warns herself to stop and be careful, she forgets five minutes later.  I’m searching for a redeeming quality and I guess what I come up with is that she loves Tristan beyond measure.  She’ll do some crazy things for him.  The rest of the gang is generally fine – Guy is what you’d expect in an amnesiac homeless hero (written with a smile, I assure you).  He’s a tad creepy at first, then nicely romantic and drops all the right hints about who he might be but leaves them open enough that by the end, there’s room for doubt.  Beth is a nice concerned best friend in the beginning who morphs into a nagging mother later; Will’s the typical too-nice guy that Ivy walks all over and Dhanya and Kelsey are hilariously ditzy.

My Summary: Take out the “my boyfriend may have come back from the dead,” element and this could work as just a good summer love-triangle story.  I liked Ivy’s friends, I liked Ivy’s love interests and I liked the setting.  As a reader, what I don’t like is being manipulated to the last three pages only to be left on a cliffhanger wondering if there’s going to be another book and if so, am I going to have to wait several years for it.  If I could go back in time and DNF this I would, but the story before the end was decent enough that I’m not going to wreak my vengeance on the grade.

My Rating: C-



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