My first feature would be Nevermore by Kelly Creagh.
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.
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.
Nevermore was exceptionally the most unique novel I've ever read. The first-half of the book deals with the ground-reality of Isobel's harmlessly normal life and how it starts to fall apart as Varen slowly, unknowingly, invades her shields.
But the real deal is the rest-half in which the author with her poetic writing presents a dream world that was influenced by Poe's work as much as it is by Varen's writings. This world was hauntingly beautiful and creepily dark at the same time.
Varen was an exceptional character, as well. He was insanely hot, sarcastic, mysterious and utterly dark at the same time, all the while wearing kohl and silver chain-links. Though, the real show-stealer was the sardonically sadistic Pinfeathers, who intrigued me the moment he made his entry.
Nevermore is utterly fascinating and frustrating as it whisks you away to a world where dreams are a never-ending reality.
Quotes still on my mind:
“You're really a blond," she said, her tone just short of accusatory.
"And if you tell anyone, I will come to you in the night and smote your everlasting soul.”
'Promise?' Isobel turned back to the piano quickly, shocked that she'd almost uttered this aloud.
I think Isobel and I are on the same page ;)
“My beautiful, my Isobel. My Love. You ask me to wait. And so I wait.
For all of this, I know, is but a dream.
And when, in sleep, at last we wake,
I will see you again.”
- Varen Nethers, Nevermore