(I was gifted a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review)
Evie and the Upside-Down World of Nevermore is quite possibly the most fantastical book I have ever read. I’ve never read something that has elements of so many different types of fantasy, or so many aspects of classic fairytales and myths.
The Upside-Down World is a world built after Wonderland from Lewis Carroll’s classic tales, but this book isn’t simply a re-telling of Alice and Wonderland. Evie is a troubled young girl who is unable to find her place in the real world and, whilst camping with her so-called friends, she stumbles into an unfamiliar land.
Upon entering, she takes in the world around her and explores every corner of the Upside-Down World in an attempt to find her way back. She meets many challenges and many fantastical beings along the way.
Evie’s character is fascinating. She is a ninth-grader, so is significantly younger than the protagonists that I normally read, but she seems both intelligent and aware. She is able to navigate her surroundings much better than one would expect, and certainly has moments in which her poignant thoughts about loss and finding her place catch the reader off guard. I enjoyed learning Evie’s thoughts and following her on her journey.
I definitely recommend this book; however, I should point out that because Evie is younger than many current Young Adult protagonists, this book may be more suitable for a younger, potentially middle-grade, audience. The writing style is very easy to read and I believe that younger readers would enjoy the depths that Birgitte explores the Upside-Down World more than I did. Also, this story is much more reminiscent of the adventure books I read when I was younger than the usual Young Adult fantasy I read now so I feel it is somewhat more suitable for people aged fifteen and below.
In terms of the novel’s pacing, I found that the story did alternate between being incredibly well-paced and a little slow moving. This was not a problem for me at all as I was able to read the book in two days and often found myself rapidly turning pages to see where Evie ended up next. However, because Evie makes much of the journey alone, there is very little dialogue, which does significantly slow certain parts of the book. I still find it incredibly impressive that Birgitte Märgen was able to write a novel with so little dialogue that was still highly captivating and fast-moving, as I am much more prone to reading conversation-heavy YA, and I believe that it is perfect in terms of allowing the reader to truly escape into her imaginative world without distraction.
Overall, I’m glad I read this book and would recommend it if you’re looking for a quick, easy read. I’d also recommend it if you’ve been starved of classic fantasy, as this book has so many nods to stories from my childhood that it did make me a little nostalgic. I have enjoyed the two days I spent exploring the Upside-Down World and am unsure I will read a novel in the near future with a fantastical world that can compare.
P.S. If you’re interested in buying the book/checking out other reviews, here’s the link:
P.P.S. This was my first read of Spookathon and I’m almost on-track after the first two days! This was my read set in a spooky setting, and hopefully there will be more reviews to follow in the next week…